In honour of this weekend ushering in Día de los Muertos, today’s Historical Hottie post is going to be a little different. Today’s post will be a tribute to my beautiful and sometimes rebellious abuelita Ernestina (“abuelita Tina” as I used to call her).
Born in 1927 in la Ciudad de México in la Colonia Guerrero but spending the majority of her life living in the working class Colonia Ex Hipódromo de Peralvillo, abuelita Tina pulled off a lot of bad assery in her day. She only ever received formalized education until the fifth grade(ish) and never learned to drive, therefore limiting a lot of the opportunities she would have in her life. Because of this, she made sure that all of her daughters would not only learn to drive but make it to university as well in order for them to live a life that did not require them to be dependent on a “bread-winning” partner. *cue “Independent Women” by Destiny’s Child*
Although married to mi abuelito, his work often took him to the north of México so she essentially raised not only their own children, but many other family member’s children alone. She raised countless children, some related by blood and others not, all while dealing with her at times difficult marriage (long distance relationships in a patriarchal society? Fun stuff). While she was by no means perfect (who is?) and definitely had her faults (who doesn’t?), she played a large influence in many people’s lives (especially my own) and did her best to raise progressively minded children and grandchildren even when her socioeconomic context didn’t always make it easy to do so.
So light a candle, put out some conchas, + maybe some flor de muertos for all las abuelitas that showed the rest of us what it takes to survive in a world that isn’t always kind.