On Sunday, August 1, at 2 p.m., the Museum of South Texas History's Sunday Speaker Series presents Amancio J. Chapa Jr. discussing the life and times of Juan Bautista Chapa (1627-1695), his significance to this region's history, and his line of descendants who still reside in South Texas.
Chapa is currently the director of fine arts at La Joya ISD and the former the executive director of Amigos Del Valle Inc., a multi-county nonprofit corporation that provides services, meals, transportation and housing for senior citizens and families in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. But his passion is to enhance the understanding and appreciation for the history of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico.
His presentation will focus on Juan Bautista Chapa's life as reflected in the history of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and Texas. Born in Genoa, de Chapa is now recognized as the anonymous historian of Nuevo Leon, where he arrived in the mid-seventeenth century and subsequently served and traveled with the governors of the region for more than 40 years.
Bautista Chapa captured his observations of the region's development in Historia del Nuevo Reino de Leon de 1650 a 1690, the authorship of which was unknown until 1961.
He is also recognized as the first-generation Chapa in this region and the ancestral "father" of the numerous Chapa families of northeastern Mexico and South Texas. In fact, Amancio Chapa is a proud descendant of Juan Bautista Chapa.
The Sunday Speaker Series is included in the regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the Museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDships. For information on the program or becoming a FRIEND of the Museum, call 956-383-6911 or visit www.mosthistory.org.
The Museum of South Texas History is located at 200 North Closner Boulevard on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square in downtown Edinburg.