Maury Vasquez is about to reach 15 years working in education, but the current San Antonio Independent School District assistant director of communications actually began his career as a journalist.
In 2004, he was a general assignment reporter in San Antonio and a newly single-father working nights and weekends. That’s when he realized he needed a change.
Vasquez had just been offered a one-year deal to renew his contract with KSAT, an ABC affiliate station in San Antonio, but that meant continuing to work weekends and nights. He worried about missing valuable time away from his two children.
“I knew I needed to have a schedule that matched my kids, so that’s why I went to education,” Vasquez said.
The sacrifice to leave his career after spending 16 years in the industry improved Vazquez’s quality of life and allowed him to be present in his children’s lives, but his heart was still in journalism.
For the last two decades, Vasquez has regularly attended the annual conferences of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, rarely missing the one time a year where he gets to be surrounded by journalists and his “NAHJ familia,” as he puts it.
A San Antonio native, Vasquez also loves capping the event off at the infamous Tejano party every year, which he also began attending after his first conference in 1999.
The inaugural Tejano party occurred in 1984, the same year NAHJ was founded, after Maclovio Perez, a founding member, wanted to have a farewell party with five other friends also from San Antonio.
Vasquez loves the camaraderie and the unity shown during the party, which has never been an official event hosted by the conference, and continues to grow in popularity each year.
“When people come to the NAHJ conference a lot of people are looking around and asking ‘where’s the Tejano party?’” Vasquez said. “It’s the last call, one last despedida.”
Although the Tejano party will never be on an official program or schedule, Vasquez loves the thrill of the gathering.
“You feel like renegades because it’s a game of cat and mouse wondering ‘is security going to shut us down?” Vasquez said.
Once again in 2023, Vasquez is present for another NAHJ conference, this time in Miami, where he will be reuniting with his familia at the Tejano Party yet again.
Anthony Bautista graduated from California State University in the spring, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in journalism. He is passionate about sports and freelances on the weekends as a sports reporter. Reach him at anthonybautista8125 [at] gmail [dot] com or on Twitter @byanthonyba.