Phoenixs Mexican American community dates back to the founding of the city in 1868. From these earliest days, Phoenicians of Mexican descent actively participated in the citys economic and cultural development, while also fiercely preserving their culture and heritage in the thriving barrios, by establishing their own businesses and churches. In 1886, Henry Garfias became the first member of the Mexican community to be elected a city official. The 20th century saw the creation of organizations, such as La Liga Protectora and Sociedad Zaragoza, that gave a stronger political voice to the underrepresented Mexican population. In 1953, another member of the Mexican community, Adam Diaz, was elected to city council. As the century progressed, the Mexican American population grew and expanded into several areas of Phoenix, and today the substantial community is flourishing.