Women, particularly Hispanic women, have been traditionally known to exercise roles as housewives or housekeepers providing for the needs of their children, their spouses, their parents, or other members of their families. Throughout history, however, women have also worked outside the home alongside their husbands or families while still caring for their loved ones and homes.
These dual roles are clearly exemplified by the businesswomen -past and present- from Zapata County featured in this compendium. The time periods have been designated as “Women Ahead of Their Times” for those women whose businesses date prior to the 1970’s and “Women of Our Times” for those whose businesses were established during or after the 1970’s.
This work is an attempt to focus on the accomplishments of women who either through self-employment or in the company of their husbands opened and operated successful businesses in Zapata County for at least 10 years. Business areas include grocery stores, meat markets, gas stations, floral and gift shops, beauty shops, restaurants, clothing shops, a theater, a motel, a bakery, a jewelry store, an office supply, a hardware store as well as United States post offices, among others.
This document is, in no way, complete, for there are, undoubtedly, many other women of whom I have no knowledge or was not able to find a contact person to provide me with the information – my apologies to them and to their families. Still, there were some who opted not to participate in this project, since participation was strictly on a voluntary basis.
The women featured herein are, in many ways, trendsetters who have either been and/or continue to be role models worthy of emulation for their genuine dedication, perseverance, and self-sacrifice, not only for the young people of our times, but for future generations as well. May their remarkable example be always remembered and revered.
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