September 15 - October 15
Hispanic Heritage Month is a vibrant tribute to the rich culture, history, and contributions of the Hispanic community. This celebration recognizes the diverse experiences of these communities, encompassing their languages, traditions, art, and accomplishments.
Tony Lama wants to highlight the community that contributes so much to the brand and respect their values and artisanship. 99% of the artisans in the El Paso factory are Hispanic, and without their dedication and craftsmanship, Tony Lama would not be the brand it is today.
We are endlessly grateful.
Tomas Garcilazo has been practicing and performing the art of Charrería for over 35 years. He first came to the United States with plans of staying for only a year and simple dreams of saving enough for a car. Soon, he realized that wasn’t enough. He began to perform at rodeos and went on tour with Antonio Aguilar. Still, he wanted more. He went on to perform on Broadway, in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and in Disneyland Paris. He traveled across Europe performing until he met a PRCA executive who invited him to perform in the Opening Ceremonies for the NFR in Las Vegas.
From there, he was invited to get his PRCA card and now travels across the country performing at rodeos. Tomas is proud of his heritage and the generations of Charros that hail before him. The history of this art goes back well over 500 years and is being lost over time. Tomas wants to preserve this history and is teaching his son Louis to perform as well, to continue to preserve traditions while carrying the title with great pride and respect.
Joseph Lama, now overseeing the Purchasing department at Tony Lama, is the embodiment of legacy. He is the grandson of Tony Lama Sr. and has worked at the company for 55 years. He knew from day one in the factory that he wanted to carry out his grandfather’s legacy, and he doesn’t believe there will be another man, or company, like Tony Lama.
He takes pride in the hard work and artisanship that goes into making a pair of boots and has helped continue the traditions that Tony Lama and his sons brought to the company through their hands-on approach. Joe remembers growing up in the factory and then caring for his grandparents in their later years. He is beyond proud to be working for the company and carrying on the Lama legacy that was built over 112 years ago.
Armando Romero, former head of advertising for Tony Lama, served the company from 1973 until 2015. In truth, he helped shape Tony Lama into the brand it is today, and he stumbled into the job with good timing and luck.
Prior to working for Tony Lama, he had 14 years of experience in the branding and advertising industry. He didn't have an existing knowledge of cowboy boots, but is bilingual, and was, therefore, able to communicate in Spanish with the workers in the factory who taught him a wealth of information about boots and the bootmaking process. Armando has worked with some big names, from Los Tigres Del Norte to Bobby Pulido, and being able to communicate and connect with the Hispanic community and employees helped him immeasurably relate to their customers.
Robert Torrez is the general manager of the El Paso factory. He has proudly worked for Tony Lama for 47 years and believes the factory and the company have allowed many of the workers to be able to provide for their families, purchase homes, and support themselves. He is immensely proud this is the case.
Robert takes pride in the Hispanic community around him and the family that has formed at the El Paso, Texas factory, and believes in his heart that the legacy Tony Lama built is the one thing that will never die.
Jesus Campos is the man behind the development and design department of the El Paso factory and has worked diligently for the company for 28 years. To Jesus, a legacy is something that you can leave behind for your family, regardless of your occupation or career.
He also believes the Hispanic community appreciates Tony Lama boots because they are a symbol of high quality. Additionally, they connect with Tony Lama’s story as the son of immigrants who established a successful life for himself in the United States.For him, having Hispanic heritage means being hardworking, dedicated, proud of your work, and committed to your family. For Jesus, family is everything – including his found family at the Tony Lama factory.
Claudia Navarro is a quality inspector at the Tony Lama factory in El Paso, Texas. She has dedicated her career to the company and has worked there for 35 years.
When asked about her Hispanic heritage, Claudia reflected that the heritage is present in the family – through loving your family, family unity, and remembering our roots. She believes it is important to honor and hold the same principles and values that were passed down from previous generations.
Eder Ramirez is a welt stitcher for Tony Lama and has been building boots for the brand for over ten years. Every day he drives from Juárez, Mexico, and crosses the border, sometimes taking 2-3 hours just to get to work and support his wife and two children.
Eder is a prime example of being dedicated to his work, and always showing up regardless of the circumstances. He only hopes that the next generation of artisans are better than the person that taught them.
Since 1911, the El Paso and Hispanic communities have dedicated themselves to Tony Lama, and in turn, Tony Lama wants to honor this dedication by continuously recognizing and celebrating the heritage.