Mexican American Integration and Acculturation

Interview of David Moreno by Adam Nerio, March 29, 2020. David Moreno explained uniforms were collected and reused each season and replaced every ten years. He also vividly remembers the concession stand serving raspas, Frito pie, and hot dogs. He indicated English was primarily used when they played.

He also vividly remembers the concession stand serving raspas, Frito pie, and hot dogs. He indicated English was primarily used when they played. The men would sometimes speak to each other in Spanish but always English to the players. According to David Moreno however, Spanish was sometimes used in football, where his coach would “call out plays in Spanish” so the opposing team wasn't aware of what they were doing from the sideline. It is important to point out that PHY baseball, with six teams, played a season competing against each other. Yet, with football, competition was against teams from across the city. This reveals how for football, the Spanish language provided a competitive advantage (Moreno, David. Interview. By Adam Nerio. 29 March 2020.).

Those I interviewed in these oral histories reflected on the leadership of the coaches/managers within the PHY athletic club.  One of the interviewees mentioned how his coach had three sons of his own so the opportunity to coach them in Little League was “pure enjoyment.” Not only did Jerry Guevara’s coach participate in Little League but also coached Pop Warner football for the PHY. When referring to the coaches/managers one interviewee said, “They were dedicated, very dedicated…most lived in the Christ The King area.” (Guevara, Jerry. Interview and Sr. Nerio, Reynaldo. Interview.)

The leaders, for the most part, held civil service jobs.  The children attended, for the most part, two elementary schools, Ogden and Cenizo Park. In addition, for the most part, families attended Christ The King Catholic Church located at 2610 Perez Street, located less than one mile from the PHY baseball field. Cultural homogeneity was established as this emerging middle-class that reinforced their values, aspirations, and lifestyles. Most lived in the same neighborhood, attended the same church, worked at the same type of jobs, their children attended the same school, and of course, they participated and celebrated together in recreational sports with the PHY athletic club.

The Prospect Hill neighborhood produced leaders. A local magazine article reported: For example, Charles T. Barrett, Jr., president and CEO of Barrett Holdings, an asset management company and authorized dealer for Jaguar, Ferrari, Maserati, Saab and Fisker. Barrett attributes much of his success to his family as well as the environment that Prospect Hill provided. “In Prospect Hill, people knew who they were and where they were from. Everybody knew where their parents were born, where their grandparents were born, where they came from, and why they were here. Pride in your heritage was very important, no matter what it was.” Barrett graduated from St. Mary’s University in 1962. He is a former member of the St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees. One project Barrett is most proud of is the St. Mary’s Bell Tower Project that he initiated in 2006. The bell tower also serves as a memorial to his mother and was dedicated in February 2007… Lionel Sosa, remembers growing up in Prospect Hill with great fondness and according to Sosa, the ethnic diversity of Prospect Hill was a key factor in the success of the neighborhood. In 1972, Sosa founded Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates (now Bromley Communications), the largest Hispanic advertising agency in the United States. In 2005, Hispanic Business magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States. Sosa attributes much of his success to the strong foundation for life he received growing up in Prospect Hill. He explains, “The neighborhood had the old values: Be honest, work hard, be responsible, be kind.” ……. For Dr. Fernando Guerra, Prospect Hill provided many families with the opportunity to establish a presence, find gainful employment and educate their children. “It had a real sense of community in terms of support provided by families.” He earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and his Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard University School of Public Health. Dr. Guerra serves as a consultant to the City of San Antonio in public health and health policy and also practices pediatrics.

Other products of the Prospect Hill neighborhood include:

  • Hope Andrade — Commissioner for the Texas Transportation Commission
  • Alex Briseno — Retired San Antonio city manager and professor of public service at St. Mary’s University
  • Henry Cisneros — Former mayor of San Antonio, founder and chairman of American Sunrise
  • Ruben, George and David Cortez — Owners and managers of the family restaurant businesses, including Mi Tierra, Pico de Gallo and La Margarita
  • Tessa Martinez Pollack — (former) President of Our Lady of the Lake University
  • Ricardo Romo — (former) President of UTSA
  • Jesse Treviño — Nationally recognized artist
  • Gen. Alfred Valenzuela (Ret.) — Major General, U.S. Army, retired


Mexican American Integration and Acculturation