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Anita Ailer Ayala Photograph Collection

Identifier: PICT-000-166

Scope and Content

This collection contains black-and-white photographs (13 x 18 cm or smaller) from 1934 with typewritten text on back. The photos show pupils and teachers at the Rationalist or Socialist Schools of Tabasco, where agricultural practice was taught in post-Revolutionary Mexico. Children are shown working in fields, attending lectures and demonstrations about farming, operating farm machinery, weaving straw, and on the playground. The photo captions are both explanatory and propagandistic. A number of comments refute allegations attributed to a Jesuit named Kenney, who is said to have slandered, in a sensationalistic manner, the school and its teaching methods. Comments reflect Post-revolutionary ideology, issues of agrarian and educational reform, and conflicts between Church and State.

One student is identified as Lenin Garrido Llovera, son of the Governor, while younger students are shown at "open-air" schools named after Plutarcho Elias Calles and Alvaro Obregón. The larger group portrait shows Rodolfo Elias Calles and Tomás Garrido Canabal, Governors of the Mexican states of Sonora and Tabasco, with Yaqui Indian schoolchildren. Photo captions on back are in Spanish.


  • 1934

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for copyright compliance. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.


In the "Foreign News" section of its November 5, 1934 issue, Time magazine published a short news item on Mexico entitled "Facts of Life." This article included the following criticism:

"In politics and economics the [Mexican] Government [then run by the National Revolutionary Party] sees everything through pinko-socialist glasses. It rejects religion as a fraud, holding that God does not exist. As to sex, the Government favors teaching even little boys and girls all about themselves. Last week pious parents throughout Mexico were inciting their offspring to play hooky from schools in which such things are taught."

In response to this report was a series of correspondence between Anita Ailer Ayala, a teacher from Longfellow School in New Mexico, and the Constitutional Governor of Tabasco, Tomás Garrido C. Ayala expresses her gratitude to the Governor of Tabasco for his affirmation that "the horrid article in Time magazine was, as [she] knew it to be, untrue." It appears that she used information sent by the Governor in presentations to different audiences to support her claim that "the Mexican school system is one of the most wonderful systems in the world," expounding on her respect for the socialist system.


19 items (1 folder) : 19 photographic prints ; 13 x 18 cm or smaller


This collection of black-and-white photos (with typewritten text on back) shows pupils and teachers at the Rationalist or Socialist Schools of Tabasco, Mexico, where agricultural practices were taught in post-Revolutionary Mexico.

Physical Location

B2. Small Collections Box 3. Filed by Pictorial Number.

Alternate Format Available

Two photographs from the Anita Ailer Ayala Photograph Collection are available online via New Mexico Digital Collections.

Separated Material

Photographs were separated from Anita Ailer Ayala letters


Contact Information

  1. University of New Mexico
  2. MSC05 3020, 1, University of New Mexico
  3. Center for Southwest Research
  4. Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
  5. Phone: 505-277-0060
  6. Fax:
  7. Email:
  8. URL:
Finding Aid of the Anita Ailer Ayala Photograph Collection, 1934
Processed by L. Kolller
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131