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Iconic America: Iconic San Antonio

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Iconic America: Iconic San Antonio

The PBS docuseries Iconic America with David Rubenstein  explores America’s 400-year history through a close examination of iconic national symbols such as the American Cowboys and the Statue of Liberty, among other indelible artifacts, places, and archetypes. Each episode tells the story of an American symbol to reveal its origins, significance and the arc of its resonance.

Watch the series on KLRN's video player HERE

Iconic San Antonio

When one talks about iconic cities in the U.S., San Antonio is always part of the conversation. From its beginnings along the Yanaguana River to hosting the World Fair in 1968 and even becoming the 7th largest city in the country, San Antonio has remained iconic for more than 300 years. Check out these KLRN Original Shorts that highlight a few of the many people, places, and things that make San Antonio...iconic. 

Iconic San Antonio | The River Walk

Winding its way below the streets of downtown, the River Walk is a unique staple of our city. This 15-mile urban waterway is the number one visited tourist attraction in the state of Texas, drawing an estimated 34.8 million visitors in 2022 alone. Learn more about the history of the River Walk and how it became what it is today. 

Iconic San Antonio | Native American History & Culture

Long before settlers from the Canary Islands arrived to the region in the 1700s, over 150 different bands and clans of Native Americans lived in the area. These communities have been known to history as hunters and gatherers but that's not the full story. We take a look at Coahuiltecan history, culture, and how the families of these First Nations people are preserving their heritage. 

Iconic San Antonio | The Puffy Taco

San Antonio is known for our food. From the Tex to the Mex, and everything in-between. We take a look at one staple dish in our city that is Puro San Anto - The Puffy Taco. Learn how it was first invented, how it grew in popularity, and how Restauranteur Diana Barrios found herself making "lots and lots and lots" of puffy tacos at the White House. 




Maggie Thompson
Director of River Walk Operations 
Visit San Antonio 

Maggie Thompson is the Director for Visit San Antonio River Walk Operations. The River Walk is the number one tourist attraction in Texas and has over 13 million visitors annually, resulting in around $3.4 billion in economic benefit to the city.  They accomplish this through the production of special events such as river parades, festivals, artisan shows, and holiday lights along the River Walk throughout the year. They also promote the River Walk and events through their website,, and through the publication of Rio Magazine, a visitor magazine reaching over 35,000 people monthly.  

Maggie previously worked as an Executive Director for the YMCA and as a Director for the City of San Antonio running a 15.5 million grant to promote the health of the city. Among 30 health initiatives, this grant brought Siclovia, Fitness in the Parks to San Antonio, Bcycle (Bike Share), a Complete Streets plan, new sidewalks, and outdoor fitness equipment and walking trails to 28 parks and libraries. It also initiated the Mayor’s Fitness Council. San Antonio was chosen by the White House as one of the top 3 out of 50 cities for their accomplishments with this grant.



Ramón Vásquez
Executive Director,
American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions (AITSCM)

Ramon Vasquez was born in San Antonio and is an enrolled member of the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation. He is the Executive Director of the American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions, a 501c3 nonprofit that serves the indigenous population of Central and South Texas. In this capacity Ramon has spent the last 25 years working on community mobilization in the areas of domestic violence, promoting positive images of fatherhood and confronting male stereotypes and falsehoods. 

Ramon has served as the Mayor’s Appointed Chairman for the Violence Prevention and Recidivism Reduction Committee for San Antonio’s “My Brother’s Keeper,” as well as, the Mayor’s Taskforce on Police and Community Relations.  He has developed community/academic partnerships primarily focusing on reversing extinction of the American Indian descendants of the Spanish Missions of Northeastern Mexico and South Texas.  

In 2003, Ramon co-founded the National Urban Indian Family Coalition, now headquartered in Seattle Washington.  He also is the co-founder and Vice President of the Land Heritage Institute Foundation in Bexar County.  Since 2014, Ramon has served as the Mayor's Appointee for the City of San Antonio Alamo Citizens Advisory Committee and more recently appointed to the State of Texas and Alamo Trust Inc. Alamo Museum Planning Committee.  



Diana Barrios Trevino
Owner, Operator, & Vice President
Los Barrios Enterprise 

Diana Barrios Trevino, a San Antonio native, has been actively involved in cuisine and culinary media as a key player in her family’s restaurant, started in 1979. She previously appeared bi-monthly on the local NBC affiliate doing a five-minute cooking segment on the early morning news show. 

Diana also does cooking segments for the San Antonio Living Show with Tanji Patton, Leslie Bohl & Shelly Miles. Her national exposure includes a live Good Morning America cooking segment with renown Chef Emeril Lagasse, as well as taping a segment for the Food Network shows, Food Nation with Bobby Flay, Tasting Texas with Patrick Duffy and Throwdown with Bobby Flay, which to date have aired many times. 

In June of 2002, as her cookbook Los Barrios Family Cookbook ~Tex-Mex Recipes from the Heart of San Antonio was launching, Diana, along with her mother Viola and her brother Louie, were featured on the Weekend Today Show on NBC in Rockefeller Plaza, New York City. In March 2005 Diana competed on the Food Network for the Dasani Slam Dunk Skillet Showdown during the Final Four College games, which she won in double overtime. Diana was surprised by Bobby Flay at her family’s second restaurant, La Hacienda de Los Barrios, where he challenged her to a Puffy Taco Throwdown. Other shows that Diana has filmed include a segment for Destination Golf San Antonio, Telemundo’s Un Nuevo Día, Simply Ming Show and Moveable Feast on PBS.

In June of 2010 Diana was invited to cook at the White House representing the Southwestern part of the United States at the Congressional Picnic. Diana, along with her brother Louie and sister Teresa, head up Viola’s Huge Heart Foundation honoring their mother, Viola. Diana balances her life as a full-time mother to Jordan, Evan and Diego and has been married to Roland Trevino since 1988.


Generous support for Iconic America: Iconic San Antonio is provided by: