Esperanza Lopez Mateos is best known as the translator and business agent, close personal friend, of B. Traven, the Mexican novelist. Esperanza's brother, Adolfo Lopez Mateos, was president of Mexico from 1958-1964. Esperanza was married to her cousin, Roberto Figueroa, brother of the cameraman and fillmmaker, Gabriel Figueroa. The three of them lived in the same house at 1106 Coyoacan in Mexico City. Gabriel won many awards, including Cannes, an Oscar, and is remembered as probably the greatest Mexican cameraman. He worked with many of the leading directors of Hollywood, despite being blacklisted. B. Traven it is estimated sold 30 million books. He is best known in the U.S. for "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", made into a film by John Huston, starring Humphrey Bogart. It is on many lists of top films, and has the unforgettable line, "Badges, we don't need no steenking badges."

The date of Esperanza's birth is a mystery. She died in September, 1951, probably by suicide. Her birth date speculations are 1905, 1908, 1909, 1913. Henry Schnautz believed her birthday to be Jan. 8, but wasn't sure about the year, although suggested 1913 in one letter. There is a mystery about the dates of Adolfo's birth also, either 1909 or 1910. Adolfo is reported to have said she was a year older than he.

Officially she is the daughter of Mariano Lopez and Elena Mateos. Gabriel said she was adopted, not even a half-sister of Adolfo, and therefore not blood related to himself or his brother. She told Henry Schnautz she was adopted.

Esperanza, according to Gabriel, transcribed the speeches for and worked with Vicente Lombardo Toledano, the well known union leader, publisher, politician and Stalinist. She was a trained nurse. She was fluent in French and English, besides Spanish. She was a secretary in the office of the Secretary of Education. She took shorthand.

She was an enthusiastic outdoorswoman. If such records were kept, she would probably have been the first woman in Mexico to climb certain mountains, descend into caves, and sleep in the craters of volcanoes.

Gabriel says she was active in union causes. During the American Smelting union strike of 1950, she delivered food and goods to the miners family, and opened up her home to them when they marched to Mexico City. In 1963, Adolfo named a hospital in her honor, a maternity hospital, "Hospital Materno Infantil Esperanza Lopez Mateos," located in Guadalajara, Jalisco, about 300 miles West North West of Mexico City. Henry Schnautz told the story of her mother dying in childbirth, although it is only one story of several. There is an elementary school named in her honor. Gabriel says it was named for her by the Jewish community in gratitude for her work in helping raise funds for the Exodus ship and establishment of Israel.

All the pictures on this page, except the studio picture, are taken by Henry Schnautz, 1941-1948