Austin History Center

Maria Teresa Rabago Papers

Collection Summary

Creator: Rabago, Maria Teresa
Title: Maria Teresa Rabago Papers
Dates: 1980-2010
Dates (Bulk): 1993-2002
Abstract: The Maria Teresa Rabago Papers primarily document Rabago's involvement with civic, political and religious organizations in the Austin area, and the positions of responsibility she served within them. The papers capture Rabago's role in contributing to the Latinx community's development both in Austin and at the state level, from the 1980s up to her death in 2010. A small amount of personal material is included.
Accession number: AR.2011.027
Quantity: 5.8 linear feet (15 boxes)
Quantity .010 GB (281 files)
Location: Archives stacks, Digital storage
Language: English and Spanish
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Maria Teresa Rabago (Terrie) was born in Edinburg, Texas, to Juan Rabago and Maria Elena Hinojosa. Raised in a close-knit family with seven siblings, Rabago graduated from Edinburg High School in 1970, and went on to attend Pan American University in Edinburg where she studied marketing. She later obtained a degree from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin, with a concentration in Spanish.

After moving to Austin in 1980, Rabago held a series of professional positions, beginning with her job as Marking Information Coordinator at Execucom Systems (1980-1987), in which she marketed computer software to corporate executives and managers. She went on to work as an administrative assistant at the Spanish and Portuguese Department at the University of Texas (1987-1989) where her responsibilities included course scheduling, student registration and textbook liaison.

In 1990, Rabago obtained employment with the State Auditor's Office as a senior administrative assistant, before moving on to work in the same capacity at the Office of the State Comptroller from 1992 until her retirement in 2006. In addition to her service with the Comptroller's office, Rabago received her realtor's license in 1996, and her broker's license in 2006, the same year that she established the Rabago Realty Group, Inc. Rabago was also a freelance writer for The Austin Light, Texas Hispanic Magazine, Arriba, Art News, La Prensa and Good Life Magazine.

Little evidence of Rabago's personal life exists in her records. Rabago married her first husband, Gilbert Villarreal, Jr., in 1968, when she was seventeen years old. They divorced in 1974. She later married Austin artist Sam Coronado, Jr., in 1988; they divorced in 1991. Rabago had two daughters, Laura and Amber.

Rabago was a dedicated and involved member of the Austin Mexican American community, and worked with numerous organizations to advocate for equal employment and educational opportunities for disenfranchised groups, particularly young Latinas. She served on the boards of the Hispanic Women's Network of Texas, the Austin History Center, Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA), served as the president of the Austin chapter of the Hispanic Women's Network, and was a community advisor for Kappa Delta Chi at The University of Texas at Austin. Because of her many contacts and involvement in multiple organizations, Rabago played a key role in organizing a coalition of Mexican American organizations and individuals to address the Austin Independent School District redistricting issue in 1991. Due to her tireless efforts on behalf of her community, Rabago was honored by the Texas Legislature with House Resolution No. 2173 and Senate Resolution No. 32 after her death on December 20, 2010.

Scope and Contents

The Maria Teresa Rabago Papers (1980-2010; 5.8 linear feet; .003 GB) contain correspondence, articles, minutes, agendas, clippings, administrative, legal and financial records, photographs, posters, programs, invitations, brochures, floppy disks, videocassettes, audio cassettes, and printed materials documenting Rabago's involvement in Austin's Latinx community. Rabago's papers are arranged in six series, determined according to the original order of her records: Biographical/Personal, Organizations, Other Organizations, Political, Workshops and Events, and Other Formats.

The Biographical/Personal series (1980-2009; .45 linear feet) contains personal correspondence, daily and monthly planners, handwritten notes, awards and certificates, drafts of interviews and speeches, invitations, periodicals, brochures, programs, and ephemera. Examples of items which shed light on Rabago's personal life include a hand-painted birthday card from her husband Sam Coronado (1989), and a letter from her mother (1987). Other items pertain to Rabago's education and professional accomplishments, such as a certificate from the International Consortium of Real Estate Associations awarding Rabago with Transnational Referral Certification (2007), and a draft of her resume (1993) which details Rabago's service in numerous organizations, her educational background, and her professional experience.

The Organizations series (1980-2005, 3.2 linear feet; .0009 GB) is the largest in the holding and contains sub-series for organizations where Teresa's involvement generated substantial amounts of material that were clearly grouped together in the original order (usually in labeled folders and binders by year rather than format). Sub-series include: Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Hispanic Women's Network of Texas (HWNT), Kappa Delta Chi, Mexican American State Employees Association (MASEA), and St. Julia's Catholic Church. Materials in this series include guest speaker biographies, meeting minutes, membership rosters, brochures, membership applications, scholarship packets and applications, administrative records such as by-laws and parliamentary procedures, photographs, memorandums of understanding, sponsorship information, event fliers, and correspondence.

