3 RGV Women To Celebrate This Month

Words by Pioquinta

It’s Women’s History Month! We want to acknowledge three strong, individual, and intellectual women who became pioneers in their individual fields of study. They paved the path for women in the RGV, becoming icons in their own right.

Jovita Gonzalez

Jovita was born near Roma, TX, in 1904.

Jovita attended schools in Roma and San Antonio, where she received a B.A. degree in Spanish from Our Lady of the Lake College.

She collected Mexican folklore in the RGV and was one of the first Texans to obtain a master’s degree and work as a teacher. She’s the only  Mexican-American woman to serve as president of the Texas Folklore Society.

Jovita worked on narratives, songs, and in 1937 she wrote “Latin Americans” for Our Racial and National Minorities: Their History, Contributions, and Present Problems.

Image courtesy of Humanities Texas. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Image courtesy Museum of South Texas History

Emilia Schunior Ramírez

Emilia was born in Sam Fordyce, TX, in 1902.

Emilia’s family moved from Mission to Edinburg when schools began to segregate Mexican-American children. Emila graduated from Edinburg High School and attended Southwest Texas State Teachers College at San Marcos.

Emilia worked as a teacher and principal at RGV schools and wrote a thesis that examined the children of undocumented immigrants in education, as well as, Ranch Life in Hidalgo County after 1850, an account of the life of Mexican women in the late-19th century. Emilia became an assistant professor of Spanish at Pan American College in Edinburg and traveled the world.  

Clotilde Pérez García

Clotilde was born in Ciudad Victoria, MX, 1917.

Clotilde’s family fled to the U.S. to escape the violence of the Mexican Revolution, settling in Mercedes. After graduating from Mercedes High School in 1934, she studied pre-med, zoology, and chemistry, graduating with a bachelor’s degree from UT Austin.


She enrolled at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). She was 1 of 7 women—and the only Mexican American woman—to graduate from UTMB in 1954. Clotilde opened a private practice in Corpus Christi; becoming one of the first Mexican American women to practice medicine in the state.

Clotilde was awarded the Royal American Order of Isabella the Catholic by King Juan Carlos I of Spain for her efforts to promote South Texas’s Hispanic past.

Image courtesy of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

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