Carmen Serdán Alatriste was the first daughter of Manuel Serdán Guanes and María del Carmen Alatriste. She was born in Puebla, on November 11, 1873, and died in Mexico City on August 21, 1948. Her remains were taken to Puebla and, together with those of her brothers Aquiles and Máximo, were buried in the municipal cemetery. In 1968, they were relocated to the mausoleum of the monument to the Serdán in Puebla, and in 2017 they were taken to the Regional Museum of the Mexican Revolution “House of the Serdán Brothers” in the city of Puebla, where they remain until today. 

Little is known about the childhood and teenage years of the Serdán Alatriste. However, among their descendants it is believed that Carmen was the most educated of the siblings. It is even assured that she gave music classes, although no proof of that has survived. 

Coming from an illustrated family, interested in politics, the Serdán siblings were raised surrounded by the liberal ideas of the time and some of their ancestors participated in politics. Their father, Manuel Serdán, was involved in the creation of the so-called People’s Law, a progressive manifest of that time, while their maternal grandfather, Miguel Cástulo Alatriste Castro, was a reform-oriented general and the interim governor of Puebla. The first signs of all of the Serdán siblings participating in politics date back to 1909, when elections for the governor of Puebla were held. The siblings started the anti-reelection club Luz y Progreso (“Light and Progress”), and later Aquiles was imprisoned for political activities. Although “Luz y Progreso” was nominally made up by men, the political meetings prior to the creation of the club took place in the house of the Serdán, where all siblings were involved: Carmen, Natalia, Aquiles and Máximo, together with some very distinguished group colleagues, such as Francisco Panganiba and Manuel Velázquez.

Carmen and her siblings’ most relevant participation occurred during the months prior to the Maderista uprising. 

Following the electoral fraud, which enabled the reelection of Porfirio Díaz, Francisco I. Madero and some of his followers sought political asylum in San Antonio, Texas. Aquiles Serdán joined them a bit later and Carmen was also invited by Francisco Cosío Robelo to directly collaborate for the cause. 

The following letter is proof of her active participation and her relevance for the movement: “Mexico, October 15, 2910. Miss Carmen Serdán. Puebla, Pue. Highly esteemed Miss Carmen. I am extremely grateful for the efficiency with which you attended the plea I have expressed. We intend to send a trusted person to San Antonio, and, considering that Aquiles is there, we would like to know, in case we decide to proceed so, if you would like to go. If the trip were to happen, it would be in the middle of next week. Awaiting your response, I have the honor to sign as your most devoted servant. Kind regards. Respectfully, Cosío Robelo”/1 There is no record that Carmen went to San Antonio, Texas, but, while Aquiles was there, they maintained an active communication, which was key to outline the revolutionary strategy in the city of Puebla.

Carmen’s participation in the uprising and in the battle itself were highly relevant. Regarding these events, the following is an explanatory letter to a newspaper ascribed to Manuel Velásquez and to the very Carmen Serdán:”Weapons have been acquired and stored in the house of the Rousset brothers... they were moved to the house of Aquiles by Miss Carmen Serdán, Mrs. Filomena del Valle, the wife of Aquiles, and his other sister Natalia Serdán, who hid said weapons in their dresses and enabled, after several trips, to transfer all of them to the house of Aquiles”/2. During the events of November 18 and 19, 1910, the entire Serdán family, including Carmen, lived in the house of their sister Natalia, at Antigua Calle de la Portería de Santa Clara no. 4, in front of the Temple of the Clarisas, three blocks from the city of Puebla’s main square. 

After the battle of November 18, the Serdán women: María del Carmen (the mother), Carmen, and Filomena (wife of Aquiles) were arrested and imprisoned in the state jail. The story of the detention narrated by Filomena highlights the fortitude of Carmen’s character: “On November 18, at 11 o’clock in the morning, my house was taken by soldiers who broke in and shot the people they came across, without taking notice whether they showed resistance or not. My mother-in-law, Mrs. Carmen Alatriste widow of Serdán, my sister-in-law, Miss Carmen Serdán Alatriste, and me were about to become victim of those actions. However, we made sure our attitude did not inspire any fear in the soldiers who were entering the house, and only the resolved attitude of my sister-in-law Carmen saved us”./3 
When Carmen and her family were detained, they lived five months through the criminal proceedings initiated against them. They spent 20 days in jail and the rest of the term in San Pedro Hospital, in preventive detention. 

On May 7, 1911, they were freed and returned home, greeted with cheers by their followers. Carmen remained in Puebla until the assassination of Madero. After that she moved to Tacubaya in Mexico City. Every year, until the year prior to her death, she visited Puebla on November 18 to chair the commemorative ceremony of the Puebla armed uprising. 

On December 19, 1948, the name of Carmen Serdán Alatriste was inscribed in golden letters in the Assembly Hall of the Congress’ Chamber of Deputies. 

On April 7, 2020, the Congress of Puebla declared sisters Natalia and Carmen Serdán Alatriste “Distinguished Citizens of Puebla” and erected a bust to honor the revolutionary women, firm in their ideals, solidarity and fundamental support in attaining social justice. 


Eufracio Solano, Patricio. Los Serdán, Alatriste, Sevilla, Del Valle. Historia Testimonial. Puebla 1909-1911. Premio “Aquiles Serdán” de Investigación Histórica 2010. Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, 2011.

1/ Eufracio Solano, Patricio. Los Serdán, Alatriste, Sevilla, Del Valle. Historia Testimonial. Puebla 1909-1911. Premio “Aquiles Serdán” de Investigación Histórica 2010. Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, 2011, p.211-212.

2/ Ibidem, p.227.

3/ Ibidem, p.233.