Jovita Idár

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Jovita Idár
Jovita Idár.jpg
Born (1885-09-07)September 7, 1885
Laredo, Texas,
United States
Died June 15, 1946(1946-06-15) (aged 60)
San Antonio, Texas,
United States
Nationality Mexican American
Known for Journalism

Jovita Idár (September 7, 1885 – June 15, 1946) was an American journalist, political activist and civil rights worker, born in Laredo, Texas in 1885.[1] Idár strove to advance the civil rights of Mexican-Americans.

Jovita Idár and two of her brothers, Eduardo and Bobby Brown, worked for the newspaper La Crónica [The Chronicles]. The paper, edited and published by their father Nicasio Idár, advocated for civil rights and social justice for Mexican-Americans. Jovita wrote articles under a pseudonym, exposing the poor living conditions of Mexican American workers and supported the Mexican Revolution which started in 1910.[2][3]

According to Laura Gutierrez in volume two of Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage, the newspaper La Crónica

"...included a wide variety of articles dealing with current events, news from Mexico, local and regional news, biographical and historic essays, poetry, literary essays, commentary, and, of course, lots of advertisements. More importantly, however, La Cronica gave voice to the serious social and economic disparities suffered by Mexicans in Texas and the U.S."


Idár earned her teaching certificate in 1913 from the Holding Institute in Laredo.[5] She taught in a school in Los Ojuelos, located approximately 40 miles east of Laredo.[6]

Idár served as the first president of the League of Mexican Women (La Liga Femenil Mexicanista). It was founded in October 1911 in Laredo to offer free education to Mexican children.[7] Additional goals of the organization were to "unify the Mexican intellectuals of Texas around the issues of protection of civil rights, bilingual education, lynching of Mexicans, labor organizing and women's concerns."[8]

It developed into a social, political and charitable organization for women that in part provided food and clothes to those in need.[9] She also participated in the Primer Congreso Mexicanista,[10] an organization dedicated fighting inequality and racism.[11]

In 1913 during the Mexican Revolution Jovita and a friend entered Mexico to help care for the wounded along the border region. She later joined a medical group called the White Cross (La Cruz Blanca) which was similar to the Red Cross relief organization.[12] After returning to Laredo Idár worked for the newspaper El Progreso but eventually returned to La Crónica, where she continued to expose the conditions that Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants were living under at the time. In May 1917 she married Bartolo Juárez, who worked as a plumber and tinsmith.[13] She moved with her husband to San Antonio in 1921. Idár also worked as a newspaper editor and publisher. She founded the weekly paper Evolución in November 1916 which lasted four years. In 1940 she co-edited the journal El Heraldo Cristiano.[14]

Jovita Idár died on June 15, 1946 in San Antonio, Texas.


  1. ^ Handbook of Texas Online - Idar, Jovita. Retrieved on 2009-07-23.
  2. ^ Pouwels, Joel Bollinger. Political Journalism by Mexican Women During the Age of Revolution 1876-1940. Edwin Mellon Press, 2006, p. 58.
  3. ^ Gutierrez-Witt, Laura. "Cultural Continuity in the Face of Change: Hispanic Printers in Texas". In Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage, Vol. II. (Eds. Erlinda Gonzales-Berry and Chuck Tatum). Arte Publico Press, 1996.
  4. ^ Ibid.
  5. ^ Pouwels, Political Journalism by Mexican Women.
  6. ^ Handbook of Texas - Idar, Joavita
  7. ^ Villegas de Magnón, Leonor. The Rebel. Arte Publico Press, 1994.
  8. ^ Lomas, Clara. "Historical Newspapers". In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. (Eds. Suzanne Oboler and Deena J. González). Oxford University Press, 2005.
  9. ^ Handbook of Texas Online - Liga Femenil Mexicanista. Retrieved on 2009-07-23.
  10. ^ Meier, Matt S. and Margo Gutierrez. Encyclopedia of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement. Greenwood Press, 2000, p. 113.
  11. ^ Pardo, Mary S. "Latina Labor and Community Organizers". In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States." (Eds. Suzanne Oboler and Deena J. González). Oxford University Press, 2005.
  12. ^ Handbook of Texas - Idar, Jovita.
  13. ^ Laredo Times. May 27, 1917, page 7.
  14. ^ Villegas de Magnón. The Rebel.