Señora Flores de Andrade, early Mexican activist, was born in the state of Chihuahua, where she spent her early years on the estate of her grandparents. The family was relatively well off, and the girl was given an education and encouraged in such sports as bareback horse riding. Her grandparents died when she was thirteen, leaving her a good inheritance. To her family's displeasure, she immediately "gave absolute liberty" to all the peasants who had worked on the estate and supplied them with tools and animals to continue to work the land as long as they wished. She married a man of German origin, with whom she had six children. He died twelve years after the marriage, and she moved with her children to Chihuahua City, where she began to work with a political group known as the Daughters of Cuauhtémoc, who were involved with the Partido Liberal Mexicano. Her work with the group caused even further dissension within her family, and she became quite impoverished and ultimately moved with her children and Pedro Mendoza, a member of the party, to El Paso in 1906, in hope of improving her economic situation.
There she lived and worked with Mendoza organizing the local Mexican community for the PLM; she was apparently forced by the American authorities to marry him because they lived together. The marriage was an unhappy one, and Flores de Andrade ultimately separated from Mendoza, accusing him of infidelity and abuse. Three years after her arrival in El Paso, she joined another women's group, which also worked with Mexican revolutionaries. In addition, she allied herself with Francisco I. Madero, a Mexican revolutionary who later became president of Mexico. Her oral history, as recounted to Mexican anthropologist Manuel Gamio, has provided insights into the political activism of women among Mexican political refugees in Texas in the early twentieth century. Like Mexican-born Texans Sara Estela Ramírez and Teresa and Andrea Villarreal, Flores de Andrade sought a democratic society for Mexico.
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The Handbook of Texas Women project has its own dedicated website and resources.
Manuel Gamio, The Life Story of the Mexican Immigrant: Autobiographical Documents (New York: Dover, 1971).
Activism and Social Reform
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Teresa Palomo Acosta,
“Flores de Andrade,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 14, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
January 1, 1995
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: