The Queen of Cumbia Lives On


Mirador De La Flor in Downtown Corpus Christi. Photo by Brianna Sandoval

Brianna Sandoval, Interim Editor-in-Chief

Every person has somebody that they look up to as they grow up. For some in Corpus Christi, this person was Selena Quintanilla Perez. The Tejano star was born in Lake Jackson, Texas, but made it known that Corpus Christi was her home. Quintanilla-Perez was a woman of many talents, from co-designing a fashion line to performing in front of thousands of fans. Breaking through the Tejano scene and preparing to release her anticipated English-crossover album, she was on the track of reaching new heights in her career.  However, her life tragically came to an end when she was 23 years- old. Today, her legacy continues to live on through the hearts of her fans and family.

Almost 30 years since her passing, there has been a movie based on her life, a Netflix series, releases of new and remixed music, and most recently, the Quintanilla family released a new album that utilized old recordings of Selena, the oldest being from when she was 13 years- old. The first single released a few months prior to the album’s release titled, “Como Te Quiero Yo A Ti (Regional Mexican Version)”,  gave a taste of what fans could expect when the rest of the tracks were released. Last month,  the new album “Moonchild Mixes” debuted and reached number one on Billboard’s Latin Pop Charts. Her ability to still top the charts emphasizes her impact on the world and how she is still being honored by many to this day.

In Corpus Christi, there are many areas that are related to the late Tejano singer’s memory. One would be “Mirador de la Flor”, or the Selena Memorial in Downtown Corpus Christi. This bronze, life-size monument is a tourist attraction for the city and receives numerous visitors from outside the coastal bend. Martin and Elizabeth Barragan, a couple from El Paso, Texas, decided to take a trip down to Corpus Christi while they were visiting San Antonio over the weekend. “It’s been something we had been planning to do for a while.” Mr. Barrigan said. As Texas natives, they felt that Selena’s ability to introduce the Tejano sound to a broader audience is what made her impactful to many people. “Being from Corpus, singing our songs, Mexican music Tejano music, that’s something… I don’t know… you can hardly hear it now than when she was here.” Barrigan said. The couple was able to experience Selena in their hometown when she performed at a state fair in 1987.

Man viewing monument of Selena
El Paso resident Martin Barragan visiting Mirador De La Flor in Downtown Corpus Christi. Photo by Brianna Sandoval

Manuel Erasmo Quintanilla Jr, Selena’s cousin, is glad to see her memory live on throughout the Hispanic community. “I am fortunate and blessed to see many people’s lives continue to get positively impacted,”  Quintanilla said. He feels that Selena was a role model that embodied hard work and dedication. The late singer’s family has done much to keep her memory alive through various projects. “I am beyond happy with how the family has managed to keep her name and her images bright as it is and display the beautiful nature of her spirit,” Quintanilla said. He added that he is proud to have a family that has a deep history of loving and supporting one another.

Woman taking photo of monument of Selena
El Paso resident Elizabeth Barragan snaps a photo of Mirador De La Flor in Downtown Corpus Christi. Photo by Brianna Sandoval
People viewing monument of Selena
A group of tourists pose for a photo with Mirador De La Flor in Downtown Corpus Christi. Photo by Brianna Sandoval


As for her legacy, Quintanilla sees her as a pioneer for modern Mexican culture and Tejano music. Her presence is one that lingers throughout the Hispanic community and inspires those to work hard to achieve their dreams. According to Quintanilla, “she was labeled as the Queen of Cumbia and not many people have reached that type of status. Selena will continue to go on even after our lives have passed.”