Esperanza López Mateos

Esperanza López Mateos (January 8, 1907 – September 19, 1951) was a Mexican translator, political activist, syndicalist, and mountaineer. She translated several of B. Traven‘s novels and was his literary agent in Latin America from 1941 to 1951. She was the sister of politician Adolfo López Mateos and sister-in-law of cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa. She participated in the strike by the miners of Nueva Rosita (1950–1951) and worked with Vicente Lombardo Toledano; together they supported many Jewish exiles fleeing European wars and seeking refuge in Mexico.[1]

Esperanza López Mateos

Picture taken in a photo studio. The exact date is unknown, although the hairstyle places it in the 1940s.
Born (1907-01-08)January 8, 1907

Died September 19, 1951(1951-09-19) (aged 44)

Mexico City, Mexico
Nationality Mexican
Occupation Translator, political activist, syndicalist, mountaineer, literary agent
Spouse(s) Roberto Figueroa

. . . Esperanza López Mateos . . .

Esperanza López Mateos was born in Mexico City on January 8, 1907. According to her baptismal certificate dated January 19, 1907 at the church of San Cosmas, the girl María Esperanza Adolfina Mateos is the natural daughter of Elena Mateos. The name of her father is not mentioned.[2] These dates are consistent with those of her birth certificate, in which her name only appears as Esperanza Mateos, natural daughter of Elena Mateos.[3] The baptismal certificate of her half-brother Rafael Fernando López Mateos, born March 12, 1904, states that at that time Elena Mateos was a widow and Rafael Fernando was the son of her late husband Mariano Gerardo López; the vital records reveal that the father’s death date was the same as the son’s birthdate. The latter died a year later, on April 27, 1905.[4] Regina Santiago argues that the father of Esperanza and her younger brother Adolfo was Gonzalo de Murga.[5] In either case, Esperanza and Adolfo took the name of Elena’s late husband, Mariano López. This marriage produced two older sons, Mariano (born 1900) and Elena.[6]

Esperanza’s illegitimate birth gave rise to many legends to protect the reputation of Elena and her two minor children, Esperanza and Adolfo. According to a story told by Gabriel Figueroa in his Memorias, the Spanish Gonzalo de Murga had a daughter with an aristocratic English woman who left him; he later entrusted this child to Elena Mateos, who named her Esperanza.[7]

The children grew up in close contact with their cousins, Gabriel and Roberto Figueroa Mateos. In 1934 Esperanza married Roberto Figueroa. In her youth, she and her brother Adolfo participated in the vasconcelista movement of 1929.[8] From a very young age, Esperanza and Adolfo became addicted to mountaineering. In Iztaccihuatl there is a mountain hut named for Esperanza.

Esperanza studied nursing and also was a parliamentary stenographer.[9] She held many different jobs, but during the 1930s went to work at the Secretariat of Public Education.[10] There she met many intellectuals of German origin who had come to Mexico to escape the Nazis, as well as Mexican intellectuals who sought to transform education to counteract the power of the Catholic Church.[11] She also met Vicente Lombardo Toledano, with whom she collaborated for many years. Between April and June 1938, Esperanza provided shorthand transcription for a fine arts conference organized by the anti-Nazi Liga pro-Cultura Alemana en México (Pro-German Culture League in Mexico).[11]

. . . Esperanza López Mateos . . .

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. . . Esperanza López Mateos . . .