Home Page – Rincón del Refúgio


Home Page – Rincón del Refúgio

mexico city, san luis potosi

The Rincón is the common name given to the rancho community area located near the capital of San Luis Potosí, of the state of San Luis Potosí. The bottom image gives you an idea of the geographical areas surrounding the state. San Luis Potosí is located approximately 225 miles NE of Mexico City. The Rincón is where all of our ancestors come from.  The people make a living farming, raising some animals and of course some hunting of deer deep in the hills. There are several distinct ranchos in the same area, with the one nearest any transportation being La Sequedad, which roughly translated means “the dryness”, or “the drought”. Near there is another rancho, Temescal. Both are in fairly arid territories. From Temescal, there is the Zammaripa clan, many of whom have settled in California and married into our Castillo family. The image at the top shows several of the ranchos spread throughout the country side. By following La Sequedad and continuing to Paso Blanco there is a trail/road that one can follow all the way to the end where the Rincón del Refúgio is located. There are other ranchos along the way but the Google map was not able to locate all of them, just the ones showing in the image. The landscape changes with the change in elevation. From the desert type of environment at La Sequedad, as one progresses onto the other ranchos, the land becomes greener and more fertile. And it seems that with the changing elevations thre are different varieties of nopales, a food staple of everyone there. By the time one arrives at the Rincón, it is almost tropical with some many tall, beautiful trees. Our Abuelo, Bartolo, lived alone for who knows how long high up in the mountains at a place called Rancho Viejo. It is very beautiful up high and that is where he lived for many years after our Abuela Diega passed away in 1935. The “ruralness” of the area is changing, some of the primitive road is being paved giving the outside world access to the ranchos, and where in the past life was very primitive, there is now electricity. Plumbing isn’t there yet nor is natural gas, but eventually I’m sure. With change some things will be lost forever, for good or bad remains to be seen. A couple of things come to mind about the “ruralness” of the area. One of those being that way back when the dirt road was more of a trail than a road, a bus used to come by once a week to take the people into the capital of  San Luis Potosí to shop and sell their wares at the mercado. The bus used to come in at night and park at the furthest rancho, El Rincon, and before sunup would begin taking on passengers. From the Rincón it would make its rounds to all of the ranchos picking up passengers along the way until people were hanging on the sides, sitting on top and sharing the inside with small animals and a very crowded bus. The bus would take everyone home at the end of the day and the last ones being dropped very late at night. Probably now most people drive their own vehicles into town as the road is much improved and times have changed. One of the other peculiar aspects of life back then was the weekly bath. It used to be that the men would bathe one day and women the next. High up on hillside our ancestors constructed a large catch basin made of rock that caught the water coming down from the top of the mountain. The water was the main source of irrigation for crops and to give the cattle and horses a drinking source. Because of these reasons, it was forbidden to use soap when bathing. All one could do was soak themselves and rub down with a rag to get the grime off using the super cold water in the catch basin. The people have always lived a simple, peaceful life and hopefully that will never change. Our ancestors have lived there who knows for how long living off the land, remaining humble and passing those traits onto all of us.

Cabecera Municipal: Villa Hidalgo

Población Indígena: 23. Lénguas Indígenas NAHUATL y HUASTECO.

This most recent online search reveals that perhaps there are only 23 residents in Villa Hidalgo that are Indigenous and the two native languages spoken are Nahuatl (Aztec?) and Huasteco. The Huasteca tribe is the one that was most predominant in the state of San Luis Potosí and their musical style is still popular in the area. Villa Hidalgo is the closest town to the ranchos and where official documents are maintained

Villa Hidalgo got its name in 1854, from Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla a Catholic priest and leader in the war for independence from Spain.  At the end of this year the name was changed to Villa Iturbide, the Royal House of México. In 1928 the legislature changed its name back to Villa Hidalgo


Our Family Tree

In the beginning, there were 5 brothers. Quirino, Bartolo, Julio, Catarino and Juan. Two of the brothers married two sisters from the Loredo family. Julio (1895-1982) married Eustolia (1891-1985) and Bartolo (1886-1981) married Diega (1891-1935), Bartolo and Diega being our grandparents. One of the other sisters, Gabina, married Porfirio Castillo. Even though Porfirio was not part of our DNA tribe, he was nonetheless a Castillo except he was from one of the other ranchos in the same area. And Porfirio’s brother, Lorenzo (Lencho) wound up marrying Lorenza Loredo. I have no idea who Guadalupe settled down with.

