Tomás Rivera was born in Crystal City, Texas, in 1935 of Mexican immigrant parents; his mother, daughter of a soldier of the Mexican Revolution, had lived in several cities in Texas, whereas his father had migrated to the U.S. at the age of fifteen to work on the railroad in the Midwest. The Depression, and the difficulties for Mexican immigrants to find work in those times of financial struggle and distress, convinced Florencio Rivera of the convenience of moving back to Mexico. It was on his way back home that he met his future wife in Crystal City, and hence decided to remain there.

As a child, Rivera spoke Spanish at home, which he continued to speak during his entire childhood. At the local school, attended …

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Gomez-Galisteo, M. Carmen. "Tomás Rivera". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 April 2008
[, accessed 30 November 2015.]