Like many other Mexicans, events in the 1910s and 1920s significantly altered Juana Gallegos' life. The spread of railroads into the Mexican countryside provided a means, and the breakup of the hacienda system (near feudal farming) and turbulence of the Mexican Revolution provided a motivation for many people to move to the cities. Around 1918 Juana Gallegos moved with her parents from the hacienda her father managed to Mexico City, where the family had political connections. After President Carranza was deposed, Juana and her mother returned to Matehuala.
In 1923 Juana Gallegos joined the exodus of Mexicans to the United States where jobs beckoned and relief from the upheaval of the Mexican Revolution made expatriate life seem attractive. But many of the people moving north, like Juana Gallegos, continued to consider themselves Mexican, returning often to their homeland for extended stays to see relatives and friends.