The Polymath : Eva Carillo de García
Born in Los Angeles, California, Eva Carillo de García was orphaned before the age of five, and became the ward of a local missionary, who later traveled with her to Mexico.
While in Mexico, Eva attended university, then decided to return to the United States to pursue an advanced nursing degree in Chicago from a medical school which later merged with Northwestern University.
After completing her studies, Eva married Dr. Alberto García, and in the early years of their marriage they traveled to various locations in Mexico, Central America and Puerto Rico, providing medical care to various high needs populations.
In 1915, Eva and her husband settled in Austin, Texas, where the two continued to devote their time to serving the community. Eva became a fierce activist for desegregation, an advocate for youth programs to help prevent delinquency and keep young people on a positive life track, and she also joined several women’s rights groups, including championing women’s right to vote.
Eva also continued to apply her medical training to assist with health outreach in the Austin community, such as leading the fight against the spread of tuberculosis.
Eva and her husband Alberto were considered leaders in the latino community of Austin, and they published the first Spanish language newspaper in the city, La Vanguardía. Through their publishing and activism, the couple encouraged the Latino community to buy property, participate in local politics, vote and defend their civil rights. Eva was a founding member of LULAC – League of United Latin American Citizens – and served a term as the organization’s president.
If that doesn’t already sound like enough to keep someone busy, Eva Carillo de García and her husband also raised eight children together!
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I spent several months searching for a photograph of Eva, and finally found this photo in an online history archive of the Hispanic community in Austin, Texas, which I believe to be an image of Eva, her husband, and seven of her eight children:
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