House of Mexico’s expected cottage in Balboa Park is complete
For years, the word “House” in the nonprofit House of Mexico was only in its name.
Board members would move between the Sherman Heights Community Center, a bank’s boardroom, and more recently virtual spaces during the coronavirus pandemic to develop events and programs for the public – because it doesn’t. there was no physical building to host events promoting Mexican culture and history.
“We got together wherever we could find space and for the first few years that was where we could find free space because we just didn’t have the money. Every dollar went to a building fund, ”said House of Mexico president Blanca Gonzalez.
But now, after an effort of nearly 20 years to build a space, the organization finally has a home in the international cottage village of Balboa Park.
La Maison du México has a grand opening ceremony on Saturday to celebrate the completion of the 1,000-square-foot duplex cottage, which will host representative community organizations from Mexico and Panama.
“We spent a lot of sleepless nights thinking, ‘How are we going to do this?’ There was the passion, but there just wasn’t the funding, ”Gonzalez said. “So we are very happy that this day has finally arrived because people have been working on it for almost 20 years. “
Along with the House of Mexico, there are over 30 other groups representing several countries and territories in the House of Pacific Relations, which oversees cultural programming on the International Cottages lawn of Balboa Park. Not all organizations have a physical chalet to host events or exhibitions.
At the end of August, an inauguration ceremony took place for five new international chalets representing nine member nations and groups. These are India, Korea, Mexico, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Turkey, and the Chamorro people, who are the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands.
Saturday’s event focuses on what Gonzalez said he has been years of trying to build a physical home that will help continue to share the culture of a country that has openly integrated with San Diego.
“Mexican Americans are a big part of San Diego, and they’ve been for a long time. It is right that we can shine a light on this Mexican heritage not only for our local residents, but also for all visitors who come to Balboa Park, ”she said.
Mexico had been part of the House of Pacific Relations from 1935 to 1941, but was dissolved for unknown reasons, according to the House of Mexico website. In 2004, the organization officially joined the House of Pacific Relations.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Enrique Morones, who founded Maison du México in 1996, in a previous interview during the chalet construction stages last year.
The total cost of the chalet project reached $ 826,000, with House of Mexico’s share estimated at $ 504,000, said Arturo Castro, representative of the House of Mexico construction committee. The price of sharing the duplex was initially estimated at $ 235,000.
The organization relied on fundraisers and loans for construction. He also received $ 20,000 in grants from San Diego County and $ 13,000 from the city, Gonzalez said. The grant money is expected to cover the costs of furnishings and other interior work that has not yet been completed.
Internal programming is expected to start as early as late October or early November, Gonzalez said. She said that by next year, audiences can expect a return of Arte Color y Fiesta, one of the organization’s most popular fundraising events that celebrate art.
Due to space limitations, Saturday’s event is not open to the public, Gonzalez said. The ceremony is expected to feature San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and Mexican Consul General Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, as well as nariachi and folk ballet performances.
To learn more about the House of Mexico, visit houseofmexico.net.