The Forced Change of Lifestyle for a Governor's Granddaughter

The Texas Story Project.

A child was forced to give up her comfortable lifestyle because of the sins of her family. For the next few generations this story would be passed down as a symbol to thrive and make the best for themselves. Ophelia Garcia’s great grandson found his way to San Antonio, Texas nearly ninety-five years later to continue her story of the trials she faced resulting from the Mexican Revolution in 1910.

His Great Grandmother Ophelia Garcia was the granddaughter of the Governor of Jalisco during the Mexican Revolution. Her family was considered to be wealthy because of their position of power. She wore the beautiful dresses and was spoiled to her every want and need. In her early life there was rarely, if any struggle at all. This would be taken away from her and her family by the Zapatistas, led by Emiliano Zapata, once the revolution gained a foothold in Mexico.

They were forced to abandon their comfortable lifestyle because the residents of their state needed someone to blame. Her family were not supporters of Porfirio Diaz or the French, but because of their wealth they were forced from their home. Although Ophelia was not at fault, she became victim of her family's mistreatment of the lower class. The lower class was used for cheap labor and often were abused. This built up resentment and anger towards the upper class, in particular, Ophelia’s family. Naturally this anger would come to her doorstep.

At the age of 6 years old, the Zapatistas along with some locals gave her family an ultimatum: leave town forever with only what they can carry, or face death. They left with only what they could carry on their backs. Her family chose to run away with their lives and find refuge in Tampico, Tamaulipas. She fled from the west coast to the east coast traveling nearly 474 miles. There she would have to give up her life of spoils and have to live life just like anyone of the lower class members that her family had exploited. This meant no more fancy dresses, no more to anyone answering to her wants and needs, and now she was required to live life differently than she has experienced before.

With the absence of the wealth and riches, Ophelia became bitter and felt like she was an outcast. Just as any other kid her age who has had everything they could want, she expected life to treat her a certain way and expected it this to continue. She now had to live with nothing from her former life and work to build her family's legacy once again. Ophelia did not like that she was among the lower class and that it would take time to bring herself out of that status and into a more prestigious and luxurious one such as she had before.

Later in her life she would regain that upper class status once again but did not forget what had happened to her family during the revolution. As I sat and listened to her great-grandson tell me this story I can still sense some bitterness that has been passed through the family line. Each generation has had to work for their roles in life and earn what they have made for themselves. He has kept in mind that what Ophelia once had was taken away. Her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren have all managed to become wealthy and make names for themselves.

This could be a story with the lesson of losing it all and becoming humble but I would not be so confident to say that is the case. They did come back to riches with hard work and knowledge of their loss of status in the first place.

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