Life Along the Streetcar with Tom Heath from The Heath Team Nova Home Loans

Bilingual Tours with Priscilla Teran

On this week’s show, we’re going to speak with Priscilla Teran. She’s a bilingual teacher with a love of Tucson and our history. She shares her passions through her side business, Behind the Scenes Tours. We’ll get a look at that in just a few minutes.

Today is February 19th, my name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to “Life Along the Streetcar”.

Each and every Sunday our focus is on Social, Cultural and Economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban Core and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between. You get the inside track- right here on 99.1 FM, streaming on we’re also available on your iPhone or Android using our very own Downtown Radio app. Reach us by email [email protected] — interact with us on Facebook at LifeAlongTheStreetcar and follow us on Twitter @StreetcarLife

Our intro music is by Ryanhood and we exit with music from Perry Grip, “Raining Tacos.”

Transcript (Unedited)

Good morning. It’s a beautiful Sunday in the old pueblo and you’re listening to ktd Tucson. Thank you for spending a part of your brunch hour with us on on your downtown Tucson community sponsored for Rock and Roll radio station.

On this week’s show, we’re going to speak with Priscilla Teran. She’s a bilingual teacher with a love of Tucson and our history. She shares her passions through her side business, Behind the Scenes Tours. We’ll get a look at that in just a few minutes.

Today is February 19, 2023. My name is Tom heath and you are listening to life along the streetcar. Each and every Sunday, our focus is on social, cultural, and economic impacts in tucson’s urban core, and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about, from a mountain to the University of Arizona and all stops in between. You get the inside track right here on 99.1 FM, streaming on Also available on your iphone or Android with our very own Downtown Radio Tucson app. If you want to get

us here on the show, you can interact with us on Facebook and Instagram. You can get more information about us, our book, our past episodes, or just to contact us by going over to Life Along And of course, you can listen to our podcast on lots of platforms like spotify, itunes or asking your smart speaker to play Life Along the Streetcar podcast. Well, we are towards the end of February. I know. Hard to believe, but it’s true. Which means the beginning of March is right around the corner. And that means spring break. And that means tucson Festival of Books.

That is right.

It’s back now, I think, in its 14th year celebrating literacy. It’s a free event to the public. They’ll expect 100 plus thousand people to descend on the University of Arizona main mall there. there’ll be hundreds of speakers and exhibitors all kinds of fun. And it’s free. Free for everyone in two weeks. Actually, it’s march. What dates are those? March 4 and fifth. March 4 and fifth on the University of Arizona campus. And if you want to support and volunteer, you can head over there and go to their website. And there’s some volunteer opportunities still available. Well, someone who also likes to shout out about how great Tucson is as our next guest. priscilla turan is a teacher here in Tucson. She’s also a Tucson lover, and she has taken this passion of Tucson and her love of our history, and she has put them together into a business called behind the Scenes Tours. Recently got a really cool write up in the newspaper, so I thought I’d reach out to her and find out a little bit more about

what she’s been doing and how she got involved with it.

So we are joined today by priscilla taran. Did I say that correctly? taran.


Taran. All right.

Working on that. She’s a Tucson lover. She has been doing all kinds of things in Tucson and just recently started up a touring company, and I read about it in the paper, and I’ve known priscilla for several years. We’ve been our paths across, and I thought I just had to find out more. So, priscilla, welcome to the show.

Thank you for inviting me.

My pleasure. So let’s get a little bit of background on you before we get into this cool touring business that you started. You were born in Tucson, but you weren’t raised in Tucson, correct?

Yes, correct. So I am a immigrant, and they met here in Tucson. They got married here, had us, and then we moved to Mexico when we were I was two or three years old, and I lived there until age 14 and a half. Okay. And then at that age, my sister moved to the United States to go to college, and that’s when I realized I also wanted to move to the United States because it was my country, too. And I forced my family to move back to Tucson so I could learn English and go to college also.

Okay, so did you go to the University of Arizona?

Yes, I came to sunnyside. I’m a blue devil. sunnyside High School. And then I got my bachelor’s in bilingual education at the U of A and my master’s degree also at the U of okay.

So kind of what’s been filling your life between graduating and this new venture you started. What kind of things you’ve been doing in Tucson?

