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Due to all 10 children being born before 1930, funds were very limited in the Sanabria family.

Attending school until only the 4th grade, Lita also was self-taught in speaking, reading and writing Spanish & English.

Constantly badgered and criticized by her very white and next older sister Ines as being “La Negra” ~ the black colored one, Lita inherited her father Rosa Sanabria’s olive skin tone.

She nevertheless captured ~ as did all of her 4 sisters, her mother Camilla's elegant European visage.

To this very day skin color among Hispanics is a prime-time issue.

No different than the entropy of Hitler’s super white blue-eyed Aryan Race being the best, the lighter the flesh tone among Hispanics ~ the less Indian or African blood was mixed in and thus purity superiority.

Even though he proudly sired 10 children, Rosa was away most of the time working as a salt flats farmer in Guanacaste, Costa Rica ~ a 5 day horse ride from San Jose.

Blessed with theatrical good looks that resembled a cross between Pancho Villa and Matt Damon, Rosa was also rumored to have had a second family in neighboring Nicaragua!

A loving and extremely patient mother, Camilla was very light skinned, diminutive and delicate in stature.

She kindly meted out the daily chores to the 3 older sisters, teaching them to be expert cooks, seamstresses and embracing a passion for nature.

When my aunt Amalia wrote that there were better economic and living conditions in San Francisco, Lita immediately accepted her offer; packed her daughters and their belongings and headed to the United States.

Amalia, Ines and Lita all lovingly competed when living in San Francisco, as to who had the greenest of thumbs and the most beautiful garden in the family.

From these diverse ancestral roots my mother matured into a beautiful and self-confident teenager.

Before departing her homeland in 1943 as a 17 year old, she was crowned Miss Costa Rica and had tremendously honed her skills as a consummate artist.

My mom also @ 17 won a Gold Medal at Notre Dame High School in Belmont, California for her free-hand rendition oil painting of da Vinci's Last Supper.