We all share the same great grandmother, Nicolasa Cuevas, or Mama Gasa, as she was affectionately known.  She lived out her final years in Long Beach and thankfully was part of our lives when many of us were young kids. All of the Castillo’s and Loredo’s were raised in the area of the Rincon del Refugio in San Luis Potosí, and this is where our ancestors have lived since who knows how long back in history. However, I think that possibly the Loredo clan may be from the area known as Armadillo de los Infante. Its close by, and I think this because they had several events conducted in this area. But its just a guess.

Of the 5 brothers, the offspring of Bartolo and Julio wound up settling in CA, with the offspring of Julio and Eustolia producing a huge amount of Castillo’s that probably number in the hundreds and are too numerous to know all of them. Juan and Quirino remained in the Rincón where they lived out their remaining years. Catarino settled in Laredo, Texas. Additionally, some of Julio and Eustolia’s offspring married into some of the Zamarripa family whose roots are tied into a rancho named Temescal, which is not too far from the rancho, La Sequedad. So we wind up having quite a number of relatives through marriage to whom many of us are close to. Two of my Mom’s brothers, Fidel and Teofilo, wound up settling in Wisconsin. My Mom’s other brother, Bartolo, would eventually settle down in Laredo, Texas. And of course, Mom’s two other brothers, Gabriel and Norberto, settled in Cali. So our clans are spread out around the country. One of Bartolo’s brothers, Quirino, wound up having one of his Grandaughters, Loma, settle down in Illinois, so we have a number of family in that part of the country as well.

Abuelo and Abuela moved to Texas in 1935,most likely to work the cotton fields, when the kids were quite young. Tío Beto recalls that Abuela became very ill and since they were in a remote area there was no medical help available. Tío seems to recall that Abuela died from pneumonia at the age of 44. She is buried in the town of Asa, not too far from Waco, Texas. After Abuela’s passing, Abuelo moved the family back to San Luis Potosí.

Mom (1913-2001) and Dad (1892-1974) wound up settling down in Valley Mills, Texas, in 1938 and remained there with Carmen and Licha being born Texans. Not entirely sure of the year, but around the early 40’s, Mom and Dad wound up moving to Long Beach, CA where they lived for a few years at 22438 Alameda St., until they moved and settled down in Hawaiian Gardens.


Family History in Fotos (1)



Abuelita Diega 1891-1935Mama Gasa 2 (2)

Diega Loredo, our Abuela, and our her Mom, Nicolasa Cuevas (Mama Gasa), our great grandmother


Gumecindo Perez
Gumesindo Perez, Dad’s primo

Family History in Fotos (2)


Quirino and Juan
Tia Maria, Tio Quirino, Tio Juan, Tia Regina

Dad (1892 – 1974)

Dad, Gabino, was born on February 19th, 1892 and passed away on September 27th, 1974. He was 21 years older than Mom who was born in 1913

Not too much is known about Dad’s personal history, it is actually a bit of a mystery. He did not originate from the area of the Rincon but possibly an area to the west of there. I have tried to research his records and found one website that had his birthplace as Mexico City.

Gabino Rios_edited-1

This document seems accurate as it lists his death place in Long Beach, so guessing when I entered his date of birth and this came  up, it might be right. But, when he re-entered the US in 1921 through Eagle Pass, Texas, he listed his birth place on his immigration document as San Luis Potosí. No way to tell which is right as no documents have been found that shows where he was actually born

Then when he crossed over to Texas in 1917, the immigration document lists his last place of residence as Aguascalientes. Could be that during this time the revolution in Mexico made him move around and this is where he resided in 1917

Dad 1917

When I was quite  young I spent time talking to Dad about his early years. Being of young age at that time I naturally figured I would always retain those shared conversations. Now I only have some glimpses of those recollections, some of which I will share.

