The House of Mexico is an organization founded by Enrique Morones in 1995. Morones had visited Balboa Park’s Houses of Pacific Relations (HPR) and was shocked to learn that there was no House of Mexico! In 1996, he returned to celebrate Mexican Independence Day in Balboa Park, which was held in the House of Sweden. Morones then founded the House of Mexico. Soon, others joined him in this effort.
Mexico had previously had a presence in Balboa Park’s House of Pacific Relations (HPR). It was a member of HPR from 1935 to 1941 when it discontinued in the organization. In 2001, Morones along with another group approached the HPR about joining the organization. The House of Mexico was finally voted in as a member of HPR in 2004. Mateo Camarillo played a major role as he donated his time and effort in developing the articles of incorporation and the bylaws. Its mission is to promote the beauty, history, and culture of Mexico.
In 2016, after more than 20 years, countless volunteers, supporters, board members, and presidents (Enrique Morones, Eunice Munro, Arturo M Castro, Sonia Ruiz, Carlos Cristiani, Blanca Gonzalez, Bertha Hernández), the City Council approved amending the Balboa Park Precise Master plan to allow for the construction of five buildings for nine new cottages which includes a cottage for the House of Mexico. The House of Mexico will be housed in a duplex building. It will join the other nations/cultures currently represented in Balboa Park. This is a major step forward in the recognition of the importance of Mexico and all that it offers to the community and visitors.
The House of Mexico is comprised of dedicated individuals and community partners who seek to develop an appreciation and understanding of our beloved Mexico by utilizing a goodwill ambassadorial approach. Over the years, volunteers have participated in a series of major events held in Balboa Park and throughout the region.
These events have included:
- The Lawn Program, held annually at the International Cottages venue. It is an afternoon of live music, ballet folklórico, and delicious Mexican food.
- The Ethnic Food Fair, a grand event attended by thousands and hosted by HPR on Memorial Day weekend. It features traditional food, drink, and entertainment representing the member houses.
- December Nights, held since 1977 on the first weekend of December and formerly known as Christmas on the Prado. It is a family fun event that provides free admission to park museums, music and dance entertainment, and member houses sell traditional holiday food and beverages from around the world.
- Arte, Color y Fiesta, initially a fundraising festival celebrating art. It featured an exhibition of artwork by renowned artists from the United States and Mexico. There was also food, music and dance. It has now become a major event to commemorate and celebrate Mexico’ s Independence through music and entertainment. A major event for the region.
With the construction of its cottage, the House of Mexico hopes to expand and enrich its educational and cultural programs for future generations, and visitors to the park.