Hope Mora



I first saw Hanna Ibarra and her friends dancing on the basketball courts across from the Santa Rosa, the Catholic church I attended and studied in as a kid. They were practicing choreography for Hanna’s upcoming quinceañera. Cumbias from bands like Grupo Control, Celso Piña, and Grupo Massore blasted from their small speakers on loop. They welcomed me to take photos and videos of their three-day practice. I asked Hanna what her full name is and what a quince means to her and she replied, “My name is Hanna Dalila Ibarra, I was born in Mexico and came to live in Texas when I was six. A quinceañera to me is when you celebrate a girl becoming a lady and she’s all grown’d up ready to get her life started. All your family comes over, you eat, you dance, you sing, and have a great time with all your loved ones.” While I was taking Hanna’s picture in her beautiful red gown covered in sparkles, her court of damas and chambelánes continued to dance, shuffle, and spin. 

Taken on the east side of town where my childhood was spent, my primo Frank stands tall and proud in his zoot suit, suspenders, hanging chains, and religious jewelry in the middle of the street. Behind him is the giant water tower that reads “Pecos” with the school eagle logo below it. I used to go over to Frank’s to chill with my cousin Cheyanne, and use up all of their printer paper for drawings. 

I went to school with Jesse Ortiz, and we never talked much, but he remembered me from after a friend I was with, offered Jesse a ride to his job at Burger King. Jesse poses for me, rockin’ his fur coat and OG Locs sunglasses, sitting outside his home with butterfly decor hanging on the wall. On the cruise to his job, he told me about the type of music he DJs: cumbia, punk, metal, and hip hop. We took a detour and stopped by an empty patch of land on the east side, and I recorded a video of Jesse freestyling.

Pollo Loco is another Pecos character I don’t know much about. He’s quiet, shy, timid, and doesn’t quite look you in the eye. Pollo and his bad ass lowrider bicycle are hard to miss when you see them roaming the streets. His one-of-a-kind, shiny, chrome bicycle is stylish to say the least: a classic banana seat, spoke wheels, and twisted metal handlebars. I came across this beautiful custom made object another time at a local car show. I assumed Pollo entered his prized possession in the competition.