© Latinas in History 2008

It is believed that the sisters Andrea and Teresa Villareal lived during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During their young womanhood, they were known as social activists dedicated to promoting the rights of women and the working class. Andrea Villareal worked with Mother Jones. The two made public speeches demanding the release of Mexican revolutionaries imprisoned in San Antonio. Teresa Villareal supported social justice causes and published a socialist newspaper titled El Obrero (The Worker). Among their many achievements, in 1910, the year in which the Mexican Revolution began, the sisters founded La Mujer Moderna in San Antonio, Texas. The newspaper held the emancipation of women as its primary goal. Andrea and Teresa believed that women's equality should be among the guiding principles and goals of the revolution. The sisters, who belonged to a San Antonio women's group, Regeneración, excelled at organizing Mexican women in fund-raising and other activities designed to further the goals of the revolution and women's liberation. They participated in the activities of feminist organizations Leona Vicario and the Liberal Union of Mexican Women and worked for the political party, Partido Liberal de Mexico (PLM). Since the male leadership of the PLM was continuously under surveillance, the Villareal sisters and other feminists like them played key roles in maintaining revolutionary causes: carrying messages, supplies and intelligence reports. One observer recalled how women like Andrea and Teresa Villareal took on responsibilities that men feared because of the heightened threats of the revolution: “Women in Texas were particularly active . . . had to continue the work men were now too intimidated to do."



The handbook of Texas Online
Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History