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KUT is partnering with Austin Vida to highlight arts and culture events happening in Austin’s Latino community. Support comes from the Blanton Museum of Art and its new galleries dedicated to Latino art.

Tackling the new year con ganas!

Mauricio Callejas founded Centroamericanto fest in Austin and will be teaching free guitar lessons at the Twin Oaks Branch public library.
Lanie Anderson
Mauricio Callejas, the founder of Centroamericanto Fest in Austin, will be teaching free guitar lessons at the Twin Oaks Branch public library.

New year’s resolutions are notoriously hard to keep, and many folks abandon them early in the year. If you need help keeping yours, Austin Vida’s editor and publisher, Nancy Flores, highlighted some local resources in the latest Cultura Guide.

Local activities

If you aspire to learn a new language, Freestyle Languages is hosting virtual game nights in Spanish and French every month this year.

“If you want to, you know, kind of dip your feet in and do it in a kind of low-key way and get to know some folks along the way, virtual game night in Spanish may be for you,” Flores said.

The company also has game nights for folks looking to practice English. The next game night is Jan 17.

The Mexican American Cultural Center’s holistic wellness program includes free guitar lessons taught by Mauricio Callejas, the founder of Centroamericanto Fest, which brings artists from across Central America together in Austin each year.

“Music is definitely a way to express ourselves and part of our wellness journey, too,” Flores said.

The classes will be taught at the Twin Oaks Branch public library in South Austin beginning on Jan. 23.

The Austin chapter of Latino Outdoors has programs available to people who wantto spend more time outside in the new year.

“Sometimes, you don’t want to try out new things by yourself. This is a good way to do it in a way that is culturally relevant,” Flores said.

The group starts its hiking series Jan. 26 and will have outdoor activities year-round.

Holidays are not over yet

We may be looking ahead at the new year, but many Latinos are still in the thick of the holiday season. On Jan. 6, Los Reyes Magos (the Three Wise Men) will pay a visit to kids across Latin America, leaving presents for those who leave their shoes out at night. The holiday celebrates the three kings who visit the baby Jesus in the Catholic faith.

“In Central Texas, you’ll start seeing panaderias, or some bakeries, do the rosca de reyes cake, which is used in a lot of the celebrations locally and abroad,” Flores said.

Puerto Ricans are also looking forward to Octavitas. The holiday extends the celebration of the Reyes Magos for another eight days, and on Jan. 21, you can celebrate at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center with Los Reyes Magos.

Mas Cultura

January will feature some new music from a couple Austin artists. The cumbia band El Tule is wrapping up their 20-year career with a performance and album release at Hotel Vegas on Jan 20.

“They’ve really been an Austin Latin music institution paving the way for a lot of other bands,” Flores said.

Austin-based singer-songwriter Leti Garza will celebrate the release of her new bilingual album "Canciones Sobre la Vida y Muerte" with a show at Sahara Lounge on Jan. 26.

Sign up for your free Cultura guide at

Juan Garcia is a producer at KUT. Got a tip? You can email him at
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