The Court Appointed Special Advocate sub-series (1994-1996) documents Teresa's involvement with the organization, both as a general member and as a board member starting in 1994. The Hispanic Women's Network sub-series (1988-2005), which constitutes the bulk of the Organization series, documents Rabago's prominent role both at the state level and in the Austin chapter. Rabago served in many capacities with HWNT, including Chair of the Culture Committee of the Austin Chapter, President of the Austin Chapter, and State board member. Notable activities that Teresa was involved in through HWNT include planning and securing participants for events such as Día de las Madres, Longhorn Leaders Day, Teen Parent Mentor Program, and Dia de los Ninos. The Kappa Delta Chi sub-series (2000-2001) contains documents primarily focusing on the general policies, procedures and guidelines of the sorority, pertaining to both the national organization and the local Pi chapter.

The Mexican American State Employees Association sub-series (1988-1994) documents the work Teresa did in her roles of Co-Director for Cultural Events (1992), Chair of the Communications Committee (1992), Chair of the Newsletter Committee (1992), Board Member, Interim Secretary of the Board, and ultimately Chair of the Board of Directors (1993). The St. Julia's Church sub-series (1980-2000) includes material on the church, the Father Joe Znotas Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Leadership TYMME event and the College Fair event, with bulk of the material pertaining to 1994-1995. A few documents about the college fair speak of Teresa's role as project coordinator for the college recruiter's reception in 1994.

The Other Organizations series (1982-2006; .7 linear feet) contains materials from organizations that Rabago was involved with but which generated only a small amount of material. This series contains the following material: brochures, correspondence, print publications, fliers, membership lists, memos, meeting agendas, a handbook and an exam. Several items document her service on the Latinitas Board of Directors, as Secretary of the City of Austin Zoning and Platting Commission, and as Chair of the Mexican American Comptroller Employees Association's Cultural Committee. The organizations which generated the materials in this series include: American Translator Association, Austin Area Translators and Interpreters Association, American Association of University Women, Austin Downtown Commission, Austin Hispanic Directory, Austin History Center, Austin Tejano Music Coalition, Center for Battered Women, City of Austin Zoning and Planning Commission, Congress for New Urbanism, Johnston High School, La Pena, Latinitas, League of United Latin American Citizens, Lone Star Girl Scout Council, Mexican American Comptroller Employees Association, National Abortion Rights Action League, National Hispanic Institute, National Hispanic Scholarship Fund, National Women's Political Caucus, Southwest Texas State University Center for Multicultural and Gender Studies, Tejano Democrats, Tejano Music Coalition, the University of Texas, and the Women and Minorities Task Force.

The Political series (1991-2010; .5 linear feet) includes materials generated by Rabago's participation in political campaigns, or collected by Rabago due to her interest in political candidates. The series contains bumper-stickers, clippings, periodicals, reports, address labels, photographs, maps, and correspondence. Materials relating to the E+ Coalition comprise the majority of this series, and document the Austin community's reaction to the Austin Independent School District's 1991 redistricting plan, during which Rabago was instrumental in organizing a coalition of Austin Hispanic communities to lobby for redistricting lines which would maximize Mexican American voting strength. Political candidates featured in the series include Texas Senator Gonzalo Barrientos, Ohio governor and U.S. Senate nominee Lee Fisher, U.S. Senate nominee Victor Morales, and Texas gubernatorial nominee Tony Sanchez.

The Workshops and Events series (1993-1994, 1997; .16 linear feet), contains materials generated by Rabago's role in planning the Hispanic Connection event, the Leadership Texas workshop, and a reception for Hispanic Caucus leaders Judith Zaffarini and Irma Rangel. The Hispanic Connection brought members of many Hispanic organizations in the Austin community together for a special event held in 1994 to build bridges between organizations with similar goals. The Leadership Texas workshop and conference is an annual program sponsored by the Foundation for Women's Resources, which Rabago attended in 1997. This series contains financial records, meeting agendas, handwritten notes, correspondence, programs and schedules of events, addresses and contact information, notes and handouts from presentations.

The final series, Other Formats (1989, 1996-1998, 2000-2002, undated; .8 linear feet), contains a number of non-print materials which were interspersed with Rabago's papers. While the majority of these materials are labeled, their contents remain unverified; therefore they have been placed in a separate series consisting of three audio cassettes and five videocassettes.


The Maria Teresa Rabago Papers came to the AHC in a loosely organized original order and received a minimal amount of initial processing by a staff member. Series and subseries were designed to reflect this original order; as discussed in the scope and content note, a few groups of materials were reorganized within the series to better reflect specific subject matter.
Born-digital materials are integrated into their corresponding series based on content. Some intellectual reorganization of the materials into folders was undertaken to allow the materials to be easily integrated into this single system of arrangement.
Original file structure was maintained.
Files comprised of born-digital content were received via 3.5 inch floppy disks.
Arranged into six series:(arranged alphabetically with the exception of the Other Formats series)
I. Biographical / Personal
II. Organizations
III. Other Organizations
IV. Political
V. Workshops / Events
VI. Other Formats


Restrictions on Access

Access is open to all users.

