Eva Carrillo de Garcia
Mexican American Missionary, Nurse, and Community Activist
Eva Carrillo de Garcia was born in Los Angeles, California in 1883. At the young age of five her mother passed away from typhoid fever. She became a ward of the Methodist Church and under the care of Dr. Levi Salmans. Dr. Salmans was a medical evangelist and spent much of his life founding churches and methodist schools, founded a charity association, trained nurses, and authored many health journals while in Guanajato, Mexico. Ms. Garcia was a student at Colegio de Juarez in Guanajato,Mexico and in 1906 she graduated from nursing school in Larned, Kansas. She went on to continue her training at Chicago Training for City, Home, and Foreign Missions. Upon graduation, Ms. Garcia worked at Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan where she met her husband Alberto Garcia in 1911.
Eva and Alberto had eight children and moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico where they worked at George O. Robinson Orphanage until 1915 when they moved to Austin, Texas. While caring for her family, Eva also remained busy in the community. As a nurse, she hosted health education drives, worked with local youth to address juvenile delinquency issues, and taught Spanish at the Austin Military Academy.
Despite segregationist practices enacted on Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Austin during the early twentieth century, Eva and her husband remained politically and socially active. They published a Spanish newspaper titled, La Vanguardia. Eva joined the League of Women Voters of Texas and co-founded the Ladies League of United Latin American Citizens council (LULAC). During the 1940’s and 50’s. the council pushed to desegregate Austin’s public places such as movie theaters, pools, and schools. Eva encouraged Mexican Americans to exercise their civic rights and encouraged them to buy property and defend their right to vote.
Eva was active in a number of Methodist women’s groups and served as an elder in the University Methodist Church. A decade after her passing in 1989, she was recognized and honored during National Women’s History Month by the Austin Commission for Women.
The information above was sourced from Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History, as well as:
García, Eva Carrillo de (1883–1979). Latinas in the United States a Historical Encyclopedia /. Vol. 1. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 2006.
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