Youth Programs

The Institute works with the local school district to provide educational presentations and activities about the indigenous identity of Hispanics and Native American contributions to society. Institute professionals help students to learn about their indigenous heritage and build a sense of pride and belonging to a vital and vibrant culture and legacy.

The Institute also provides youth programs in community settings for after school presentations, workshops, and classes. These include classes such as traditional Chichimeca danza, Native American flute playing, and summer camps.

The Xinachtli Project presents classes for youth and their families, teaching indigenous knowledge about topics such as food, health, the environment, and values.

Sacred SpringsYouth ARTS

emilyThe Institute is undertaking a new initiative in May of this year. Emily Aguilar Thomas, our new Education and Outreach Director will implement new youth programs.

Expanded indigenous summer camps:  Using our current, successful indigenous arts summer camp, we will develop curriculum that can be replicated and establish a pilot project in Austin and one in San Antonio to test, refine, and prove this program.

Enhanced community programming:  We will develop curriculum and fund indigenous programs such as digital storytelling and offer this in a community setting. We will document its success and assure our ability to replicate this program.

Partnerships with school districts for in-school programming:  We will form collaborations with school districts to identify and meet their cultural curriculum needs with indigenous programming.

Training for teachers and service providers:  We will develop a training program that will include workshops, seminars, and week-long sessions that will teach our indigenous curriculum.  We will provide this training to teachers, community service providers, and the general public.  The fees for this training will support this effort and also generate revenue for our youth programs.

Indigenous Arts Summer Camp

youthSummer Camp 2015

Five Native American instructors will teach art-related classes and workshops in a week-long experience for students ages 8 to 14. The camp will be held at the Cuauhtemoc Hall, 1100 Patton Street, San Marcos, Texas, from July 11 through 15, 2016. Camp begins at 8:00 AM each day and ends at 5:15 PM. On Friday, July 15th at 5:30 PM, there will be a Grand Finale Performance by the students for their families, friends, and the general public.

For an application, please click HERE. If you are not in the San Marcos Consolidated School District, your application is subject to a camp fee. For a scholarship to the camp click HERE.


July 11: Participants are introduced to Native contributions and indigenous arts through the cosmos. Participants begin learning basics of Danza movements, regalia, and the Native American Flute.
July 12: Participants are introduced to the Permiso dance and to indigenous concepts through drama and theatre.
July 13: Field trip to Sacred Springs on Texas State University campus. Participants decorate cloth regalia and mural. Participants learn second part of Permiso dance. Final Performance is designed at this time.
July 14: Participants complete regalia painting and mural. Prepare and rehearse final performance.
July 15: Participants prepare exhibit, performance and reception. Performance begins at 5:30 PM.

Thank you so much and that’s not coming only from me.  I believe the whole camp is thanking you. The way you worked so hard and asked permission for everything makes me honor you. Thanks to you I personally learned that I can tell stories, not only that I learned about, but I can make my own. And I’m sure some day, this will be a story too. -- Luis Enrique Gonzalez-Aponte, Indigenous Arts Camp student


camp2014............2015 Indigenous Arts Summer Camp

camp2............2015 Field trip to Sacred Springs

camp3 ............2015..Native American flute players

camp4............2015 Danza Azteca dummers

2015 Northern Drum

Elders supporting youth, 2015