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First People

On April 26, 1689, the Spanish explorer and governor of Coahuila, Alonso de León, encountered springs on his expedition and named them after Saint Mark (San Marcos) – whose day it was in the Catholic calendar. In June 1691 the Domingo Terán Expedition reached what are now the San Marcos Springs where the party encountered a large Cantona Indian encampment. The Cantona were but one of a number of central Texas Indians that routinely hunted buffalo which roamed in great numbers upon the banks of the San Marcos Springs. The Cantona were from the region of north central Coahuila (then Nueva España - Mexico.) 


Archeologists have demonstrated that the San Marcos Springs area has been inhabited by humans for at least 12,000 years making this one of the longest continually inhabited areas of North America. The first Spanish chroniclers in the seventeenth century who ventured into this area in San Marcos encountered and documented the Indigenous people who called this place home prior to Spanish colonization and the subsequent Mexican national and Texas republic periods. The Cantona Indian had a name for the springs, “Canocanayestatetlo” which means “hot water.

The White Shaman Mural

A multi layered information mural by the Coahuiltecan People.

Click the mural below to learn more. 

Creating Birth of Time.JPG
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