VALDES VILLALVA, MARIA GUILLERMINA
VALDES VILLALVA, MARÍA GUILLERMINA (1939–1991). María Guillermina (Guille) Valdes Villalva, scholar and activist, daughter of physician Luis Valdes and Ninfa Teobald, was born in El Paso, Texas, on December 15, 1939. She attended Loretto Academy in El Paso and earned a B.A. in sociology from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1969. She received an M.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Michigan. She focused on the maquiladoras industry along the United States-Mexico border and studied its impact on working-class people. She became an authority on border issues and capital expansion across international boundaries. Valdes Villalva organized and cofounded the Centro de Orientación para la Mujer Obrera, La Sociedad Cooperativa de Seleccionadores de Materiales, GUILLE (a garment cooperative for unemployed seamstresses), and Mujeres para El Desarrollo. All of these organizations served as vehicles for the social, cultural, economic, and political empowerment of working women and men. She mentored and collaborated with at least three generations of Chicano scholars of border studies, especially those studying labor migration movements and the maquiladora industries. During her career Valdes Villalva served in numerous foundations, committees, and academic and community boards in Mexico and the United States. She also served as a consultant to the president of Mexico. Her religious fervor brought her closer to working people through her leadership in the Catholic charismatic renewal. She and her husband cofounded St. John the Baptist Community. She was married to Antonio Villalva Sosa; they had a son and two daughters. Valdes Villalva died on September 11, 1991, in an airplane explosion. She was flying from Laredo to Houston as she returned from overseeing the opening of the Colegio de la Frontera in Piedras Negras, Coahuila. At the time of her death, Valdes Villalva directed the Colegio de la Frontera Norte, serving as general director for external affairs. She headed the office in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and supervised research in Juárez and El Paso. After her death she was honored at both the National Association for Chicano Studies conference and the 1992 Chicana/Latina Institute.
James D. Cockcroft, Outlaws in the Promised Land: Mexican Immigrant Workers and America's Future (New York: Grove Press, 1986). Houston Post, September 13, 1991. Devón Gerardo Peña, The Class Politics of Abstract Labor: Organizational Forms and Industrial Relations in the Mexican Maquiladoras (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, 1983). Jesse Vorst et al., eds., Race, Class, Gender: Bonds and Barriers (Ontario, Canada: Society for Socialist Studies Between the Lines, 1989).
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Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on February 1, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.