Jovita Idar Biography

Jovita Idar

journalist, teacher, political activist
Born: 1885
Birthplace: Laredo, Tex.

Idar was one of eight children born to a small newspaper publisher, Nicasio Idar, and his wife, Jovita. After earning a teaching degree from the Holding Institute, a Methodist school, in 1903, Idar began teaching school in Ojuelos. However, her inability to improve the poor conditions of the school prompted her to resign and join the family weekly newspaper, La Crónica. The paper criticized anti-Mexican discrimination, lynching, and poor social conditions. The paper also supported the Mexican Revolution in Mexico that broke out in 1910. Idar later went to Mexico as a nurse to care for wounded revolutionary soldiers. In 1911 Idar became the first president of the League of Mexican Women to promote the education of poor children.

She later joined El Progreso newspaper, which was shut down after she wrote an editorial criticizing the dispatch of U.S. troops to the border. Idar returned to La Crónica, running it after her father died in 1914. In 1917 she married Bartolo Juárez and moved to San Antonio, where she was editor of El Heraldo Christiano, a Methodist paper. Idar also continued her activism, supporting the Democratic Party, running a free kindergarten, and interpreting for Spanish-speaking patients at the county hospital. She and her husband had no children.

Died: 1946