Founded in 1987 under the name of LULAC Council #9900. Renamed and incorporated as the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (WHSF) the same year to serve the Wisconsin Hispanic Community.

WHSF is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides a cultural, and educational environment to enhance and improve the quality of life and academic success within our community, as well promoting a better understanding of the arts, history, literature and perpetuation of our culture.  The foundation assists in opening opportunities for advancement of the quality of life among Hispanics; it’s the bedrock upon which we energize Wisconsin’s fastest growing community in pursuit of a critically important mission: Empower young Hispanic men and women by providing educational and scholarships.

To date, over one million seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($1,750,000.00+) has leveraged the kind of educational advancement and economic independence essential to a growing society.

The Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc. hosts different events during the year to raise fund for the scholarships, such as Taco Dinner, Beto Villarreal El Rey Golf Tournament, Mestizo Golf Tournament, Mexican Fiesta, and a participation at the Holiday Folk Fair. As well the foundation host community events: Día de los Reyes Magos, Student Informational Forum, Tequila Tasting, Fiesta Walk and the Volunteer Appreciation Party.

It all started with a celebration!!

Mexican Fiesta original started in 1973 as a celebration of the Mexican Independence Day. A south side street in Milwaukee County was closed to traffic to celebrate the Mexican community. It was the first time that there was the excitement of a neighborhood street fair, a sense that it was time for this thriving community to show itself and others, the extraordinary beauty of a culture rich in diversity. The possibilities were endless! Music! Dance! Tradition! A colorful pageant was born, and now 43 years later a flourishing Mexican Fiesta has become a stunning tribute to the vitality of the Hispanic community.

In 1977 Mexican Fiesta accepted the invitation to move to Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest Grounds), making it 3 days of fun, food, music and culture for everyone to enjoy. It has now developed into Wisconsin’s largest (paid entrance) Mexican festival.

Today Mexican Fiesta is a family-oriented festival, a showcase of our heritage. It is the showcase for the year-round work of the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc., the festival’s sponsor, to unify the community in a gigantic effort to award scholarships for young Hispanic men and women.

It is part of our ongoing effort to encourage our youth to pursue an education. With a volunteer force of nearly one thousand people, fifty coordinators, an active sixteen member Board of Directors, along with three full-time staff, Mexican Fiesta has more than hit its stride as one of Milwaukee’s most popular ethnic festivals.

Accompanying Mexican Fiesta on the road to success have been the many community-based, non-profit agencies that actively participate in the annual festival. It gives emphasis on the Mexican-American way of life, as well as displaying other Hispanic influences in our society. Our festival encourages individuals from all ethnic backgrounds to come share in the rich history, art, music and cuisine of our

Mexican/Hispanic community. We try to help maintain this culture in the community and within our children.

After all, giving back is what it’s all about.


Provide a cultural and educational environment to enhance and improve academic success of the Hispanic Community while promoting a better understanding of the arts, history, literature and perpetuation of the Hispanic culture. WHSF assists in opening opportunities for advancement of the quality of life among Hispanics.

Our Goals

  • Support young students through programs and scholarships.
  • Preserve, dignify and disseminate cultural values and traditions in order to strengthen our identity.
  • Develop programs and socioeconomic services to benefit the Hispanic community and society in general.
  • Training of community leaders.
  • Improve the standard of living of Hispanics residing in the state of Wisconsin.
  • Promote the arts and crafts of Mexico and other Latin American countries.
  • Establish a commercial link between Mexico and Midwestern United States.
  • Advice on social services and civil protection.
  • Promote Mexico’s Tourism.

Board of Directors

Ruben BurgosPresident
Gregorio Montoto1st Vice-president
Ricardo Ruiz2nd Vice President
Ernesto BacaTreasurer
Arturo MartinezSecretary
Raymon Bacalzo Board Member
Ivan GamboaBoard Member
Antonio Guajardo
Julio GuixBoard Member
✞ Frank GonzalesBoard Member
Lupe MartinezBoard Member
Diana MorenoBoard Member
Tamara OlivasBoard Member
Asael RuizBoard Member
Woody WelchBoard Member

Honorary Members

Oscar CerveraMember
Jason HylandMember
Luis GonzalezMember


Teresa C. MercadoExecutive Director
Estela Vazquez-OrnelasAdministrative Assistant
Laura VazquezMarketing Administrator