‘Las Tesoros­­­­­’ documentary of struggles and triumphs

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Wally Perez

Women’s History Month activities Tuesday will feature screening and session with the director.

By Kimberly Brown


“Las Tesoros,” a documentary about four female singers from the West Side of San Antonio who skyrocketed to international stardom in the 1940s through the 1960s, will be shown 12:15–1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Room 120 of the visual arts center.

The screening is presented by the Mexican-American studies program as part of this college’s observation of Women’s History Month.

Jorge Sandoval, writer and director, will participate in a question-and-answer session after the showing and three of the four women will be available for students to speak with.

These women are “part of the history of San Antonio, of San Antonio music,” Sandoval said March 2 in a telephone interview.

The women are Rita “La Calandria” Vidaurri, Beatriz “La Paloma del Norte” Llamas, Blanca “Blanquita Rosa” Rodriguez and Janet “Perla Tapatia” Cortez. Cortez died in 2014.

They are locally and internationally renowned singers who represent the sound of the Mexico-Texas border and the San Antonio area while singing in Spanish.

These women are connected to each other and cultivate the traditions of community, co-existence and culture that preserve the Mexican-American roots and progress in San Antonio’s communities, Sandoval said.

They have supported each other through their careers and shared everything from the spotlight to handmade costumes, according to an article about the women on the website for the Esperanza Center for Peace and Justice at esperanzacenter.org.

Their careers soared through four decades then tapered off because of family obligations and sexism in the music industry, also according to the website.

They have now re-emerged as a trio, honoring each other’s personal and professional struggles against racism, sexism, homophobia and poverty.

Las Tesoros is also a part of the Texas Commission on the Arts Texas touring roster where the singers can be available to give a performance or workshop at a Texas library, school or nonprofit organization.

For additional info, email Lisa Zottarelli, sociology professor and chair of the college’s Women’s History Committee, at lzottarelli@alamo.edu.


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