Latinas · Women Issues

Women’s History Month: The Latina who fought for better education for Mexican children

MariaHernandezMaría Rebecca Latigo de Hernández was a civil rights activist. She worked hard to make life better for the Mexican-American community. In 1929, she co-founded the Orden Caballeros of America. The organization supported civic and civil rights.

Latigo de Hernández protested the segregation of Mexican-American children and the inferior education they were being offered at school in San Antonio, Texas. In 1970, she was instrumental in the development of the Raza Unity Party’s gain in politics.

Latigo de Hernández used radio to get her message out. She was one of the first Mexican-Americans on the radio in the 1930, and later went on to do television until the 1970’s.

Highlights of Hernández’s Life

  • Taught elementary school in Monterrey
  • Mother of 10 children.
  • 1929-Organized organization dedicated to political activities to help Mexicans.
  • 1932-first Mexican female radio announcer. 1933- Formed organization to give financial help to expectant mothers.
  • 1934-Formed organization to help get better education for Mexican community.
  • 1934-spoke on “Voz de las Americas” to promote LULAC.
  • 1938-took up works rights in the Pecan-Shellers’ Strike.
  • 1939-visited Mexico’s president to create good will between Mexico and U.S. Mexicans.
  • 1945- Book published with Hernández essays.
  • 1945- formed Club Liberal Pro-Cultura de la Mujer.
  • 1968- began bimonthly speeches on education and social progress.
  • 1968-was part of El Círculo Social Damas de América on Television in SA
  • 1968-testified before US Commission on Civil Rights on race discrimination against Mexican Americans and African Americans.
  • 1969- Board member of Círculo Social
  • 1970- became part of Raza Unida Party
  • 1986-María Hernández died of pneumonia in Lytle on January 8, 1986

More resources on María Rebecca Latigo de Hernández

Texas State Historical Association: Life of Maria Rebeca Latigo Hernandez

Latinas in the United States: Maria Rebecca Latigo de Hernandez 

Rebecca Aguilar is a freelance journalist and the founder of Wise Latinas Linked, a virtual group of 7,000 Latinas on Facebook and LinkedIn. 

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