San Antonio River Foundation

Arbol de la Vida: Voces de Tierra

Margarita Cabrera


Mission Espada Portal

The mission of the Arbol de la Vida: Voces de Tierra project is to celebrate San Antonio’s ranching heritage through the eyes of the community. This true community public art project will bring the San Antonio community together to artistically help carve and give form to our shared story. Made by the community for the community, this iconic sculpture will celebrate our world heritage site of San Francisco de la Espada, and bring focus to the rich natural and cultural environment that surrounds it. The sculpture will enrich the lives of the people of San Antonio and enhance the makeup of its diverse community one story at a time for many future generations to come.

“Margarita’s work, which has been rapidly gaining national attention, provides a wonderful addition to San Antonio’s Mission Reach collection” stated Robert Amerman SARF’s Executive Director. “As a regional Latina artist with depth in local San Antonio projects via her Artpace residency, Margarita’s collaboration-­‐ based projects continue to extend and enhance our discussions surrounding the manifest strengths found in our layered culture. Margarita’s work serves as a bridge and an embrace.”

Community Opportunities 

The project will have three distinct community opportunities: Part 1) A series of four storytelling dialogues throughout the city in which the public is welcome to provide, or to come listen tofascinating stories told by our very own community members, Part 2) A series of workshops in which the public can fabricate clay sculptures inspired by the community’s stories which will be added to the Arbol de la Vida, and Part 3) A coming together and unveiling celebration to honor our cultural history, our diversity, our creativity, and our newly bonded community.

The Part 1 storytelling charlas/dialogues has been completed. 

Registration is required Part 2, the sculpture Workshops, scheduled for the summer/fall of 2017. Interested participants can learn more and register here:

Why Ranching History?

Mission San Francisco de la Espadais currently understood as the only Spanish colonial mission in the United States which maintains contact with its original ranching operation: Rancho de las Cabras. Texas’ ranching legacy can be attributed to the initial efforts of the mission ranches. The rancho’s ruins and pastures can be found approximately 30 miles south of San Antonio in Floresville, TX. Tours of this property are currently by reservation only via the National ParkService.

Mission San Francisco de la Espada is administered by San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Mission Espada, within San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, is the subject of an online lesson plan produced by Teaching with Historic Places. This lesson plan thematically ties the Mission’s history to its ranching origins. Teaching with Historic Places is a National Register program that offers classroom-­‐ready lesson plans on properties listed in the National Register.

San Antonio River Foundation, 100 East Guenther, San Antonio, Texas 78204 | 210.224.2694

The San Antonio River Foundation is a non-profit tax-exempt organization recognized under section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code and has been designated as a “public charity” under sections 509(a)(I) 170(b)(A)(VI).