Meeting “Mary Jane” was a lucky encounter

Story by Alejandra Ruiz

During our documentary photography trip to the village of  Doña Ana, we met a really interesting person.  I was walking with my two friends; they were waiting for me since I recently had knee surgery, and other students in the class were a lot of steps ahead of us.

Suddenly we saw a  woman coming from her house and hurrying toward us. We stopped to talk to her, but we didn’t know who she was. She introduced herself, her name is Maria de Jesus Garcia, most commonly known as “Mary Jane.”

Mary Jane Garcia, former state senator from southern New Mexico,  is standing outside her house and telling photojournalists the story of Doña Ana during field trip on April 2017. (Photo by Alejandra Ruiz)

She said that people called her Mary Jane because they couldn’t pronounce “Maria Chuchita” or Maria de Jesus. For those of you who don’t know, Mary Jane is a former state senator of New Mexico, and she helped her New Mexico constituents during her days on the senate. She’s also the daughter of the founders of the village of Doña Ana, located on El Camino Real.

“There’s a lot of history behind Doña Ana,” Mary Jane Garica said. “I’m really happy you girls are visiting,” said Mary Jane, also telling us a brief story about the history of Doña Ana. She also let us take pictures of her in front her house. Isn’t that awesome? I am thankful that I had the opportunity to meet her.

I guess one never knows who’s about to know. This taught me a lesson: It’s to always listen what people have to say, even more if you don’t know them. Listen and respect everybody. People can always  give you a big surprise.

“Angelito” from Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria Church in Do˜ña Ana is opening her wings during our field trip to the historic church. (Photo By Alejandra Ruiz)

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