While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Cynthia E. Orozco

CLÍNICA DE LA BENEFICENCIA MEXICANA. Clínica de la Beneficencia Mexicana, a health clinic in San Antonio for the Mexican-descent community during the Great Depression and the 1940s, was a project of Beneficencia Mexicana, a Mexican-descent women's voluntary association. The clinic was supported by middle-class women for the poor on the West Side; they acted under the theme of "charity, order, and efficiency." In 1930 seven health clinics had been set up throughout the city in an effort to serve the poor during hard times. Nurses reported that the worst health conditions existed on the West Side, where most of the Mexican-descent community lived.

Ignacio E. Lozano, the editor of La Prensa in San Antonio, initiated the fund-raising project to build a health clinic. Contributions came from across the country and locally; voluntary associations like the Finck Cigar Factory Workers, Club Femenino Orquidia, and the Club de Jóvenes Católicos together donated $286. Caucasian businessmen such as the owners of the Finck Cigar Factory also contributed. In 1930, after La Prensa gathered $27,000 in seed money, Clínica Mexicana, a stone building in Spanish Colonial style, was constructed at 623 South San Saba. In 1931 Dr. Joaquin Gonzales served as superintendent. Efforts were also coordinated by the Junta de Beneficencia, a committee of middle-class individuals, most of whom seem to have been born in Mexico. Apparently, the committee eventually became an organization composed of women, with Alicia Lozano as president of the board of directors of Beneficencia Mexicana.

For a short time the clinic had financial problems and closed, but it was reopened. Clients paid twenty-five cents on the first visit, and the clinic made medical care available on request afterwards. Both Mexican-descent and Caucasian doctors served as volunteer staff. Matilde Elizondo, owner of La Gloria grocery and meat market, donated medical equipment to the clinic. The board of trustees was composed of men, probably doctors, and the board of directors was made up of women. Alicia Lozano was president until 1938, when María de los Angeles G. de Velasco replaced her. In 1938 a serious dispute over management resulted in a court settlement, and the women took over the clinic's management. Around 1949 the clinic served expectant mothers. At some time between 1942 and 1948 the clinic moved to 207 San Fernando Street.

Richard A. García, Rise of the Mexican American Middle Class, San Antonio, 1919–1941 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1991). Frances Jerome Woods, Mexican Ethnic Leadership in San Antonio, Texas (Ph.D. dissertation, Catholic University of America, 1949; published as Catholic University of America Studies in Sociology 31 [1949]; rpt., New York: Arno Press, 1976).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Cynthia E. Orozco, "CLINICA DE LA BENEFICENCIA MEXICANA," accessed August 03, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/pqcpu.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...