The Guadalupe el Torrero (GeT) Foundation promotes the arts and education along the borderland of South Texas and Mexico to foster collaborations between the arts and sciences to connect artists, students, and our community with the world. This will be accomplished by providing a place of gathering for community engagement, the exhibition of art, performances, and workshops to mentor students and help artists find support and success. Rancho Guadalupe is the headquarters of the GeT Foundation.
The Guadalupe el Torrero Foundation is located at the former headquarters of the San Ramón grant known as Rancho Guadalupe. In 2004, Katherine and James McAllen Jr. purchased this nine-acre tract of land near their home, which contained the three remaining structures from this colonial cattle ranch that predate Texas by forty years. In the Fall of 2019, they decided to restore these dilapidated structures to preserve the architecture that was originally built when the ranch was active with sheep and cattle. With help from friends, colleagues, and historians they completed the restoration project with the goal of preserving the structures for many generations to come.
Julian Farías was from a founding family of Camargo, Tamaulipas, México, situated along the Rio Grande River (or Rio Bravo) approximately 35 miles south of Rancho Guadalupe. One of three brothers, Julian applied for a land grant in 1770 to acquire a 10,000-hectare tract of land in this region of present-day Texas. In 1804, Farías received the San Ramón grant to extend his family’s grazing of sheep and cattle herds, which numbered in the tens of thousands. His two brothers, Francisco and Alejandro, were also granted land of the same size in the San José Grant and the Santa Cruz Grant east of Rancho Guadalupe in present-day Starr County. It is likely that Rancho Guadalupe was named after Julian’s wife or mother, who were both named Guadalupe.
El Torrero (the light tower) was the name of a watering hole near the ranch where thirsty travelers and animals gathered to drink water after heavy rains. This tiny region of present-day Hidalgo County became known as Guadalupe el Torrero to recognize this water source. Over time, the name changed to el Torero (the bullfighter), although the original land grant and map labels and identifies this water source as el Torrero.
Katherine and James McAllen believe in the unique relationship between the cross-cultural frontera region of South Texas and Northern Mexico. They hope to further develop this relationship through patronage of the arts, preserving historical architecture, and supporting education.
The GeT Foundation plans to provide active support for educational activities in the arts with lectures, exhibitions, workshops, classes, and scholarships for students in the K-12 grades as well as undergraduates and graduate students in higher education. The GeT artist residency program will also help realize the mission of the foundation.