Sociedad Herencia Puertorriqueña (SHP) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit woman’s organization founded in 1984, in San Antonio, with the objective of promoting and maintaining the Puerto Rican culture and traditions alive in the city. The organization also promotes personal and career development through scholarships offered to high school students interested in pursuing a higher education. The SHP is also committed to supporting the community at large by participating in civic endeavors in the city.
In 1988, our now traditional biennial Festival de Puerto Rico was established in commemoration of the discovery of Puerto Rico in 1493. This cultural event is now expected and welcomed as it brings together families from all across Texas in the spirit of celebration showcasing our rich culture, traditional art, food, and music. At times, musicians and artisans come directly from Puerto Rico to share their distinctive talents.
Other cultural events offered by SHP include art exhibits, piano concerts, presentation of folklore dance troupes and concerts with various performers, as well as, distinguished authors that come directly from the island.
Focusing on children, the first Sunday in January brings the Three Kings Day Celebration to downtown San Antonio where youngsters are exposed to how this festivity is celebrated in Puerto Rico. This includes making colorful crowns that are worn by the children during the dramatization of the manger scene where Los Tres Reyes make a surprise and solemn appearance distributing candies to the children.
To honor our commitment to promote personal and career development through scholarships to high school graduates interested in pursuing higher education, our scholarship program was established during the 1984—1985 school year. Currently, we are part of the compendium of organizations affiliated to Minnie Piper Foundation— Bexar County Scholarship Clearing House. Our organization usually awards four to six scholarships of $1000 each to graduating high school seniors every year. One open scholarship is awarded to a non—Puerto Rican student who meets the eligibility criteria plus has demonstrated financial need. The Scholarship Award Ceremony takes place in the Spring of each year.
SHP has participated in a variety of community outreach programs such as, Founders Day at Alamo Plaza, collaborated with Incarnate Word University in a Children’s Book Fair, Luminarias, participated the Battle of Flowers Parade and cruised on a barge during a Christmas River Parade. On a more charitable side, SHP formed a representational team for the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, plus partakes in Family Services’ Adopt-a-Family Christmas campaign providing clothes, toys, home items and food for several families.
With over a population of over 25,000, the Puerto Rican community forms the second largest Hispanic group within the city and surrounding counties of San Antonio. Sociedad Herencia Puertorriqueña is a recognized permanent entity and a strong segment in the diverse cultural fiber of the city of San Antonio. With its robust cultural programs, growing educational component and steady community involvement, SHP is a valuable organization sharing the Puerto Rican experience to all.
The Puerto Rican Heritage Society is also a proud member of Sociedad Cultural Hispanoamericana of San Antonio (SCHASA), created in 2016, the local chapter of Sociedad Cultural Hispanoamericana, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in Killeen, TX in 1975 with the mission to serve as a link among civic and diverse organizations within its respective cities. Members collaborate with educational and arts projects and festivities that reaffirm the Hispanic heritage and culture. In San Antonio, participating countries are: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, México, Panamá, Perú, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Representing Puerto Rico in this valuable organization is Aixa Pascual, proud member of the Puerto Rican Heritage Society since 1987.