The new monument depicts Tejano influences in Texas, including the Spanish Conquistadors of the 1500s and the vaqueros of the 1800s.

Gov. Rick Perry was on hand at the unveiling of the Tejano Monument on the Texas Capitol grounds on March 29.

Gov. Rick Perry attended the dedication of a new monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds honoring Hispanic contributions to Texas History.

"This important monument reflects a larger truth about the origins of Texas, about the contributions of so many Hispanic citizens to the creation of the state we love and the lives we share," Gov. Perry said. "These contributions are ongoing with Latinos providing political, business and spiritual leadership in communities throughout Texas. The future of our state is tied directly to the future of our Hispanic population, and I believe we have a glorious future ahead of us."

The Tejano Monument was created by Laredo artist Armando Hinojosa and consists of 11 life-size sculptures commemorating the 500-year role of Tejanos in Texas and the Spanish-Mexican legacy in the state from 1500 to 1800.

Work on placing a Tejano Monument at the State Capitol began in 2001, when legislators passed and Gov. Perry signed legislation establishing it. In 2007, the Legislature approved $1.087 million for completion of the monument and an additional $1 million was raised through private donations.

Early Spanish and Mexican pioneers and their descendants have helped shape the way of life in Texas, dating back to the 1500s.

Today, some of the state's top Hispanic leaders include Secretary of State Hope Andrade; Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Justice Elsa Alcala; Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman; Chancellor of the UT System Francisco Cigarroa; Austin Diocese Bishop Joe Vasquez; and Presiding Officer at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Jose Cuevas, just to name a few.

The Tejano Monument is located on the south lawn of the Capitol grounds.

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