The Women of LULAC
LULAC was one of the first national organizations to
place emphasis on the role of women. Its first council #9 was
created on February 22, 1934, in El Paso, Texas. By 1938, the league had
created the first women's national office in Mrs. Ester Machuca
as Ladies Organizer General.
The growth of the role of women in LULAC has
never stopped. In 1981, the league's first National Vice-President for
Women was elected. Programs for women are carried out at the local level
through the efforts of state coordinators for women. One of the league's
most successful programs has been two-day conferences on education and
employment held in various states, and a national conference.
Mujeres de LULAC: A History of Accomplishments
LULAC was established in Texas. Membership was open to persons of Mexican origin but women were note-encouraged to join.
Women formed LULAC Ladies' Auxiliaries in Alice, El Paso, Kingsville, and San Antonio, Texas.
Ladies LULAC was founded at the Texas State LULAC Convention in
Del Rio, when the League permitted Latin American women to organize on
the same basis as men. Joe Alamia and J. M. Canales, of Edinburg,
submitted the resolution establishing Ladies LULAC. Jose Luz Saenz
served as the first organizer of Ladies LULAC, the only man ever in this
position. Alice, Texas, organized the first council by incorporating the
existing ladies' auxiliary there. Ladies LULAC councils largely worked
independently of one another and apart from men's councils. They were
especially concerned with children, the poor, the elderly, women,
scholarships, education and politics.
Ester Machuca founded Ladies LULAC Council#9, in El Paso, Texas,
by incorporating the existing ladies' auxiliary there, and served as
first treasurer. Council #9 is the only Ladies Council founded in the
1930s that still exists today. Council #9 is currently lead by Lila
LULAC established the position Ladies Organizer General, the official
organizer of women's councils. This position existed until 1942.
In Goliad, Ladies LULAC fought for admission of students of Mexican
descent into public schools.
Maria Torres Reyna founded Ladies Council #22 in Houston and
served as first Secretary. Council 322 collected poll taxes, registered
voters, and bought eyeglasses for school children.
Alice Dickerson Montemayor was elected Second National Vice
President, the first woman to hold a national elected position.
Ladies LULAC established Junior LULAC. The first charter was written by
Alice Montemayor, who served as Director General from 1939-19400.
With Filemon Martinez as National LULAC President, Ladies LULAC
was recognized as a national entity and the position of Ladies Organizer
General (later called National Vice President of Women) was created on
the national board. Ester Machuca was named Ladies Organizer General and
Ladies LULAC Councils were established in Arizona, California, Nevada,
New Mexico and Texas.
Eva Carrillo founded Ladies LULAC in Austin. She and her council worked
to desegregate movie theaters and swimming pools as well as schools.
They also encouraged Hispanics to buy property, pay the poll tax, vote,
and defend their rights.
The May edition of LULAC NEWS, the official magazine of the
League, was conceived, edited, and produced by Ester Machuca and
dedicated to Antonietta Delgado de Martinez, Ladies LULAC member and
deceased wife of LULAC National President Filemon Martinez. It is the
only edition ever produced entirely my LULAC women and is one of only
two issues about LULAC women. At 68 pages, it was also one of the
Alice Dickerson Montemayor became associate editor of LULAC News.
She wrote more articles for LULAC News than any other woman, including a
1937 article entitled " Women's Opportunity in LULAC" in which she
defined a woman's place to be in that position where she can do the most
for the furthering of her fellow woman and in 1938 editorial entitled
"Son Muy Hombres?" in which she denounced notions of male superiority
and argued for women's right to participate in LULAC.
Ladies LULAC contributed funds for Delgado v Bastrop ISD lawsuit,
which ended segregation of Hispanic American children in Texas schools.
LULAC Councils began to integrate.
In Houston, Ladies LULAC collected poll taxes, registered voters, and
bought eyeglasses for school children.
Consuelo Herrera Mendez, President of Ladies LULAC Council #202 in
Austin, and her council worked on political campaigns, getting voters to
the polls, and fund-raising for scholarships.
Lucy Acosta was the first woman elected National Director for
youth activities. She served as Second National Vice President in 1965.
Belen Robles was appointed National Secretary.
She served until 1970.
Integrated LULAC Councils were typical and the majority of women
joined them although Ladies LULAC councils continued to exist.
Belen Robles became the first woman to run for the office of LULAC
LULAC endorsed the Equal Rights Amendment.
Belen Robles was elected the first woman to serve as National Vice
President for the Southwest.
Dolores Adame Guerrero was elected the first woman Texas LULAC
Lucy Acosta organized Project Amistad, a social service program for the
elderly and adults with disabilities, originally funded by the Texas
Department of Human Services and Community Development funds from the
City of El Paso to combat abuse, neglect, and exploitation as well as to
provide escort and transportation services primarily to and from medical
appointments. She continues to serve as the Director of the project
until her death in 2008.
El Paso to combat abuse, neglect, and exploitation as well as to provide
escort and transportation services primarily to and from medical
appointments. She continues to serve as the director of the project
Dr. Anita Del Rio became the second woman to run for LULAC
National President. Her platform was immigration and bilingual
Women comprised more than 50% of membership, yet held fewer than 2% of
Lucy Acosta was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame for
her civic endeavors.
In McAllen, Ladies LULAC opened the LULAC Information and Referral
Center, which helped Hispanic immigrants establish resident and assisted
other with job referrals and other needs.
Eva Carrillo Garcia's name and picture were included in a pictorial display at the Texas State Capitol to mark National Women's History Month.
Rosa Rosales was elected the second woman Texas LULAC State Director. She has served as National Vice President for Women
Belen Robles was elected the first woman LULAC National President. She served 4 years in office.
Angela Garcia was elected the third woman Texas LULAC State Director.
Mujeres de LULAC Council, 34677, was founded in Dallas, Texas, the last Ladies council to incorporate in the 20TH Century.
Today, only a handful of Ladies LULAC councils exist.
Rosa Rosales, from San Antonio Texas, was elected LULAC National President LULAC National Convention in Wisconsin.