Advance notice is required for any audiovisual materials that do not have an access copy already created. Turnaround time for requested access copies will be no less than one week and is determined by the number of items requested and their duration.

Use Restrictions

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements

Access to digital content is only available through a dedicated workstation in the Austin History Center Reading Room.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Barrientos, Gonzalo.
Coronado, Sam.
Fisher, Lee.
Morales, Victor.
Morin, Lupe.
Rabago, Maria Teresa.
Rangel, Irma.
Villareal, Maria Teresa.
Zaffarini, Judith.
Austin Area Translators and Interpreters Association.
American Association of University Women.
Austin Hispanic Directory.
Austin History Center.
Austin Tejano Music Coalition.
American Translators Association.
Austin Downtown Committee.
Austin Independent School District (Tex.).
Center for Battered Women.
University of Texas at Austin. Center for Mexican American Studies.
Congress for New Urbanism.
Court Appointed Special Advocate.
Hispanic Faculty and Staff of the University of Texas at Austin.
Hispanic Women's Network of Texas.
Hispanic Women's Network of Texas. Austin Chapter.
Kappa Delta Chi.
La Peña.
Latinitas (Organization : Austin, Tex.)
League of United Latin American Citizens.
Lone Star Girl Scouts Council.
Mexican American Business and Professional Women of Austin.
Mexican American Comptroller Employees Association.
Mexican American State Employees Association.
National Abortion Rights Action League.
National Hispanic Institute (U.S.)
National Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
National Women's Political Caucus (U.S.).
St. Julia Catholic Church.
Tejano Democrats.
Tejano Entertainment and Music Association.
Television Group Incorporation.
Texas Workers' Compensation Commission.
Tomás Rivera Center.
University of Texas at Austin.
University of Texas at San Antonio.
Austin (Tex.)--Social life and customs.
Corpus Christi (Tex.).
Los Angeles (Calif.).
Mexican American arts.
Community activists.
Mexican Americans--Social life and customs.
Mexican Americans--Societies, etc.
Mexican Americans women.
Political participation.
Women political activists.
Document Types:
Sound cassettes.
Clippings (information artifacts).
Financial records.
Fliers(printed matter).
Floppy disks.
Invitation cards.
Legal documents.
Minutes (administrative records).
Videocassettes (VHS).

Related Material

Archives and Manuscripts

  • 1997-02 Hispanic Women's Network of Texas Records. (Benson Latin American Collection).
  • 2008-13 Sam Coronado Papers. (Benson Latin American Collection).
  • AR.2002.025 Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza Papers.
  • AR.2004.046 Hispanic Women's Network of Texas, Austin Chapter Records.


  • The Benson Latin American Collection also holds the Hispanic Women's Network of Texas Austin Chapter Newsletter (at call number F 395 S75 H58) and Vision: A Publication of the Hispanic Women's Network of Texas (F 395 S75 V57).

Separated Material


  • Duplicates.
  • Mold-damaged items (preservation copies made).
  • Plaques.

Seventeen 3.5" floppy disks were separated from the collection and are stored in Austin History Center's Digital Collection.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Maria Teresa Rabago Papers (AR.2011.027.) Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2001/059

Donation Date: 2011

Processing Information

Final Processing and Finding Aid By/Date: Bonnie Cope, Jessica Meyerson and Aditi Worcester, 11/07/2011.

Encoded by Bonnie Cope, Jessica Meyerson and Aditi Worcester 11/16/2011.

Digital file additions and EAD finding aid updated and encoded by Nikki Koehlert, January 2019

The born-digital files were received on 3.5 inch floppy disks. The materials were processed in accordance with the AHC's digital processing guidelines including disk imaging, virus scan, and checksums.For more information, see the Born-digital Processing Manual. Some digital files are unreadable due to obsolete file formats or corrupted files. Obsolete file formats will not be migrated at this time.

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection. The series are arranged alphabetically, with the exception of the Other Formats series, which is the final series in the arrangement. The following original folder titles were preserved:Austin Hispanic Directory, Center for Battered Women, College Fair, E+ Coalition Redistricting 1991-1992, Father Joe Znotas Memorial Scholarship Fund, HWNT Board of Directors Manual, HWNT Scholarships, Leadership Texas, Leadership TYMME, League of United Latin American Citizens, Lone Star Girl Scouts Council, Mexican American Comptroller Employees Association, Mexican American State Employees Association, National Women's Political Caucus, Scholarship Information, Women and Minorities Task Force, University of Texas at Austin.

