Mexico is an incubator of wonderful things; food, art…and very smart women. In honor of Women’s History month, let’s remember these 5 amazing Mexican women who made a difference in our lives.
1. Silvia Torres-Peimbert
Torres-Peimbert is the first Mexican woman to receive her doctorate in astronomy. She studies the creation of stars and the mass that is thrown out by mid-size stars, and has been awarded for her work in determining the chemical composition of nebulae. She is the former editor of the very important Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics and was named President of the International Astronomical Union between 2015 and 2018, becoming the second woman to have ever held that position.
2. Tessy María López Goerne
One of the country’s most renowned scientists, López Goerne is the director of nanotechnology and nanomedicine laboratories at Mexico’s Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana and is leading research on a possible gel that will cure diabetic feet. Despite having suffered through cancer and a stroke, she has been given dozens of awards for her scientific work and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in chemistry. I mean…she is not Marie Curi, but she is certainly close.
3. Rosario Ibarra de Piedra
A senator, former presidential candidate, and a great female voice in Mexican politics, Ibarra de Piedra formed and heads the Comité Eureka, an organization that fights to free political prisoners and find those that have “disappeared” for political reasons. She was also involved in the indigenous Zapatista movement of the 1990s and continues, in her 90+ years, to be a voice for the underrepresented and mistreated in Mexico.
4. Elsa Ávila
Ávila was the first Latin American woman to reach the Mount Everest summit in 1999, but she has also been the first to accomplish several other climbs. She specializes in big wall climbs and was the first Latin American woman to climb El Capitán in Yosemite, the Rockies, the Alps, the Andes, the Himalayas, Patagonia and Baffin Island in the Arctic Circle.
5. Lola Álvarez Bravo
Álvarez Bravo was one of the most important female photographers in Mexico. Her first big break happened when she started taking photos for El Maestro Rural, a magazine published by Mexico’s Secretary of Education, but she had already been taking photos for years alongside her photographer husband, Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Later in life, she was the photography director at Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts and was the first person to display the work of her friend Frida Kahlo, as well as other famous Mexican female painters, at her art gallery in Mexico City.