Yeah, so I graduated as a teacher, and I was teaching for about 15 years in sunnyside District. Bilingual teacher, eld, basically. And then I left teaching for a while to pursue my master’s degree, and I was doing other things. That’s when we connected. The first time, I was working for the Bike Share program here in Tucson, and then with the ufa, and then you do what you like, and I came back to education. I’ve been in education for the last maybe three years, four years.


And so then what I read in the paper then was not too long ago, you started up a company called Tucson Behind the Scenes. And it’s a walking tour of kind of the urban part of Tucson. The downtown Fourth Avenue area.

Yes, the historic part. I love traveling. I have friends that always traveling as well. And when they would come and visit me here in Tucson, I would say, hey, do you want to go to Tacos? Or do you want to go to this? I’m going to take you to this on a little tour. And it was just something I would do for fun, and then my friends would be very excited about it and talking about it, and I started thinking, oh, cool, that they like it. And then before the pandemic, like, 2019, of course. Yeah. Before the Pandemic, I was in Hawaii with my kids, and when I travel, I do like to invest in a tour and pay for a tour so I can get to see the city with the eyes of a local and learn more about the history and go to the local places. And I was in Hawaii waiting for a tour and I thought, wow, this is so cool that a local is showing us around. And I thought, do we have this in Tucson? You know, the little light bulb? Do we have this in tusan? And I started searching and there was one person doing it,

but it was bikes. And I thought, well, not everyone likes to ride bikes. And I opened up my own and I started with airbnb, then tripadvisor picked me up and everything was going well and the pandemic happened. So I’ve been doing this since 2019, about four years I’ve been doing it, and it’s been great. I have met people from all over the world, from all over the United States.

You’re doing this on weekends? Are you still teaching during the week?

Yes, I do it during the weekends. I do it every Sunday morning. And then when there’s summer break, I’m a teacher. Summer break and winter break and fall break, I open up dates. Or this weekend it’s going to be rodeo weekend. This coming up weekend. Rodeo weekend. Have a rodeo weekend edition and we’re going to be dressed as cowboys and cowgirls. So I just tried to make it fun. Sometimes if someone wants a private tour, I do it during the day after work. I leave work and I go straight to do a tour.

You said you’re talking to people, then they come from all over. And of course, when they get to Tucson, they want that same experience. They want to have someone that knows the area and show them all the cool spots that they might not find on their own. Where are you seeing a lot of these guests coming from? What part of the United States? Around the world?

It is mostly United States. It’s mostly, of course, the East Coast escaping the cold month of November. December, January and February are super busy. I have three, four tours a week. Then summertime I have no one comes to Tucson, so it’s just every Sunday.

Understood. And when you’re doing these tours because you are bilingual, do you offer them in Spanish as well?

Yes, I do. Yes, I do. After the article came out in the newspapers, a lot of students that are learning Spanish are asking me for tours and they want me to do the whole tour in Spanish. That way they can practice it and learn. But going back to the question about all over the world yes, especially like right now, we have the gem show. I get people, I get vendors and I get buyers and I get people from all over the world, people that visit family or that they’re staying at an airbnb and they check or tripadvisor. Also, some hotels pick me up, so a lot of concierge, they recommend my tours.

We are speaking with priscilla taran. She is a guide here in Tucson for behind the scenes tours and she talks all about tucson’s history when it comes to our barrios, our food and wonderful culture. And we’re going to talk a little about that food in just a moment. But first I want to remind you that you are listening to Lifelong, the Streetcar on Downtown Radio 99.1 FM and available for [email protected].

Greetings and salutations, downtown radio listeners. paleo Dave, your unfrozen caveman DJ, here to spread the good word about the scrambled sunrise rock mix happening every weekday morning from seven to 09:00 A.m. Right here on downtown radio from the earliest days of psych punk and new wave to 80s college rock, 90s alternative and the ongoing wave of 21st century indie rock. It’s all right here on the scrambled sunrise. So tune in via 99.1 FM if you’re in the greater downtown area or streaming worldwide via Downtown Radio.