I. Biographical/Personal, 1980-2009

Box Folder
1 1 Awards and certificates, 1988-1990, 1992-1994, 1993-1994, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007
2 Collected articles, 1989, 2002
3-4 Correspondence, 1980, 1987-1990, 1991, 1992, 1997, 2000-2002
5 Education, 1994-1996
6 Employment, 1980-1981, 1986, 1989-1990, 1992, 1997, 2000-2001, 2003, 2009, undated
7 Ephemera, 1988-1990, 1993, 1996-1997, undated
8 General, 1981, 1989, 1992-1993, undated
9 Leadership Challenge speech, 1991
Box Folder
2 1 Periodicals, 1990, 1994, 2000, 2003, 2007
2-3 Planners, 1989, 1994-1996, 2001
DigitalStorage Folder
Open AR_2011_027_012_files Collected articles, correspondence, essays about local residents written by Teresa, resumes and applications, 2000-2001
.003 GB (69 files); born-digital (DOC)

II. Organizations, 1980-2005

Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, 1994-1996
Box Folder
2 4-6 1994-1996
Hispanic Women's Network of Texas, 1988-2005, undated
Box Folder
2 7 HWNT Board of Directors' manual, 1991-2003
8 HWNT scholarships, 1998-1999, 2001-2002
Box Folder
3 1 HWNT scholarships, 1999, 2002-2003, undated
2-5 Scholarship information binder, 1998-1999
6-7 1988
Box Folder
4 1 1988-1989
2 1990-1991
3 1992-1993
4 1994
5 1995
6-7 1996
Box Folder
5 1 1997
2 1998
3-5 1999
6-7 2000
Box Folder
6 1-2 2000
3-6 2001
Box Folder
7 1 2001
2-4 2002
5-7 2003
Box Folder
8 1 2004-2005
2-3 General, undated
DigitalStorage Folder
Open AR_2011_027_009_files HWNT Día de las Madres event press releases, media contacts lists, and post coverage, 1998
.0006 GB (6 files); born-digital (DOC)
AR_2011_027_015_files HWNT Día de las Madres event press releases and post coverage, 1998
.0003 GB (8 files); born-digital (DOC)
Kappa Delta Chi, 2000-2001
Box Folder
8 4-5 Administrative records, 2000-2001
6 2000
Mexican American State Employees Association, 1988-1994
Box Folder
8 7 1988-1991
8-9 1992
Box Folder
9 1-7 1993
8 1994
Saint Julia's Catholic Church, 1980-2000
Box Folder
10 1-2 College Fair, 1994-1996
3 Father Joe Znotas Memorial Scholarship Fund, 1980-1995
4-5 Leadership TYMME, 1994-1995
6 General, 1997, 2000, undated
7 Photographs, undated

III. Other Organizations, 1989-2006

Box Folder
11 1 American Translators Association, 1993-1996
2 Austin Area Translators and Interpreters Association, 1996-1997, 2001
3-4 American Association of University Women administrative binder, 1995-1998, undated
5 American Association of University Women, 2003
6 Austin Hispanic Directory, 1989-1990
7 Austin History Center, 1998-1999, 2002-2004
8 General/Various, 1990, 1992, 1994-1996, 1999, 2000-2001, 2007-2008, undated
9 Latinitas, 2004
10 League of United Latin American Citizens, 1994, undated
Box Folder
12 1 Lone Star Girl Scouts Council, 1985, 1992-1993, 1996, 2001, undated
2 Mexican American Comptroller Employees Association, 1992-1998, undated
3 National Abortion Rights Action League, 1989, undated
4 National Hispanic Institute, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2003, undated
5 National Women's Political Caucus, 1995
6 University of Texas, 1982, 1991, 1993-1994, 1999-2000, 2005-2006, undated
7 University of Texas, 1996
8 Women and Minorities Task Force, 1989, 1993, 2000, undated

IV. Political, 1991-2010

Box Folder
12 9 Gonzalo Barrientos Campaign, 1992, 2001-2002, 2006, 2010
10 E+ Coalition, 1991-1992
11 E+ Coalition, Redistricting, 1991-1992
Box Folder
13 1-3 E+ Coalition, Redistricting, 1991-1992
4 Lee Fisher Campaign, 1994
5-6 Victor Morales Campaign, 1996
7 Women for Morales scrapbook, 1996-1997
8 Tony Sanchez Campaign, 2002

V. Workshops and Events, 1993-1994, 1997

Box Folder
14 1 Hispanic Connection, 1994
2 Leadership Texas, 1997
3 Reception for Hispanic Caucus Leaders, 1993

VI. Other Formats, 1989, 1996-1998, 2000-2002

Box Folder
14 Videocassettes, 1989, 1996, 2000-2001
Box Folder
15 Audio cassettes, 2000, undated