Margaret Juárez Gómez

By the Voces staff

Margaret J. Gómez credits her early political awareness to her father. He was a Mexican immigrant with little education, but he closely followed political and world events.

“He read the newspaper from cover to cover every day,” she said. “A lot of times, he knew a lot more about what was going on in the world than I did, so when I got home from work, he would talk to me about what was going on."

Rafaela Navarro Juarez

By Rebecca De Leon

At the age of 18, Rafaela Navarro’s faith was tested. In 1942, her soon-to-be husband, Anastacio Juarez, was called to fight in World War II, leaving her and his family to fret about his safety.

Anastacio’s cousin was Rafaela’s brother-in-law, so the two families had known each other since Rafaela and Anastacio were very young. Both Rafaela and Anastacio grew up in San Marcos, Texas, as well as attended the same Catholic church, Sacred Heart of Mary, in nearby Martindale.

So when Anastacio returned from the war in 1946, he and Rafaela got married.

Anastacio Juarez

By Juan de la Cruz

As the only Mexican American in his troop, Anastacio Perez Juarez experienced problems not normally encountered by other soldiers.

Because of his limited English, even the simplest commands -- forward, march, halt, and others -- were a challenge for the young enlistee.

"It's like in music," he said. "If you don't know a note, you don't play. In the Army, it's the same thing. You got to walk at the same time the others walk."