“The Hispanic influence on rodeos here in the United States is undeniable, down to the word itself,” said Suarez, referring to the Spanish word rodeo, which translated into English means “to gather” or “an enclosure for the cattle at the fair or market. “
She said vaqueros have become famous for their riding, their ability to break horses and ride bulls.
“I’m happy that Charro Diaz brings this perspective to Waco,” said Suarez.
She said the Hispanic members of the HOT Fair & Rodeo committee strive to diversify the clientele, which makes the annual event more successful.
“Most of those who immigrate to Waco from Mexico are from parts of northern Mexico, which are more rural and less metropolitan,” Suarez said. “They’re more used to rodeos, cattle shows and the like.”
She said this could explain the local growth of Western stores that sell handmade leather goods and cater to Hispanic shoppers. She mentioned as examples El Primo Western Wear near North 23rd Street and Waco Drive and El Rio Western Wear at 3421 Memorial Drive in South Waco.
Marlene Villasenor is a co-owner of the Big Ranch store at 1411 N. Valley Mills Drive and said all of her merchandise originates from Mexico, specifically León, a city of over one million people in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.