Our History



The formation of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas on November 21, 1987, in Dallas Texas, involved the mobilization of hundreds of women seeking to make a difference in their respective communities.   Decades later, HWNT members continue creating positive change through volunteer programs and partnerships advancing educational, cultural, social, and economic needs.  True to its mission statement, HWNT promotes the participation of Hispanic women in public, corporate, and civic life.

Today with the use of technology at our fingertips, programs such as Café con Leche and Platicas Poderosas embody current and important personal and professional development for our membership.  Panel discussions at monthly meetings draw on local subject matter experts and advance learning opportunities in supportive settings.  Equally important, our HWNT members organize and lead the educational series entitled Latinas in Progress™ (LIP) which prepares 11th and 12th grade students for college and college and doctoral students for specific institutional and academic requirements.  Most recently, scholarships are now available to HWNT members who are nontraditional students or seek advance certifications.

A statewide organization for Hispanic women was a recognized void in 1986.  Six women are credited with conceptualizing the Network and mobilizing efforts with the first corporate funds from Anheuser-Busch via Jim Estrada, marketing and community relations manager.  In San Antonio long-time community activist Mary Alice Cisneros, San Antonio ISD Trustee Christine Hernandez, and voter registration advocate Lupe Ochoa met with Jim.  Shortly thereafter, in Austin, Southwestern Bell Division Manager Martha Hinojosa Nadler, the late State Representative Lena Guerrero, and Travis County Voter Registrar Amalia Rodriguez Mendoza shared their vision with Jim.

With the Anheuser-Busch funds a steering committee of Hispanic women throughout Texas used the year to write by-laws and the organizational structure.  The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) received and disbursed the funds.  MALDEF Attorney Norma Cantu and Dora Tovar provided guidance to the Steering Committee and organized the Dallas conference.  The birth of HWNT as a non-profit organization was a celebratory event.  Since our inception, over 1800 Hispanic women have served in a leadership capacity and equally important their contributions have provided positive change ten-fold in communities throughout Texas.



Founding Members

Mary Alice Cisneros

Late Beloved Honorable Lena Guerrero

Christine Hernandez

Amalia Rodriguez Mendoza

Martha Hinojosa Nadler

Lupe Ochoa


Past State Chairs

2022-2023 Sandra Garcia, Fort Woth, TX

2020-2021 Sandy Alcala, Austin, TX

2019-2022 Nora Silva, San Antonio, TX

2017-2018 Anette Soto Landeros, Fort Worth, TX

2015-2016 Dora Trinidad Campos, San Antonio, TX

2013-2014 Dr. Mary Jane Garza, Corpus Christi, TX

2011-2012 Mary Ann Kellam, Dallas, TX

2009-2019 Rita Rodriguez Utt, Fort Worth, TX

2007-2008 Carmen Garcia, Dallas, TX

2004-2006 Dr. Adela Gonzalez, Fort Worth, TX

2002-2004 Lupe Morin, Austin, TX

2000-2002 Sylvia Arriola, San Antonio, TX

1997-2000 Cecilia McKay, Dallas, TX

1994-1996 Pearl Garza Fracchia, Dallas, TX

1992-1994 Linda Escamilla, Austin, TX

1990-1992 Martha Hinojosa Nadler, Dallas, TX

1987-1990 Maria Luisa Mercado, Lubbock, TX