All right, let’s jump back into the second half of that interview with priscilla turin. She is a guide here in Tucson, as well as a teacher, bilingual teacher. Talked a little bit about the tours and how people find her. And every good tour that she does begins with food. That’s what you said in the newspaper, quote, every tour begins with food. So we’re going to find a little bit more about what she meant by that.

And your tours aren’t just history and culture. You throw in some food, right?

Of course. We love food in Tucson. It was recognized by nesco as the first gastronomy city in the United States. Food and wine talked about us in April. The New York Times also talked about our food in Tucson. Tucson is food. We have the best food ever. So I had to take them to a taco shop and I had to take them to an original place and the food is excellent there.

So what does a tour look like? It’s a walking tour. Is it always the same or does the route vary based upon who’s attending?

It’s always the same, but if it’s a private tour, I ask them if they want to do something, but yeah, it’s the same. We go down the historic downtown and we go to the neighborhood, the barrier vehicle. We go to the pita dito shrine, we go to a historic hotel and then we end up the tour eating tacos. Also, the tour talks about architecture, about the culture intuzan, the Mexican culture, the history of it. And we like to talk about plants. We also talk about plants from the desert and fun stuff like that.

Oh, interesting.

Yeah. So one of the photos I remember seeing from the paper was you were surrounded by cactus and other plants. So I guess that’s very appropriate for.

Your type of tour for us. We live in Tucson. The plants are normal for us, a cactus in the choirs. But for people that come from other countries or from the east side, I have a lot of clients from Canada. They are amazed by our plants, which they should. And we get to talk about them.

And as people are coming through the places that you’re taking them, it’s not just about how cool Tucson is. It’s about how cool Tucson has always been. And I love talking about this history as it sort of intersects with where we’re going.

And you know what? I’m sorry for interrupting. Go ahead.

No, this is about you. You’re not interrupting.

You go for it.

Part of the tour, it’s always the beautiful thing is that we get to see people in Tucson encounter people because as you were saying, it is a walking tour, but it’s a light stroll where just walking in the neighborhood, we get in the car and everything is in downtown historic Tucson. So we just drive to another location downtown and then walk a little bit. We get to see people from the neighborhoods. They have invited us. It’s very common that they invite us houses and we have an actual tour of houses of historic homes in Tucson. So people are also very amazed. My clients are amazed on how cool people and chill people are in Tucson. We do get busy on the tour. It’s three and a half hours to 4 hours and I talked the whole way and it’s like a little they call me, they make fun of me because I have an itinerary, but it’s my lesson plan, actually. And I give them a lot of information, but I make it fun and that’s my personality. And we laugh and people connect a lot. It’s very interesting how

people from all over the country, they start connecting. And that’s the reason why I like to eat the tacos at the end. Because at the end everyone’s friends, everyone’s sitting together and having deep conversations and exchanging phone numbers.

That’s wonderful. That’s wonderful. I think having a tour done by someone with an academic background brings that structure and organization to it. So you really can get through a good amount of material. And I would imagine three and a half hours, it sounds like a long time, but you’re walking, driving, eating, talking, it probably just flies by if you’re on that tour.

Yeah. And something that people always ask me, the majority of my clients are senior citizens. It’s older. I call myself a senior citizen, citizen whisperer of the tours. So they always want to know are we going to walk a lot? Is there sitting time? So I do make time when I’m explaining things, I do tell them, hey, this is a time for you guys to sit down. And they always tell me that thing that they were afraid for 4 hours, that they were going to be tired and it really flies by. It really does.

Especially with all of that activity you’re packing in there. So how do people get more information? Like, what is the cost of these? Where do people sign up?

How do they reach you?

What’s all that good stuff?

Yeah, they can find me on tripadvisor. They can find me on airbnb. Yes. Even if they Google Tucson Behind the Scenes, it’s going to take you there. It’s $50 per person. It’s on Sundays. But I also do private tours and people tell me when they want it, the private tours. People really sometimes they can only do it on a Tuesday and they contact me and we make it happen. Yesterday it was valentine’s, so we had the valentine’s edition tour and the couples were dressed in red or matching, and then we had tacos with sangria and it was just fun.

From a tour perspective. I mean, $50 for three and a half, 4 hours? That seems like a reasonably priced tour for sure. Does that include, like, the food or do they pay for the food themselves?

