In petticoats, Kayla Rodrriguez practices her quinceañera dance routine at The Robles Studio; she is trying to get used to having the long skirts around her. The quinceañera is a Mexican tradition that celebrates a girl's 15th birthday and her entry into womanhood. About 150 people have been invited to her party that will take place at the Salvation Army Hall on the North Side. 2006

 

Because it is a border state, and because of its special relationship with Mexico, over 30% of Texas’s population is Hispanic. In Fort Worth, the neighborhoods in the north and south sides of town are especially Hispanic, and filled with billboards written in Spanish, Mexican bakeries, and restaurants where the entire staff speaks no English.

 
A woman selects pan dulce at a local super market in the South Side neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas. Tens of thousands of unregistered Hispanics live in the city, and work at everything from construction to house cleaning, hoping to send $50 a month home to their families in Mexico and Latin America. 2006
 

Because it is a border state, and because of its special relationship with Mexico, over 30% of Texas’s population is Hispanic. In Fort Worth, the neighborhoods in the north and south sides of town are especially Hispanic, and filled with billboards written in Spanish, Mexican bakeries, and restaurants where the entire staff speaks no English.

 

A man dips his hand in holy water after Sunday mass at All Saint's Catholic Church in Fort Worth, Texas' North Side neighborhood. For generations, the North Side has been predominantly Hispanic. Tens of thousands of unregistered Hispanics live in the city, and work at everything from construction to house cleaning, hoping to send $50 a month home to their families in Mexico and Latin America. 2006

 

Because it is a border state, and because of its special relationship with Mexico, over 30% of Texas’s population is Hispanic. In Fort Worth, the neighborhoods in the north and south sides of town are especially Hispanic, and filled with billboards written in Spanish, Mexican bakeries, and restaurants where the entire staff speaks no English.

 

Rachel Loera (center) and other actors prepare backstage for a play at the Rose Marine Theater in Fort Worth, Texas' North Side neighborhood. For generations, the North Side has been predominantly Hispanic. Tens of thousands of unregistered Hispanics live in the city, and work at everything from construction to house cleaning, hoping to send $50 a month home to their families in Mexico and Latin America. 2006

 

Because it is a border state, and because of its special relationship with Mexico, over 30% of Texas’s population is Hispanic. In Fort Worth, the neighborhoods in the north and south sides of town are especially Hispanic, and filled with billboards written in Spanish, Mexican bakeries, and restaurants where the entire staff speaks no English.

 

A family buys ice cream from a vendor after Sunday Mass at All Saint's Catholic Church near Marine Park in Fort Worth, Texas' Northside neighborhood. Vendors with their carts crowd the sidewalk outside of the church after Mass selling ice cream, fried pork skins and balloons. The vibrancy and diversity of the 185,000 Hispanics who live in Fort Worth, Texas is not always apparent to Fort Worth's larger community, which often sees only the expected mask of mariachis, Mexican food and Spanglish. Hispanic Fort Worth is at once rich and poor, highly educated and illiterate, fluently bilingual in some cases, and doggedly Spanish-or English-only in others. There are owners of businesses, both the small, multi-generational kind and large, multi-million-dollar types. There are divas and day laborers, anti-gang programs and gallery openings that celebrate artists working in updated, Mexican folk art traditions. As they reach for a bigger share of the Fort Worth pie, they keep their traditions alive and their eyes on the American Dream.

 

Because it is a border state, and because of its special relationship with Mexico, over 30% of Texas’s population is Hispanic. In Fort Worth, the neighborhoods in the north and south sides of town are especially Hispanic, and filled with billboards written in Spanish, Mexican bakeries, and restaurants where the entire staff speaks no English.

 

Sundays are the busiest days at a local super market in Fort Worth, Texas' South Side neighborhood. Every year the South Side continues to grow in Hispano-centric businesses. Tens of thousands of unregistered Hispanics live in the city, and work at everything from construction to house cleaning, hoping to send $50 a month home to their families in Mexico and Latin America. 2006

 

Because it is a border state, and because of its special relationship with Mexico, over 30% of Texas’s population is Hispanic. In Fort Worth, the neighborhoods in the north and south sides of town are especially Hispanic, and filled with billboards written in Spanish, Mexican bakeries, and restaurants where the entire staff speaks no English.