The Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez School and the revolution in Sinaloa


Narrated by Enrique Vega Ayala Official Chronicler of Mazatlan

The revolution:

In the building where the Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez School is located, the conspirators who confronted the official candidate of the Porfirismo to Governor of the state met in 1909. There they met at the invitation of Don Andrés Avendaño and Don Francisco Valadés, the gentlemen Heriberto Frías, Miguel Retes,, Dámaso Sotomayor, among others, to form the “Club Democrático Sinaloense” that nominated journalist José Ferrel as a candidate to replace General Francisco Cañedo in the state government. The position had become vacant when he died, in June 1909, when this Sinaloa leader, who had assumed the governorship, was in office, almost simultaneously with the rise of Don Porfirio Díaz to the Presidency of the Republic.

The campaign between Ferrel and Redo for the government of the State is considered one of the most important antecedents of the beginning in Sinaloa of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. The electoral fraud that is presumed was consummated against the candidacy of Ferrel, who had achieved a great popular push, prepared the environment so that the reception in Sinaloa Francisco I. Madero was otherwise successful. A good number of the “ferrelistas” leaders, aggrieved by the porfirista electoral machinery, joined Madero’s anti-reelectionist committees and, later, they led the ranks of the first groups that took up arms against the dictatorship. From the “Club Democrático Sinaloense” that drove the ferrelist campaign arose characters like Don Manuel Bonilla who came to serve as Secretary of Communications of the government of Francisco I Madero,



The house that today serves as headquarters for the Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez School was erected to the side from where the first work was carried out that radically modified the configuration of the low lands located between the hills of the Nevería, Vigía and Casamata between the dunes of Olas Altas, the South Beach and the Estero del Astillero (today Canal de Navegación). Thanks to the embankment with which the channel linking the tides of Olas Altas with the waters of Playa Sur (at the foot of Cerro de la Cruz, following more or less the line of the street that today is called Rigoberto Lewis), was blocked, he was able to give urban use to the land where what we now call the Historic Center is located. The space that was previously occupied by marshes and lagoons could be used in the second half of the 19th century for housing,

The current building of the Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez School, together with that of the Maritime Customs, are symbols of the challenge that the first Mazatlecos faced to make habitable land that seemed inhospitable.

The House where this School is currently located, at the southern end of the Paseo Olas Altas dates from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. According to Oses Cole-Isunza (The Complete Guide to Mazatlan, Mexico 1998, p.23), it seems that Ing. Natividad González was in charge of its construction. You can still see his initials NG in the window smithies. The land had belonged to the Porfirian governor of Sinaloa, General Francisco Cañedo. Ing. Natividad González acquired it, according to the same source, in 1895, for the sum of five hundred pesos. Ten years later he sold the farm to Don Andrés Avendaño, for $ 7,780 pesos.

By narration of Don José Cayetano Valadés (My Confessions, Mexico 1967, p.133), we know that around 1909 the house was inhabited by the family of Mr. Andrés Avendaño, co-owner of the newspaper El Correo de la Tarde and one of the promoters of the candidacy to governor of the state of Don José Ferrel, as an opponent of the official candidate of the Porfirian “scientists” Don Diego Redo.

In 1919 the house, central object of our description in this article, was acquired by the Melchers business group of German origin settled in our city since 1846. Later the government was made of it and was intended to house the School that still works there.

From 1959 the monument to the coats of arms of Sinaloa and Mazatlan was erected in front of it. In the grounds of the house, the gardens and balustrades, originally counted, have been lost to give more space to vehicular traffic.


The school:

According to the records located in the Municipal Archive, this school was born in 1879, intended to provide education only to girls. According to the nomenclatures that were handled at that time the said institution was assigned number two among those that existed in the city. Originally it worked in a small space that was adapted in the Municipal House, where the number one school that only received children also worked.

In the second decade of the twentieth century, at the height of the Revolution, with the authorization of the State Government, the City Council moved the facilities of School 2 to a part of what, in times of Porfiriato had been the Government House in Mazatlan , and that General Francisco Cañedo occupied in his frequent stays in our port. That official residence was located on the block that currently occupies the Hotel La Siesta. In this movement the institution also lost the municipal character it had, to join the state system that was beginning to be created.

A journalistic note in El Sol del Pacífico, published in November 1958, describes that, between 1917 and 1918, when he moved to the new space and moved to the state splits, he was able to count on six classrooms to serve the child population of girls in the port. .

Although there are no precise data in this regard, everything indicates that it was in the thirties when the change was made to the current headquarters of the School. By the 1940s, enrollment in that school barely reached 25 women per grade. The educational modernization promoted in the time of General Pablo Macías between 1944 and 1950 in Sinaloa led to the fact that by 1948 this school began to receive a male population, becoming a mixed school, as they were then called.

Source: SEL

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