Yeah, it doesn’t include the food.


Another thing to note is that I drive my own car and only four people fit in my car. So whoever doesn’t have a car or they don’t feel like driving, I always invite them to hop in my car. But then the other ones, they follow me in their own car

and we make a phone call and I’m talking the whole way and they’re listening to me, describing things and talking about the old pueblo.


So even in transit, you’re educating people. That’s fabulous.

Yes, I’m always an educator, even driving.

So what are some of the things that you just love to share that people are surprised about in Tucson?

Of course, everyone knows about altitude in Tucson, and if they don’t know, they need to get on my tour, sign up to my tour. Eldarito. It’s just a story that people are not expecting. My tour is called Tucson Behind the Scenes because even if you Google Tucson, things to do in Tucson, you don’t see that much. It’s not that popular. And I think it should be popular. El piradito shrine. It’s Tucson. That’s one of the stops that they also love. It that John dillinger got caught in Tucson. And we talk about the history and all the stories that people from hotel congress have told me and that I have gathered. My master’s degree is in information resources, so I love research. So before putting together this tour, I did my research and I have also asked people, I’m always asking. And then sometimes in the tour I get people that are knowledgeable about a subject theory about plans, about John dillinger, and then I listen to them and I tell them, tell me about it. And they’re okay with it, telling

me about it. So I keep adding more information so I can give the best of my tour.


I would imagine even somebody who’s taken it once, they might take it again and be slightly different because you’ve got more information or you’ve made some adjustments to the tour.

Yeah, I do have some clients that every year they come and then they bring their friends or their family, and they also join it and they enjoy it.

Priscilla, thank you so much. The tour is called Tucson behind the scenes. You can find it in lots of places by googling.

You have a Facebook page too, right?

Tucson behind the scenes.

Yes. I’m on Instagram and on Facebook. Tucson behind the Scenes, the same name. And they can find me there. People sign up on Sundays. They like to go, they do Sunday, sunday friends, they do it together. girlfriends, some people, they wanted to do it as a surprise for their mom or their dad or anniversary. So those are good ideas for people that are finding a way. Like yesterday we had valentine’s. A lot of couples don’t want to go in India at restaurants. I had four couples yesterday, and we had a great time doing something totally different.

Outstanding. Thank you so much for your time and appreciate all you’re doing to highlight Tucson and make sure people know how special of a place it really is.

Once again. Thank you. To priscilla trench. She is doing great things in our community, highlighting all the amazing things in our urban core that we like to talk about here on the show. And that show is life along the streetcar on downtown radio 99.1 FM and streaming on

You’re listening to Ktdt, Tucson, Arizona, 99.1 FM, downtown radio. I’m Brother Mark, host of a show called Radio Club crawl that airs every Tuesday at 03:00 P.m.. We try to focus on most of the bands that are coming through Tucson, and we give you a tasty taste of their music. You want to check out what’s happening around Tucson? Check out Radio Club crawl. tuesdays, 03:00 P.m. Right here on Ktdt. Tucson, Arizona. 99.1 FM. Downtown radio.

Thank you very much. Enjoy your evening. bye bye. Not only can you enjoy your evening, you can enjoy the rest of your Sunday here. Got all kinds of fun things lined up for you right after our show. We have words and work with Ted Brzelski as he talks to writers and members of the labor movement. And then at noon it’s heavy mental with ty Logan. Then we get back into the music at 01:00 with speaker box X and some fantastic underground hip hop. I learned so much when I listened to that show. And then, of course, melly. We go into soul vibes Sunday. And mellie mel just really gets us a nice, nice rhythm here in Sunday and then into the evening. And if you’re checking out during the week, it’s hard to pick a favorite day. There’s shows every day that I love, so I’m not going to pick any favorites, but I’m going to suggest that you go to and check it out. Maybe you go over to Monday and you find the Jim and dave’s roadside rest stop. That’s a fun show and they’re really entertaining

to listen to. Or on Friday, I don’t always have a chance because I might be out working. But you got abby normal. She just has all kinds of good music and commentary and her show with the council culture bliss, always a fun show to listen to. Or maybe it’s something middle of the week brother mock, I don’t know. There’s so much to choose from. And here’s the amazing thing. They’re all volunteers. Every single DJ show host, our staff, our board, the people that make things work, all volunteers. And we can sustain this business model because of the generosity of these volunteers who donate their time and also through your donations as listeners who can donate your money. So your treasure, our time, creates this fantastic experiment we call Downtown Radio here in lovely Tucson, Arizona. And it’s around the world now. You can stream it. You got the app. There are definitely people that listen in different countries to what’s happening here in Tucson. Well, we’ve got some cool shows coming up.

