The history behind the first settlers of Texas and the villas they created

Tejano Moments

SAN ANTONIO – When discussing Tejano history you would have to mention the first settlers to the area in the late 1600s and early 1700s.

Those first settlers were soldiers hand-picked because they had families and knew how to ranch.

“They are the foundation of our society, our communities,” historian Rudi Rodriguez says. “They bring with them morals and their standards.”

When those first soldiers came to the area they created villas or towns. One such example of that is what we now call La Villita in downtown San Antonio.

They chose this area because it was close to the presidios, the Alamo, and the river.

“The villas are important to every community because it’s the actual genesis, for the growth of communities that come later,” Rodriguez said.

Villas would begin to pop up all over South, Central and East Texas. The soldiers and their families would develop the areas, create homes, and establish a community.

Their contributions were important to the state’s history and development.

“It’s extremely important that we have awareness and understanding because we’re talking about the fundamental contribution of Tejanos to Texas history for 150 years prior to the Battle of the Alamo,” Rodriguez said.

To learn more about Tejano history you can visit

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About the Author

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

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