AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Barrio Neighborhood in Amarillo is near and dear to many Hispanics in our city. For those in Amarillo, the Barrio is more than just a neighborhood, but a place where the Hispanic community in our city got their beginning.
“This neighborhood is full of family and pride and culture and resourcefulness,” said President of the Barrio Neighborhood Planning Committee, Teresa Kenedy.
In the 1900s, the Santa Fe Railroad brought new jobs to Amarillo and new cultures. Many from Mexico moved to work on the railroad however, they were not all welcomed with open arms.
“So a lot of the Hispanic community was housed there. So in the days of segregation, they kept Hispanics there where they could not move anywhere else,” said Gus Trujillo, with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
For many Latinos, the Barrio soon became home, leaving their legacy generation after generation.
For some, stories of how segregation created the Barrio is a reminder of how much things have changed.
“I still live in the Barrio and I want to see it improve especially now with the of Amarillo,” said Trujillo.
Today, people can drive through the Barrio and see historic sites that helped shape the neighborhood and the city.
Local organizations hope people will remember the past the Barrio holds, and in doing so help to improve the future for generations to come.
The Barrio is working on a few new projects to help get more community involvement, including street light installation and various art projects.