One of those things that is still very confusing is who his real Mother was. I recall ever since I was a kid, once in awhile Dad or Mom would mention his Mother’s name, Espiridiona. Her name appears on his death certificate as Espiridiona Contreras. But when going through Mom’s trunk, where she stored documents and photographs, we came across his passport application of 1921 and on this document his parents are listed as someone with surnames of Garcia for his mother and Ramos for his father. I have no clue as to the names listed on the document and don’t of course ever recall Dad mentioning these names. Searches using these surnames have drawn blanks as well.

With some help from Maria Caldera Mitchell, a cousin from my Dad’s side who resides in Houston, I have found some other info on Dad’s Mom, Espiridiona. She was born possibly in 1848 or 1846, Hacienda de Bocas, SLP. Her parents are listed as Sostenes  Rios and Jesusa Saucedo. With two of her children, no spouse is listed, it appears they were born out of wedlock. With one child it notes the child’s father is unknown, and with the other child, it merely lists her as being single.

Melquiades was Dad’s sister and she was born in 1883 in Villa de Santiago del Rio, San Luis Potosí. She married in 1909 to Santos Caldera at Nuevo Leon, Coahuila. We are related to the Caldera clan from Gomez Palacio through this marriage. Melquiades had a girl, Esidia, born in 1912. In 1913 she had another girl, Angela, and she is the one that came to visit us in the early 70’s. Her granddaughter is Maria. In 1919 she had a son, Pedro Calamaco, but he died in 1919. Another child, Marcial was born and died in 1909. Her husband, Santos, died in 1918. Melquiades passed away in 1960 at Gomez Palacio, Chihuahua.

One of Dad’s brothers, Delfino, was born in 1885 at Villa Ahualulco, San Luis Potosí. He married Eloisa Perez in 1921 at Hacienda el Alamito, San Pedro, Coahuila. They had a daughter, Eulalia, in 1922, then tragically, Delfino passed away from the flu the same year.

On Delfino’s birth registration it notes that his mother, Espiridiona Rios, was 40 at this time, so if this is accurate, then she was born in 1845, although one baptism record shows her baptism occurring in 1848.

I was unable to find any hard evidence of either Espiridona’s or Dad’s birth record so we may never know where they were born for sure. On the death registration for Espiridiona in 1904, it notes that she was originally from Hacienda de Bocas when she passed away in 1904 at Hacienda de las Esperanzas in Coahuila.

And was also unable to find any concrete evidence on Anastacio or Cruz as well, two brothers Dad had talked about. There are plenty of records with these names but none show a connection our Rios family. Searches failed to turn up their birth or baptism records.

On a suggestion from Chaug, I did a search on Dad using an older birth date. So instead of searching in 1892, I extended the search all the way back to 1882 and came up with a possible hit. On a document I found for this year, a Feliciano Rios is  reporting a birth of Gabino Rios but in Mexico City, DF. This is a long way from San Luis Potosí, but on another record I found a few years ago, it listed him being born in Mexico City, DF, and his death as 1974, Long Beach, CA. So this record appears correct except it did not include any other details except for place of birth. The real odd thing is that when Feliciano presented him for birth registration, he tells the municipal office that Gabino’s parents are unknown. So was Dad an orphan? No way to really find that out now. And searches for Feliciano didn’t turn up anything even though his last name was also Rios. It was the first time I had come across his name.

