In the 1970s, one of the most significant labor movements for Mexican American women took place in El Paso: the famous Farah Strike. Since the 1920s, El Paso’s garment district employed thousands of female workers, many of them Mexican immigrants, who labored as seamstresses but had no voice in the workplace. In 1972, about 4,000 Farah Manufacturing garment workers—mostly Hispanic women—refused to work until given the right to be represented by a union. This social and cultural shift led to the 1981 founding of La Mujer Obrera, a community center for Hispanic women.
Immigrant women find a support community here, and can take advantage of educational programs, vocational training, and cultural events. An onsite marketplace known as Mercado Mayapan helps Mexican American women become entrepreneurs by selling their handmade goods, crafts, and dishes. Peruse the booths; visit the tortilleria, panaderia, or food court; and interact with the creative female merchants. Learn more about the area's textile industry and the Tejana movement through photographs, newspaper clippings, and historical exhibits.
Watch the video below to learn more about Civil Rights and Hispanics in Texas. This video was produced for inclusion in the Hispanic Texans mobile tour, more information about which may be found on our Hispanic heritage page at the following link: http://texastimetravel.com/travel-themes/main-hispanic-heritage