PORT ISABEL, Texas – The speakers have been named for the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service’s upcoming one-day conference, “To Conquer. To Defend.”

The conference, which takes place Thursday, Dec. 9 in Port Isabel, commemorates the 175th Anniversary of the U.S.-Mexico War.

The conference can be attended either in-person or virtually. To learn more about the conference and how to purchase tickets, click here.

Here are details on the four expert speakers:

Manuel Hinojosa

Manuel Hinojosa


In Search of the U.S.-Mexico War Trail

A Mission High School graduate, Manuel Hinojosa earned a degree in Art from Pan American University (now University of Texas Rio Grande Valley). He earned a degree in Architecture from the University of Southern Louisiana in Lafayette. Now in his 40th year of practicing Architecture, he serves as partner at Rofa Architects, Inc., in McAllen, Texas. In 1995, as city manager of Port Isabel, Hinojosa was involved in the restoration of the historical Champion building. As the city’s preservation architect, he was given the task of restoring the old building to its original 19th century condition. His expeditions to haciendas and ranchos along the old Camino Real have produced many significant relics relating to the war with Mexico.

Dr. Irving W. Levinson

Dr. Irving W. Levinson

UTRGV History Professor

The Causes and Course of the War

Dr. Irving W. Levinson, a Fulbright Scholar, received his Ph.D. with honors in Latin American History from the University of Houston in 2003. His first book: Wars within Wars: Mexican Guerrillas, Domestic Elites, and the United States of America 1846-1848, was published during that same year and since then, he has published multiple articles and essays and contributed chapters to two edited volumes. He came to the Valley in 2007 as an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas – Pan American and currently is a Professor at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley’s Edinburg campus.

Clemente Rendón de la Garza

Clemente Rendón de la Garza

Presidente de la Asociación de Cronistas e Historiadores de las Provincias Internas de Oriente

U.S.-Mexico War; The Perspective of Mexico, Yesterday and Today

Clemente Rendón de la Garza was born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, on September 14, 1951. He attended primary and secondary schools in Matamoros. In 1968, he completed his Baccalaureate at the Ateneo Fuente de Saltillo, in Saltillo, Coahuila. The engineer (IME and IMA) graduated from FIME-UANL in 1973. A self-taught historian on northeast Mexico and South Texas, Rendón de la Garza was appointed Chronicler of Matamoros, by seven Municipal Administrations from 1996 to today. He has been a member of the Asociación Nacional de Cronistas de Ciudades Mexicana since 1997, and was its national president in 2007-2008. He has been named a Chronicler for Life by ANACCIM. Rendón de la Garza has been a member of the Sociedad Nuevoleonesa de Historia, Geografía y Estadística since 2001. He has studied Francisco Villa and the Mexican Revolution since 1970. He currently chairs the Association of Chroniclers and Historians of the Ancient Internal Provinces of the East.

Daniel Ibarra

Daniel Ibarra

Chief of Interpretation at Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

DanielIbarra was appointed Chief of Interpretation at Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park in November 2020. He has been with the National Park Service for 19 years. He began his career in the NPS as a student employee and worked his way up in the agency over the years. Ibarra is a Brownsville native. Both of his parents immigrated to Brownsville from northern Mexico in the 1950s. His father was a brick mason and his mother worked for the Brownsville Independent School District. He graduated from the University of Texas at Brownsville with a Bachelor’s degree in history. He says he is fortunate that his interest in understanding the past directly translates to his career. He hopes that through exploration of the past, he can help visitors to the park better understand the world around them today.

Editor’s Note: The podcast below features Salomon Torres previewing the upcoming conference with members of the North Harlingen Rotary Club. Torres is director of event initiatives at the Rio Grande Guardian.

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