Dad also had a cousin, Gumesindo Perez, living in Colton, that he used to visit and took us along for the ride. Never knew how we were related, just that we were. In 2019 I came across some records that had clues as to how we were related. Dad’s Mom, Espiridiona Rios, had parents listed on her death registration as Sostenes Rios and Jesusa Saucedo. Then on her baptism record, these same parents are listed again. When I was searching for info on the Perez clan, I came across a baptism record for Lázara Rios and her parents were listed as Sostenes Rios and Jesusa Saucedo. This would mean that Espiridiona and Lázara were sisters. Lázara had a daughter, Eulogia Rios, who wound up marrying Pomposo Perez. One of their children was Gumesindo Perez, Dad’s cousin. So now this would explain how we came to be related to the Perez clan from Colton. Through some of this new information I found that Dad had an uncle, Juan Rios, brother to Espiridiona and Lázara. He was born in 1853 and died in 1938, San Luis Potosí. He also had a few Tías: Maria Asencion, 1861, Maria Arcadia 1859. Another Tío was Dionicio born in 1855

So far it appears that the Rios and Perez clans both had baptisms and marriages at the same place, San Miguel Mexquitic de Carmona, San Luis Potosí. But, both clans were also originally from Rancho de Bocas and Hacienda de Bocas, both very close to each other but a good distance away from San Miguel.

Some of our ancestors settled in Colton, CA, as did Gumesindo and his parents, Pomposo and Eulogia. Through census records I found that there were several Rios families that settled in Colton, sort of next door to the Perez families. There was Pomposo and his wife Eulogia, Eustacio and Secundina, Gumesindo and Lucina, Juan and Paula, and Jose and Sarah. All of the families lived very close to one another, mostly around K and L streets in Colton, Ca. But with so many Rios families living next to Gumesindo, why didn’t Dad tell us about them, or at least visit them while we were in Colton visiting with Gumesindo. The Perez and Rios families grew up and lived next to one another in San Luis Potosí at the Hacienda de Bocas area, then looks like they all moved to and lived around Mexquitic de Carmona in San Luis Potosí before a lot of them followed each other and finally residing in Colton, CA. Anyone’s guess as to why there wasn’t any communication between Dad and his many relatives, perhaps there was some horrible incident that happened in the old country or in Texas that caused the rift. All of the people that might know are gone now so we will never know what happened.

One of the earliest recollections of our conversations was he told me that before marrying Mom, he had been married before. All I can recall is that his family all perished, from what or how I don’t recall or if he ever explained that to me or how many children he had, if any. During a search in 2019, I stumbled across some cemetery records with the Rios last name in Asa, Texas. The segregated Santa Cruz cemetery in Asa is the same cemetery where grandmother Diega Loredo and her infant daughter, Ynasia are buried. I found one infant whose father is listed as Gavino Rios. Then I found another child, Sanguano, also listing the father as Gavino Rios. Both of the death records I was able to find show the father as Gavino Rios and the mother as Dominga Lopez. The infant Rios was born on July 10th, 1927 and it shows that the infant died of colitis on July 21st, 1927. The other child was born on May 6th, 1925 and died of whooping cough on July 27th, 1926. The mother, Dominga, died on July 9th, 1927, just after giving birth, according to the death certificate. What I have found in the search for historical records are many contradictions in dates. Dominga’s death certificate shows her death as July 9th and the infant child being born on July 10th and dying on July 21st. The attending doctor wrote her death information on the certificate but it does not add up when the infant is supposedly born one day after her death, then dying later in the month, yet the certificate notes she died at childbirth. But the find of these three individuals does add up to what Dad had told me about his first family dying. He never did say if this first family was in México or Texas. But all this took place in the Waco area and this is where he settled down with Mom after they were married in 1938 in Waco. All this info was found by accident while looking up info on the Santa Cruz cemetery hoping to find great grandfather Norberto buried there, instead maybe discovered Dad’s first family. At the time of death, Dominga Lopez was 34 years of age, one year younger than Dad. Her father’s last name was Lopez and her mother’s last name was Morey. I looked up this surname and it is Scottish. The Scots began arriving in Texas in the early 1800’s and the county of McLennon is named after one Scot as is the city of Cameron near Waco

Would have made for a great book if I had been intuitive enough to jot down some notes of our conversations.

