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A Mexican Immigrant Woman’s Life Story

Farmworker’s Memoir Published in Original Spanish and in English Translation



Elvira – Una Mujer Inmigrante Mexicana 1909-2012 (442 pp. 111 photos, Prólogo, Introducción, Glosario, Apéndices)

Original Spanish Version

By Elvira C. Hernandez, compiled by her son Eduardo Hernández Chávez

ISBN: Hard cover 978-0-9989740-2-6; Paperback 978-0-9989740-3-3


Elvira – A Mexican Immigrant Woman 1909-2012 (436 pp. 111 photos, Preface, Introduction, Glossary, Appendices,)

Translation to English by Eduardo Hernández Chávez

ISBN: Hard cover 978-0-9989740-0-2; Paperback 978-0-9989740-1-9


Listed at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores by IngramSpark/Lightning Source

Hard cover $34.97; Paperback $24.97


Also available directly from the publisher at our live-event pricing: Paperback $20; Hard cover $30

Published by Ediciones Lengua y Cultura, 10944 Eaton Road, Oakdale, CA

(209) 840-3949,

Eduardo Hernández Chávez, Ph.D., Editor

Elvira – A Mexican Immigrant Woman is the life history of a young girl who immigrated to the U.S., fleeing the violence of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1921). Her family found work in the United States on the railroad, then in the meat-packing houses of Kansas City, and finally – fatefully – in the sugar-beet fields of Scottsbluff, Nebraska. There, Elvira was to endure fifty years at hard labor, working alongside the men and raising her ever-growing family, all the while carrying out the grinding drudgery of never-ending house work.

Elvira fights for a meaningful life in a land once alien, now native.  It is a story of struggle and survival and of personal tragedy, cultural clash, and racial conflict. She describes a life under the rule of domineering men, but also one in which aspects of Mexican culture − such as the celebration of ethnic holidays or the quaint courtship practices − bind the community together.

Her staunch belief in God sustains Elvira after the deaths − one and then another − of her husband and two of their sons. She supports her two remaining sons and, motivated by her faith and her experience as a farmworker, Elvira leaves the fields and becomes an advocate for migrant farm workers, later founding a senior center for women from her church. Elvira projects a strong portrait of personal courage and determination, qualities that she displays from a very early age. Her life story – in both the Spanish and the English versions − is told in the down-to-earth language of a farmworker, lending power to her narrative.