St. Ann’s Alumni and Friends of Little Mexico, Inc. is a community-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, comprised of St. Ann’s School, or St. Ann’s Commercial High School for Girls alumni, or past residents of the Dallas area once known as “Little Mexico”, a neighborhood which no longer exists, except in the photo gallery we host annually at the State Fair of Texas. The St. Ann’s School building, however, still stubbornly, but proudly stands and has been declared a Dallas Landmark.
In addition to hosting the annual photo exhibit, our principal focus is awarding scholastic scholarships to students wishing to further their education. To this point in time, our organization has awarded 43 scholarships totaling $95,000.
St. Ann’s School
St. Ann’s Parochial School was constructed in 1927 and was staffed by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul. It was a valuable resource for Dallas’ Little Mexico community, where thousands of children began their education. In 1946 St. Ann’s Commercial High School for Girls was built adjacent to the grade school. The new school consisted of five classrooms, two clubrooms, an auditorium/gym and a new cafeteria. The high school continued to prepare young girls for the business world until its closing in 1965.The elementary school closed in 1974. In 1999 St. Ann’s Parochial school became the first building in Dallas with a Mexican history to be declared a Landmark.
All that remains of the high school is a tile mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
According to the City of Dallas, Little Mexico was formerly a neighborhood that was predominately populated by Mexican immigrants at the start of the century. It was an area bounded at the north end by Reverchon Park, Maple Avenue on the east side, McKinney Avenue on the south side, and the MKT railroad on the west side (presently Stemmons Freeway). For those of us that lived there, however, it was much more than that; it was a way of life. It was playing in a pickup game of baseball, or football, on any given day, especially the weekends at Pike Park. It was Easter Sunday at Reverchon Park. It was shopping at las tiendas; (neighborhood grocery stores), such as Chantaca’s, Mongaras, Martinez, Morales, Villasana’s or Zuniga’s (walking of course). Or getting tortillas and pan dulce at Mr. Gutierrez’ Todos Tortillas or Luna’s Tortilla Factory on McKinney. And who can forget the Cinco de Mayo and Dies y seis fiestas held at Pike Park every year. It meant maybe working at la Neuhoff or the A&P, or even at the Safeway on Cedar Springs. It was going to school at la “Catolica” (St. Ann’s parochial school) which was staffed by the Daughters of Charity. And of course, it meant going to Mass on Sunday and holy days of obligation at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church on Harwood Street.