One of the other memories is from when he was a young man. All I do remember is that he and his brothers worked in a slaughterhouse. Dad told me that this is where all new cuss words are invented.  His brothers were Delfino, Anastacio and Cruz. With Maria’s help, I found he also had a sister, Melquiades Rios. She was born about 1883 and married in 1909 to Santos Caldera. This is how  we came to be related to Maria Caldera from the Gomez Palacio area. I don’t recall seeing any letters from his brothers in Mom’s trunk. Around 1970 or so, one of Dad’s relatives, his niece Angela Caldera, came to visit us. Guessing she was around 50 or 60 when she came by. Like a dummy I didn’t grill her about any other relatives of Dad living in the old country. I do remember that she was from the area of Gomez Palacio which I believe is in the state of Chihuahua.


The above is from a journal we found in Mom’s trunk. It was written by Dad’s brother, Delfino. He appears to have been the official secretary to this men’s organization from 1920, the year the Revolución ended. It might appear to say “Group of Fresno #3”

Book of Meetings of the Defense Society Membership followed by Installed Directive.

Delfino took notes from sessions of their meetings, all from 1920, dating from January through April of that year. This might be part of a series of notes but this journal was the only one found. There isn’t any specific mention of the nature of this society, but since it mentions Defense in its title, it might have something to do with the violence of the Revolución. In one of the sessions, the president of the society does refer to being or having better safety. The members are noted to be delegates so possibly they each represented a community. There were usually about 25-30 members at each meeting and the meetings were always in the evening. The last entry is Delfino’s resignation. He is not specific as to the reason for his resignation but does it with much humility and dignity. A copy of his resignation is below.


All of the aforementioned meetings took place in Matamoros, Coahuila, which is close to Torreon, Coahuila, and Gomez Palacio in the state of Chihuahua. Delfino was born in 1885 in Ahualulco, San Luis Potosí, and died in 1922 from the flu. He married Eloisa Perez and they had a daughter, Eulalia Rios, in 1921 at Coahuila. Eulalia passed away in 1983 at 95 years of age.

With help from Maria, she found from her family that a lot of the Rios clan perished in San Luis Potosí and they moved to the Coahuila area around the turn of the century.

Dad married Mom on February 5th, 1938, at St. Francis Church in Waco, Texas. Mom and Dad’s courtship was anything but normal. Mom and Dad never did tell us of their marriage details so I suppose we all assumed they were married in the rancho like everyone else. Many years later it came out in conversation with some family members that Abuelo Bartolo was not keen to them getting married. Dad never even mentioned how they met. But one thing seems to be sure and that was Abuelo was not going to give his blessing. My Abuela, Diega, passed away in Asa, Texas, in 1935. Upon her death my Tío Beto recalls they all returned to the rancho. So sometime soon after, either Dad kidnapped my Mom or they just eloped and went back to Texas. Legend has it that Abuelo found out where they went and he came gunning for Dad. So that might explain why they quietly married in this small church. Supposedly the local priest gave them shelter from Abuelo. The witnesses at their wedding were two people that don’t sound like relatives, they just wanted to get married and didn’t have a wedding celebration with any family in attendance.

Dad crossed over to the US for the first time in 1917 through Laredo, Texas. The Revolución was coming to an end in 1920 and Dad may have been cut loose due to a few wounds he suffered. I remember once when he was admitted to the hospital they found some shrapnel in his chest area. And on one of his wrists he showed me two bumps instead of one where he had gotten wounded another time. I don’t recall if he ever told me where he fought. A couple of things about this time I do recall, one was where he was present and witnessed Pancho Villa shoot someone dead in front of the men, guess it was execution style. He also related to me that food was hard to come by when they had to travel and sometimes they would eat a horse or just pull chile off a tree and eat that as there wasn’t anything else to eat.

There seems to be a recollection about his time in the Revolución. I was pretty young but I am pretty certain I saw a six shooter he brought with him from the old country. I think it was stored above our old shower stall when we lived in the old house. I never saw it again and didn’t even think about it till a few years ago. It’s not in the house anywhere that I know of so maybe my Mom gave it to one of her brothers for safe keeping.

When we were all very young I can still remember Dad liking to smoke non-filtered Camels and I think Lucky Strike cigarettes. He also would buy some tobacco in the blue Bugle Boy tins and roll his own, but I don’t think he did that too often.  He liked his wine too, like in real cheap Thunderbird wine. He would hide it in our shed and we always knew where it was stashed and we would sometimes steal a swig here and there. Safe to say it was not going to win any wine tasting contest.


