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Though the formal diplomacy relationship between Mexico and the United States has hardened, Guerrero said during the celebrations those things do not matter.

´╗┐Colorful traditions live on as celebration begins

Guerrero said many of the original dresses from the 1930s are displayed at the museum.

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Many people choose to represent different states in Mexico, which leads to many dress variations, Mata said.

"Everybody wears them," said Zelma Mata, associate professor at the Department of Health and Human Performance and director of the Folklrico Tizatln of the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.

"It was only a few of us," Vela said. "Now, there are more stores. I think because of the economy people are trying to find ways to make extra money."

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"When they didn't have a traditional dress, they would pick one from Mexico. Let's say Nigeria doesn't have a costume, then they would get one from Mexico," Guerrero said.

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"Some people have a special connection to a state," Mata added. "It could be a place of their birth. They have family or they have some kind of relation to the state."

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Because of this, the collection representing Mexico began to grow, she said.

It takes her about an hour to make each dress, she said. De Jesus Martinez said she works a job in the afternoon, but she dedicates her morning hours to sewing and displaying her costumes to earn extra income.

"It's very unique because it is an opportunity to unite two countries, two states, two cities to bring us together to celebrate a rich cultural heritage," LeVrier said. "It's a bi national friendship. It's a respect for tradition and not many festivals can say that."

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"Back in those early days, business people and private citizens, everyone would wear these costumes," she said. The tradition remains strong today with people emulating charros and chinas pobladas, she said.

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At Vela's shop, the most popular design is the tri colored outfit that represents the Mexican flag, she said.

"It's already a tradition for us," Gonzalez said. "If you are from Brownsville, you know this has already become a tradition for us all."

The fiesta was founded to help revive people's spirits because of the Great Depression, Guerrero said, and the group of women wore their costumes to share them with everyone.

An elegant dress in a deep shade of purple is her crown jewel and already her niece has claimed it as her own for the celebrations, de Jesus Martinez said.

She hangs her wares from a black gate at a modest home on Jefferson Street, where she hopes drivers will stop to buy some of the clothes she's made.

"We're so close to our Mexican counterparts because we have family that sits on the other side of the border. And to be able to celebrate the Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow Co-axial

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traditions and friendships it's a very good thing," Guerrero said.

"If you teach children to dress traditionally for these festivals, then the traditions will continue," she said.

"That's part of the spirit of Charro Days. It's for everyone to wear costumes of their choice. That's just part of celebrating," Mata said.

her dresses.

"Friendship is very important and we want to keep the Omega Women's Constellation Watch

The typical dresses are worn by participants during the weeklong series of parades, dances and events that intertwine from other festivities like Sombrero Festival and

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For almost 20 years, Sergio Gonzalez, a store owner in downtown Brownsville, has decorated his store and invited employees to dress up in their traditional garments to make customers feel welcome during the celebration.

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"That's how they got a hold of these incredible authentic costumes," Guerrero added.

The tradition of dresses dates back to the 1930s and the beginnings of Charro Days, said Maribel Guerrero, executive director at the Historical Brownsville Museum. A group of women part of the Pan American Roundtable of Brownsville began collecting traditionally styled garments from countries everywhere.

But the preparations for costume sellers like Maria de Jesus Martinez began almost a month ago, she said, when she began to design most of Omega Speedmaster Ebay

The festivities begin Sunday with the Baile del Sol Street Dance, according to the Charro Days website.

spirit of friendship ongoing. By wearing Mexican costumes and playing Mexican music we want people to keep on experiencing that tradition that we have," LeVrier said.

The celebration brings together the community to share memories and have a good time and envelop themselves in the border culture, Charro Days Fiesta President Henry LeVrier said.

"The emphasis is that people get involved in the celebration, and they express it in different ways. Some people sew their own costumes, others purchase them from Mexico Omega Speedmaster Coaxial Chronometer and others buy them at stores here," Mata said.

For Juanita Vela, who works at a store in downtown, the number of pop up stores selling these outfits during charro season has increased.

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