• The Roots of the Rios Family
    Anna Rocha, a proud member of the Rios family, has deep ties to the Hutto community. Her grandparents settled in Hutto as immigrants, seeking a better life for their family. Their journey led them from Mexico to San Antonio, and eventually, they made their home in Hutto. Ms. Rocha’s father, Jose, was born in Round Rock but grew up in Hutto, attending school only until second grade.

    Chasing Love Across Texas
    Anna Rocha's heritage is a tapestry woven with love stories that span the vast expanse of Texas. Her mother, Maria, who rode to Hutto for day labor, saw her father on the front porch of his mother's house on Hwy. 79. Their love story began to unfold. As they dated, her father would get a ride to Round Rock and then ride the bus to Alice, Texas, where she worked as a waitress. In 1947, the two married at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Taylor, the same church where Jose’s parents were married in 1914. Together, Jose and Maria embarked on a journey of love and family, eventually welcoming 12 children, with Ms. Rocha being the fourth in line.

    Education and Beyond
    Ms. Rocha’s early years were marked by a tight-knit family and strong Hispanic community ties. Her older siblings took on responsibilities at a young age and left school early, and by the time Ms. Rocha reached high school, it was a running joke that there was "a Rios in every grade" at the old schoolhouse on College Street.

    Ms. Rocha remembers her childhood, growing up during significant historical events like the assassination of JFK and the desegregation of schools. She has fond memories of going to the gas station her father managed daily after school for a soda and candy. She notes that today's students have numerous opportunities, thanks to Hutto ISD's dual language programs, comprehensive services, counseling, and the comfort of air-conditioned classrooms, a far cry from her early school days.

    Ms. Rocha graduated from Hutto ISD in 1974, making her the first in her family to achieve this milestone. Her pursuit of education didn't stop there. She attended Temple College and later graduated from the University of Texas. Her love for learning and her passion for exploring the world led her to travel, including a visit to Spain.

    Her professional journey began in accounting, where she started as an accounting clerk and worked her way up to a senior accountant and supervisor. Eventually, she retired, having worked at McNeil Consumer Products and ERCOT.

    The Rios Family's Impact on Hutto
    The Rios family left a lasting mark on Hutto, with Ms. Rocha’s brother Jesse serving on the City Council for an extended period. Both Ms. Rocha and her brother Ray achieved the honor of being salutatorians at Hutto ISD. Although some family members moved to neighboring towns, they all remained avid Hutto Hippo fans, faithfully attending games to this day.

    Preserving Heritage and Cherishing Memories
    Ms. Rocha emphasizes the importance of preserving family history and heritage and wishes she had paid attention more to her family’s stories. She marvels at her grandparents' tenacity and hard work as immigrants, making a life in Hutto without the conveniences of modern times. Her parents' love story, filled with determination and resilience, serves as a reminder of the power of love and the will to overcome challenges.

    The Rios family's story is intertwined with the history of Hutto, from running a gas station next to Snuffy's to working at the Co-Op at the Gin. Disability eventually ended her father's working days, but the family's Catholic faith and close-knit ties endured.

    Looking to the Future
    Today, Anna Rocha cherishes the memories of her family's journey and heritage. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, stories like hers remind us of the rich tapestry of cultures that contribute to the vibrant Hutto community. The Rios family's legacy is a testament to the enduring spirit of love, resilience, and community.

    Front row is Roy (1980 Hutto ISD salutatorian), Peter (Class of 1983), Benjamin (Class of 1985), Anna (Class of 1974 salutatorian), Johnny (Class of 1978). 
    Back row: Andy (Class of 1983), Manuel (Class of 1976), Hector (Class of 1986) and Jesse (Class of 1975).