As many of you all may know, I co-own and operate a HiFi store on the Westside of San Antonio called Dreamonoid’s located at the intersection of Trinity and Guadalupe. Being part of the neighborhood is something of a family tradition as my grandmother’s uncles owned a bakery just a couple blocks down from our shop and many of my ancestors are buried in the San Fernando Cemetery.
It has been awesome to familiarize myself with the space, whether it is riding my bike around the neighborhood and down to the mission creekway or going to Linda’s for a family breakfast, the space has a feeling that is unique and brings back memories and feelings of my wife and I’s cultural backgrounds, her being from Crystal City, TX.
I was recently contacted by a colleague of mine, Clarrisa Ramon who asked me if I could attend a non-profit event at the Avenida Guadalupe Plaza. I had no idea what the event was but said yes immediately as I knew it would be just a few blocks down from the shop.
When I showed up I learned it was SanArte, a community organized Health Clinic series. SanArte is a collaboration between multiple community leaders and the City of San Antonio’s District 5 Council’s office of Shirely Gonzales. The idea stemmed from a community concern regarding the fencing of Avenida Guadalupe Plaza which was erected roughly 2 and a half years ago due to concern for public safety. The concern for public safety stemmed from frequent loitering which resulted in drug use, public intoxication and prostitution.
As someone who has a business two blocks away I can attest to these issues in and around Plaza Guadalupe.
I was able to interview two of the organizers. Rebel Mariposa and Vanessa Quezada PharmD. Both provided some great insight into SanArte and how they worked with District 5 council office of Shirely Gonzales to develop 5 clinics, one each month starting in May 2019.
SanArte’s approach to their Health Clinic amazed me as an anthropologist, a community member and as someone with health issues. When you enter SanArte as a community member you are greeted by volunteers who have you fill out some health information and take your vitals. You are then able to participate in traditional Latinx healing sessions such as dance, music therapy, massage, Limpia’s, engage with pharmicists, licensed mental health professionals, as well as obtain food bags, partake in cook tutorials and enjoy a fresh hot meal.
I look foward to future events put on by the community. It’s amazing to see people come together and offer something unique yet very needed in the Westside community. Thank you!
For the full scoop check out the interviews I was able to conduct: