In 1898, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Mendoza were the proud parents of a baby girl, Juana. Juana was born and raised on a farm in Mier Y Noriga, Mexico with her 5 brothers and 4 sisters.
Unfortunately, Juana and her family experienced the brutality of war during the Mexican Revolution. She recalls public hangings and many colorful stories of the famous revolutionary, Pancho Villa. The times were so dangerous that her father took his daughters and hid them in the mountains to keep the enemy from kidnaping them. Due to these turbulent times, Juana was never able to attend school.
In 1912, at the age of 14, Juana became the bride of Refugio Gonzalez. Her marriage was arranged by her parents and she remembers riding a horse as a bride. Refugio worked as a farmer and Juana became a full time housewife. The couple soon grew into a family that included 7 children with one being adopted.
As the Mexican Revolution progressed, living conditions for the family worsened. The Gonzalez's made the decision to escape to a better life in the United States in 1919. When they arrived in the U.S., they decided to settle down in Rosebud, Texas. There the family made a living farming. Refugio passed away in 1946 and by 1956 Juana moved to Petersburg, Texas. She lived there until she moved to a nursing facility in 1992.
Even though there were rough times, Juana kept a positive outlook on life. She loved to can foods, quilt and socialize with friend. She was also very active in the Catholic Church.
There are many bits of good advice that will help one lead a lengthy life. For Juana, the secret to her long life is centered around the strength she gains from her loving family and her faith in God.