Eulalia Bravo Bravo was born in the municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Hidalgo, Mexico, on 12 February 1913. Her parents were Deciderio Bravo Rivera and María Bravo Chávez. She had a half-brother, the son of her mother named Magdaleno Chávez. Months after she was born, her mother abandoned her, leaving her in the care of her father, with whom she spent the first years of her life in the home located in Bhata, Chilcuautla Municipality, Hidalgo. Her father was raising pigs and selling the meat by touring the nearby ranches. Her father was busy with his work and didn’t have enough time to raise her, so he decided to take her to Nopala City to the home of his sisters, Trinidad and Maria, where he left Eulalia in their care. By the time she was 11, both of her aunts got married and were not able to take care of her anymore, so Eulalia moved to live with another aunt, Victoriana, who was her godmother at baptism. However, she didn’t live with her for a long time, since her uncle Rodrigo took her in when she was 12, and she moved to Dañu, Nopala Municipality.
Her uncle had a grocery store in partnership with a man named Procopio. Her uncle thought that Eulalia could help him in the store and asked her if she knew how to use the scale and if she knew addition, subtraction, and division. She knew how to use the scale, but didn’t know division, only addition. Her uncle considered it was enough, so she started helping him in the store. The first shop was closed, but her uncle later opened a new one that, besides groceries, also offered alcoholic beverages. Due to its proximity to the railway station, the Mexican Post Office assigned the store to deliver mail, so the town residents often met at the store to find out if they had any letters to pick up. After people gathered inside the store, Eulalia called people out loud, delivered the letters, and sealed the delivery documentation.
After many years, her mother, regretful for abandoning her, returned, wanting to get her daughter back, but other family members prevented her, especially her uncle, Rodrigo. The family decided to keep an eye on her to the point of not taking her to school. She learned to read and write at home with private tutors. She worked and lived with her uncle until she was 28 years old. Since she lived with him for many years, she calls him her “father” to this day.
In 1940, at the age of 27, she was pregnant and the family decided to take her to Celaya, Guanajuato, where she would be assisted in labor. Her first daughter, Amalia, was born there, and her second daughter, María del Carmen, was born five years later. The father was not present, so she struggled alone to raise her daughters.
At the age of 30, she left her uncle’s home and moved to San Luis Potosi with her two daughters. She got a job in another grocery store after she met a merchant whom she had previously met while working with her uncle. Before leaving for San Luis Potosí, she met Manuel Fernández Medina, who became her suitor. They had a long-distance relationship and communicated through letters. In each letter he sent, he always began by saying: “I’m writing to greet you, my unforgettable Lalita”. Manuel was a widower who had no children from his first marriage. After several months of living in San Luis Potosí, she lived in Querétaro for a short time before moving to Huichapan, Hidalgo, where Manuel lived. In 1949, before getting married, they decided to emigrate to Pachuca de Soto, Hidalgo. In the beginning, they lived in a rented house on Patoni Street. They got married on 29 January 1950 in the parish of Santa Ana Querétaro. At the time, she was 36, while her husband was 52. Her third child, a son named Manuel, was born in 1950. The couple had three more children, Raul (born 1952), Elena (born 1953), and Yolanda (born 1956).
According to her family, she was very active and hardworking, she contributed to the expenses of the house, raised animals to sell, sewed other people’s clothes, used to make mattresses for beds, sold coal for some time, and later opened a grocery store. She closed the store in 1970. In 1979, her children decided to tear down their old house and build a new one at the same location, which is where she currently lives. In 1984, her husband passed away at the age of 90. She was 71 at the time. One of her main goals was for her children to have a professional career and a stable future, so she continued working even after the passing of her husband. During this time, she learned to sew by hand, with a hook and needle, which led her to start making clothing for her family, and even some for sale. By the time she was 100, she stopped sewing on the doctor’s recommendation.
At the age of 110, she had 13 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and 10 great-great-grandchildren.
Eulalia Bravo currently lives in Pachuca de Soto, Hidalgo, Mexico.