Who is Guiferial Rios? This is another mystery from Dad’s family. The above document is what was used during World War ll when rations were a way of life for everyone. Food and gas purchases needed this booklet and/or stamps to make purchases. When we found these in Mom’s trunk I was befuddled by the name on this booklet. It is obviously not a typo and there is a booklet for Dad and Gabriel. Neither of my Tío’s was in the US during this time so they have no clue as to this might be. I googled the heck out this name on various web sites with not one hit. I remember when I was probably maybe around 12 when Mom showed me the booklets and stamps to try and explain how they lived in the recent past. Of course I paid no attention and didn’t read the entries on each booklet. Too bad. Maybe a relative of Dad lived with us for a while but no one seems to remember. So this mystery will continue as to who this person was. You can see our old address in Long Beach on the top booklet for Gabriel.

Dad worked in the carpentry business, not exactly sure as to what he did. Before he had a car he would walk to work somewhere far off, maybe Long Beach. Nowadays we drive our cars just to go get the paper. That’s a time when Men were Men. I do recall a couple of times Dad took us to his work site when he finally got a car. My brother and I would just hang out on the job site picking up empty soda bottles to sell later on. That was one good way to earn a little money back then. Dad would sometimes gather up some of the leftover electrical wiring and bring it home. In the back by the chicken coop he would pile it up and burn off the insulation material. Then when he would have enough copper wire he would take it to a metal recycler and sell it. It was always something to look forward to when he got home from work and we would open his lunch pail to see if he had any good left overs so we could wolf it down. Guess we never had enough to eat in those days.

I think Dad’s first car was maybe a Pontiac. I still can’t get over how gross it was when we were out driving around and being in the seat behind Dad when he hacked big loogie out his window and the spray would come in through the back window. Yuck!

Dad also belonged to a Men’s Society at Holy Family Church in Artesia. I remember he would wear his suit to the 7:00 a.m. mass and he would help collect the donations in the little baskets. Every now and then there would be a fundraiser dance at the gym next to the church and he would always volunteer to help with the cleanup the next morning. Somehow we would always get volunteered to help clean up with him too.

Dad had a bit of a gut on him when he retired. Don’t remember when, but diabetes eventually changed his physical appearance and he lost a lot of weight towards the end. Mom had to change his diet quite a bit and that really got to him. Especially the salt and chili’s he liked to eat. He and I both liked to munch on the peppers besides some salsa Mom was always making.

Towards the end he always said he didn’t want to die in a hospital, he wanted to die at home. But on his last incident he had to go to Long Beach Community Hospital on Signal Hill. Myself, Mom and little Tacho went to visit with him and he was  feeling good. We all hugged him when we left for the night. But Dad said to me when we hugged, “I don’t feel like I’m going to die”, guess he somehow knew the end was near.

Later that evening Dad passed away in the hospital.


Mom (Tula) (1913 – 2001)

What I am remember from my earliest memories of Mom, is she was always doing something. When she wasn’t in the kitchen cooking, making tortillas, she was either washing clothes, cleaning, or sewing our clothes. Mom used a Singer sewing machine that was operated by a foot pedal and she made  dresses and shirts on it. I barely remember when Dad would wake up early to get to work and of course Mom would be up making him his chow and getting him some coffee for his breakfast. I don’t know why any of us has not died of a heart attack by now as I always remember Mom using Farmer John  manteca to cook for everything. We used to buy the lard in a big giant tub as we used to go through the stuff pretty good. And when  Mom wasn’t using the Farmer John manteca she would save the grease from bacon and use that later on in something else. But the lard is what gave Mom’s flour tortillas the great flavor. In the kitchen, every now and then, Mom would drop some dishes or a pot or pan, and when that happened she would always say “Hay viene la visita”, company is coming over.

