Jovita Idar was born in Laredo, Texas in 1885 to Nicasio Clemente and Jovita Vivero and was one of eight children. In 1903 at the age of 18 years she earned a teaching certificate from the Holding Institute in Laredo and taught in a small school but the conditions in which she had to teach Mexican children so frustrated her that she decided to join her two
brothers as a writer for her father’s newspaper “La Cronica.” She believed that by becoming a journalist and an activist she would be more effective in changing the deplorable conditions that existed in the public schools for Mexican children. During this time, Mexican school children were completely segregated and, in many occasions, totally excluded.
Throughout 1910 and 1911 she wrote weekly articles that called for equal educational treatment and exposed the extreme discrimination against Mexican children in the public schools. In addition, Jovita Idar started writing about the atrocities being committed by the Texas Rangers against Mexicans. She wrote about the lynching and hanging of a Mexican child in Thorndale, Texas by the Texas Ranchers and the brutal burning at the stake of 20 year old Antonio Rodriguez in Rocksprings, Texas. Of Antonio Rodriguez, she wrote, “The crowd cheered when the flames engulfed his
contorted body. They did not even turn away at the smell of his burning flesh and I wondered if they even knew his name. There are so many dead that sometimes I can’t remember all their names.”