El Paso is home to many interesting things like Hueco Tanks State Historical Site, UTEP, and the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center. This city is also near a community of Tigua people, called Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (YDSP). “Ysleta Del Sur,” means “Island of the South.” Located 13 miles from downtown El Paso, for over 300 years, YDSP is a U.S. federally-recognized Native American tribe and sovereign nation. The Tiguas are the sole Pueblo tribe in Texas, and one of only three tribes in the Lone Star State.
YDSP is Texas’s oldest community. Established in 1682, after Pueblo in New Mexico rebelled against the Spaniards, who then captured them and forced them to walk over 400 miles to relocate in what is now the El Paso/Tigua region. Industrious farmers who cultivated wheat and corn, and reared cattle and horses, the Tigua people of Ysleta del Sur were instrumental in constructing the Ysleta Mission, as well as developing the region.
Today, traditions are honored and shared via a museum, as well as annual events like the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Pow Wow, typically in May, and the Feast of St. Anthony, usually in June. Traditional Pueblo dance performances are also held. The museum, YDSP Cultural Center Museum, exhibits the broad history and intricate culture of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, highlighting the history of success over adversity. There is something for everyone here; young and old enjoy the visiting artists, interactive aspects, and guest lectures. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a visit can also be timed with a traditional bread making session held every other Saturday of the month. Led by tribal members, using the same techniques and equipment as those did over 300 years ago, visitors can interact and purchase the bread afterward. Have you ever tasted a baked good after it has been perfected for over 300 years?