In recognition of her 26 years organizing for improvements in her colonia and her tireless efforts to give a better life to those around her, LUPE leader Teresa Barrera received the honor of having a park named after her. The park, which was built in 2007 in the San Juan area colonia El Jay, will now carry the name of Doña Teresa and serve as a reminder to the community of what can be accomplished when we organize.
The park is only one of many improvements that Doña Teresa and the colonia El Jay committee achieved over years of organizing. When Doña Teresa and her husband Inocencio Barrera moved to the colonia in 1986, the neighborhood had nothing but lots and simple homes made from any material available. It had no running water or paved roads, and certainly not a park. She remembers telling her neighbors that even though she came from a poor ranch in poverty-stricken Mexico, even the ranch had better living conditions that her new neighborhood. From the start, Doña Teresa was animating her neighbors to speak up for the needs of the community.Now, after tireless years of organizing, the colonia benefits from paved roads, running water, streetlights, mailboxes, school bus stops, and even a park, an improvement that most colonia residents only hope for.
Teresa Barrera Park was built in 2007 under the authority of Commissioner Tito Palacios when colonia El Jay pertained to County Precinct 2. This year, because of redistricting, colonia El Jay passed to Precinct 1. Commissioner Joel Quintanilla renamed the park in Doña Teresa’s honor.
Colonia El Jay is an example of what is possible when we are persistent, work hard toward a goal, and above all organize together. ¡Sí Se Puede!