American Girl Wiki

Felipe Romero is the grandfather of Josefina Montoya. Josefina refers to him as Abuelito.

Personality and Facts[]

Felipe is Josefina (and her sisters') maternal grandfather; they refer to him as Abuelito (Spanish for Grandfather). He and Maria live on a rancho outside of Santa Fe. They raised two daughters, Maria and Dolores; at the start of the series Maria has been dead for a year.

However, Felipe has seen Dolores over the many years she has been in Mexico City, as he is a trader along the Camino Real (fully known as the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, as the name "Camino Real" applied to multiple roads in the Americas). Once a year and for many years, he has organized a large caravan from Santa Fe to Mexico City where they trade goods for things around the world to bring back to New Mexico such as silk, cotton goods, lace, iron tools, paper, ink, books, fine dishes, coffee, and sugar. This is a six-month trip and there are many risks on the journey; he says the trip will make him old before his time and every year is his last trip. However, this is made true once he brings Dolores up from Mexico City after her aunt dies and thus he has no reason to go down to Mexico City again.

He is boisterous and exuberant; due to his many years of travels, he always has wonderful stories about events that have happened when he is on the trail, from sandstorms to robbers to wild animals, that his grandchildren like listening to. He cares greatly for his family and son-in law, and misses his late daughter quite a bit. He always greets his granddaughters warmly and calls them beautiful.

By the summer of 1865 he has begun to make connections with American traders, including Mr. O'Toole and his son Patrick; he is later is invited to take up trading along the Santa Fe Trail from Mexico into the United States.

In the Books[]

Meet Josefina: An American Girl[]

Abuelito is first mentioned when Josefina teases Ana that she sounds like him when she says she will become old before her time. He has been gone six months on the yearly caravan to Mexico City and the girls are excited as he is due back any day.

Josefina Saves The Day: A Summer Story[]

Changes for Josefina: A Winter Story[]

Josefina's Song[]

Just Josefina[]

Abuelito is returning to the rancho with Dolores as well as bringing his wife Maria to visit. He waves his hat to let them know it's him, greets the family joyfully and thanks God for the safe trip and then for the blessing of having the whole family together for the first time ever, but is cut off by his wife Maria who first fusses that the trip was uncomfortable and orders him to carry her travel bag in for her, and he follows after her.

During the celebration, he again tells the story of how Dolores' piano stopped thieves from taking their goods when it fell off the wagon; he makes the story funnier each time he tells it, and many of the guests had never seen or heard a piano before.

Secrets in the Hills[]

The Glowing Heart[]

Song of the Mockingbird: My Journey with Josefina[]


  1. Santiago is likely his mother's last name, due to Spanish naming conventions, and the correct naming convention is putting the father's name first. See Naming Customs in Spain on Wikipedia.