KINGSVILLE, Texas — Breakfast on the ranch, and it’s on one of the most historic and expansive ranches in the world.
“There’s not anything else like it in South Texas. You’re here on a ranch that’s, what, 180 years old? There’s not many of them around either, so, not down here,” Charles Ellis said.
Thousands of people from around the world made their way to Kingsville for the 30th annual Ranch Hand Breakfast. Ellis has met just about everyone in the 28 years he’s been.
“We’ll have people, I’ve met people here over the years from probably every continent in the world and a lot of countries (that) I don’t even know where they are,” Ellis said. “But that’s the fun part of meeting people.”
The King Ranch is the second largest ranch in the world and the largest in the nation. Gilbert Alvarez has been on this ranch his whole life and that goes back generations.
“So we have a generation, 4th generation of Alvarez that work here on the ranch and we’ve still got some here right now,” he said. “They’re still working.”
For Alvarez, today is a day to educate. He wants people to know not just about the ranch’s history, but its workers and their influence on the Hispanic community.
“The workers, they call them the Kinenos, how they were successful even working here, went outside of the ranch, became generals, became secretary of state for the country; teachers, doctors, you name it. And they started here at the ranch when they were growing up.”
It’s also a day for people to learn about life on the frontier. For some they have a direct connection to it.
“You’ll see an older person come by and say, ‘I remember when my grandma did that,’” Ellis said. “You know, you get both sides of it really. People remembering how it was and people seeing it for the first time.”
Times have changed. After all, Ellis said people use helicopters to herd cattle now. But life as a ranch hand mostly stays the same, and it’s on full display every year at the King Ranch.
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