Next two weeks. We’re actually going to do a two part series on a legend in Tucson, Seal peterson. When I moved here in the 90s, there were some dress shops and that’s really the extent of what I knew of. steele peterson was this fashion icon. And over the years, I’ve gotten to learn so much more about her impact and her legacy. And even though she has passed, it’s been almost a decade, I believe, since she, she passed at the age of 101. We thought it’s about time we started delving into our history with some of these stories. And so I found a gentleman that really had a chance to speak with her, wrote an article about her and was even kind of helping her craft a book. So that’s Daniel buckley and he’ll be here to chat about her and recorded that interview played over the next couple of weeks because I didn’t want to cut anything out. It’s just really good. And she’s so important in the tucson’s history and she deserves much more than two shows, but that’s what we have for her. And then

we also have some guests coming up, people that have been involved with the streetcar and may be talking about streetcar expansion. That’s going to be an interesting topic because if the streetcar expands and guess what? Our footprint expands because we’re lifelong streetcar. And oh my gosh, I’m going to have to do more shows. But all kinds of good stuff coming up. And as always, if you ever want to know something that you’d like us to research or there’s something that you know about that we should be sharing on our show, hit us up on Instagram and Facebook. Tag us and tell us what you like about whatever topic it might be and we’ll do some research there. You can also head over to our page, There’s a contact button there. There’s also information about us as the show lots of past episodes. This is like episode 230 something. So we’ve got a couple of hundred different individuals we’ve interviewed over the years. And then, of course, we wrote our book, got the

book out last year. And there’s information on our website. It’s called my life, along with streetcar. It’s a collection of interviews. Some people have asked for the sequel. And yeah, I’m working on that. Just settle down there a little bit. Kind of busy with the radio show, working full time. And then we got the Tucson Gallery project happening over there at 300 East Congress with Meet the Artist events every Thursday. Speaking of which, just getting this launch now, but I’m doing a separate podcast called Meet the Artist. You can find it on the website. Had some really good interviews with some of the artists that are in the gallery. Recently we interviewed Amy bumpus. She’s recently here from Colorado. And Joe padrick. And then coming up soon, we’ve got Jessica gonzalez and all kinds of other wonderful people in our community making this a beautiful place. That information is over on the website. And you can always come visit us live on thursdays

from five to seven if you so choose. And I know it’s hard for people to get out, so here’s the moral of the story today. This is all about celebrating Tucson. Tucson festival of books coming up on March 4 and fifth. Volunteer opportunities still available if you just want to go and have fun, we’re hoping for good weather and join 100,000.

Or so of your closest friends on.

The mall at the University of Arizona celebrating literacy. It’s free. And yet this organization is able to generate enough money to donate into the millions now for local literacy programs. And you can support that by supporting those vendors and sponsors who make that happen. Well, priscilla turin telling us all about Tucson and her love and how she gets to share that with people from all over the country and really, I think, all over the world. And then we’ve got our fabulous djs and volunteer show hosts and such, making downtown radio great. The Tucson gallery. Man, Tucson is awesome. I hope you feel the same way as I do. We’ve got a very vibrant, vibrant urban core here. And I think she’s just a wonderful place to be. I hope you agree. Well, priscilla talked about eating on her tours, and one of the things she likes to do is take people out for some delicious, delicious tacos. So we’re going to end here with a little fun music from Perry Grip. Not sure if that’s a person or cartoon

character from looking at the album cover, but it’s from Perry grip’s Mega party back there in 2013. It was a compilation of songs. This song, very appropriately, is called Raining Tacos. My name is Tom heath. I hope you have a great week and tune in next Sunday for more life along the streetcar.