A Latina leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and one of the state’s first female government officials during the 20th century will be stamped on a U.S. quarter in her honor later this summer.
Adelina “Nina” Otero-Warren – who became the first Latina ever to run for U.S. Congress — provided leadership in New Mexico’s movement for women’s right to vote and played a trailblazing role in politics.
From 1917 to 1929, she served as the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools, where she pushed for the inclusion of the Spanish language in classrooms, which at the time went against the federal English-only mandate.
She also worked diligently to improve conditions in schools in rural Hispanic and Native American communities, raised teacher salaries, and fought to end punishment toward students for speaking Spanish in the classroom or in the schoolyard.
The honorary quarter showcases Otero-Warren alongside yucca flowers — New Mexico’s state flowers — alongside the words “Voto Para La Mujer,” a suffragist slogan that translates to “Votes for Women.”
In 1917, Otero-Warren also became head of the New Mexico chapter of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, which later grew into the National Woman’s Party.
Several years later, she earned the Republican Party nomination for a seat on the U.S. House of Representatives in 1921 but lost in the general election.
Otero-Warren died on January 3, 1965, in the Santa Fe home where she grew up.
She will appear on the quarter on August 15 as part of the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program, a four-year program that highlights notable female historical figures who contributed to American history from a variety of fields.
Other women who have been honored with a quarter during the program this year include world-renowned poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood.
Click here to find out which other distinguished women will be featured in the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program, which will continue through 2025.