Pancho Claus is a tradition for Houston’s Latin-X community. Since 1981, Richard Reyes has played the part of Pancho Claus — Santa’s Tex-Mex cousin — dressing up in a zoot suit and delivering presents in a low-rider to kids around the city. Through a poem and play he wrote, Richard has expanded on the mythology and importance of the character. In his view, Pancho is not a replacement for Santa, but represents community members that pick up the slack when Santa isn’t around; something Richard embodies year round as an active volunteer, leader, and organizer in Houston. Richard Reyes, and his alter-ego Pancho Claus, are without a doubt local legends.
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