Seems like Mom was always making some salsa too using her molcajete. That was pretty hard work but she never complained. Nowadays have to guess almost no one uses the molcajete to make salsa, it’s easier to use a blender

Ever since I can remember Mom always went all out for Christmas. Setting up the manger with all the little animals and the wise men all around the empty manger. At Christmas Eve, I think, was when she would have us help her sing the carols and lay baby Jesus to rest in the manger. Then after this we would all chow down on tamales she always made for the celebration.

Since Mom grew up in the hills she knew about crops and gardening. In the vacant lot next to the old house Mom grew vegetables for our consumption. Corn, squash, tomatoes and of course chili.

Another part of our daily diet was chicken and rabbit. Mom and Dad had a chicken coop in the back yard of the old house. We had a few chickens and one big nasty rooster to take care of the hens. It was sort of an adventure when we took turns to get eggs out of the coop as the rooster would try to scratch you with his claws. Every now and then Mom would take out one of the hens for dinner. She would get the hen to lay down and place the neck on a chopping block, then whack! Off with her head! It was sad to see but fascinating for us as kids to watch the headless chicken flop all over the place squirting blood.

While we were all very young, Mom would have us walk with her to the ranch to pick string beans at Tanaka’s Farm, usually on the weekends and during the summer too. This was located somewhere by Centralia and where the 605 freeway is now. There was one other ranch we used to work at where Forest Lawn Cemetery is now. Same thing, picking string beans.

Mom was involved in the church choir as soon as St. Peter Chanel opened for business in the Gardens. She was joined by Tía Juanita and Tía Paula too.

None of us ever asked Mom about how she met Dad and their early life. So it has been a journey trying to unravel  this mystery of our parents. Recently I found out from Tío Beto and Tía Paula, that after our Abuela Diega passed away in 1935, Abuelo Bartolo and the remainder of the family stayed in the Waco area until 1937. It was then that Abuelo wanted to head back to the rancho in San Luis Potosi. Tío Beto recalls that by this time, he was 8, and he remembers that Mom was already “novia” with Dad. And that didn’t sit well with Abuelo and was the reason he wanted to go back to the rancho to get Mom away from Dad. On the night they were to begin the trek home, Mom hid and took off and went into hiding. Tío does not know who she went to stay with, but she had friends in Waco, probably from the church there. So she stayed hidden until Mom and Dad were married in secret at St. Francis Church in Waco, Texas, on February 5th, 1938. They settled down in Valley Mills, Texas while working on a farm in the area at least until 1942 when Dad had to register for the draft in 1942 at the age of 50.

Abuela, Diega Loredo, (1891 -1935)

Abuela Diega Loredo had four sisters: Eustolia, Lorenza, Gabina and Guadalupe. All of the sisters eventually married men whose last name was Castillo although not all were related, merely from different clans. Gabina married Porfirio and Eustolia married Julio who was abuelo Bartolo’s brother. So we have two sisters marrying two brothers, Eustolia marrying Julio and Diega marrying Bartolo.

Abuela Diega passed away at a very young age from pneumonia while in Texas, mostly likely there helping to pick cotton or other crops before returning back to El Rincón. I can recall Tío Beto relating to me that although he was quite young when this happened, he remembers they were in a very rural area which means that no medical help was close by to help.

Our grandparents lost two children, both very young, and probably due to the rural location they were in, suffered premature deaths. The first child, Ynasia, passed at 7 months old from acute indigestion in 1919.Ynasia Castillo Death Certificate

The second child, Cecelio, passed in 1922 from pneumonia at about 3 months of age. Unimaginable to know how devastating this was to our grandparents. These were tough times for everyone, medical care not a given for anyoneCesilio Castillo Death Certificate

But Abuela somehow dealt with these losses and continued to care for the family, traveling back and forth between San Luis Potosí and Texas until she finally succumbed to pneumonia in 1935 at the young age of 44

Diega Loredo Castillo Death jpeg

Abuela’s death certificate, 1935, Asa, TX

004 Abuelas Headstone, Waco, Tejas

007 Abuelita and Mom

Abuela and Mom, maybe Mom was around a teenager at this time

005 Mom & Abuelita

Painting done of Mom, Abuela and one of the boys. Original was in color