things that matter

11 Latina Revolutionaries You Must Know About

There are two undeniable facts about how history is written. One: it is written by the winners. Two: it is mostly written by, for and about men. The role of women in social and political change is only now being acknowledged and properly recorded and commented upon. However, for centuries women have lived in the shadows of history, while at the same time being key actors of historical events.

Here’s a list of 11 women who have rebelled against injustice, the patriarchy and those who oppress their people. As always happens, some of these figures are controversial. 

1. Marichuy

“But it’s precisely because we are the ones who feel the deepest pain, because we [experience] the greatest oppressions, that we women are also capable of feeling the deepest rage”

Credit: 1508971902830-Reportaje-Marichuy_Zapatistas-131-e1511293964532. Digital image. Feministing.


This nahua indigenous woman attempted to run for the presidency of her native Mexico in early 2018, but she could not get the necessary signatures to guarantee her run. Nevertheless, she ignited the hearts and  minds of students, activists and intellectuals. 

Credit: marichuy-2-780×450. Digital image. Chispa OC.


One of her main supporters was the writer and essayist Juan Villoro, who mobilized his influence in political and literary circles. He saw in Marichuy hope in balancing the deep inequalities faced by women, particularly of indigenous origin, in Mexico. 

2. Gioconda Belli

“It had never crossed my mind that a man could think he had the right to stop me from being who I was”

Credit: El-pais-de-las-mujeres.jpg Digital image. Havana Times


This Nicaraguan poet is a symbol of fierce political convictions and a refreshing look at the role of women in society. Belli expresses her femininity through verses that sometimes verge on the erotic. Throughout her life she has spoken out against injustice, whoever the perpetrator is. 

Credit: gioconda_beli. Digital image. Literal magazine


In her novels, Belli writes about the struggles of the indigenous populations under Spanish rule, and about everyday mechanisms of repression. 

3. Josefa Ortíz de Domínguez a.k.a La Corregidora

Credit: josefa-ortiz-de-domingo. Digital image. Mexico desconocido.


She is considered to be one of the precursors of the Mexican independence, which is quite a feat given that Latin American independence wars have been told as “the men who liberated us” narratives. 

Credit: DXS8eMKWAAg2JCH. Digital image. Mexico 21.


She was a wealthy woman whose husband ruled over the city of Queretaro (there are numerous stadiums and streets named after her today). Like other Mexican freedom fighters of the time (the war for independence started in 1810), she basically saw no reason why the then New Spain should keep paying taxes to the debilitated Spanish Crown.

4. Comandanta Ramona

“Our hope is that one day our situation will change, that we women will be treated with respect, justice and democracy”

Credit: a7c2076279be5526946186ed04f7f900. Digital image. Pinterest.


When the Zapatista movement got the international spotlight in 1994 one of the most recognizable profiles was that of Comandanta Ramona, who died in 2006. What she lacked in physical height she made up in dignity, courage and compassion for her fellow dispossessed.

Credit: unnamed_1-678×380 _. Digital image. Voices in Movement.


Ramona was not her real name, but a moniker. She was of tzotzil mayan heritage. The Zapatistas wore masks to hide their identity because, they claimed, they did not want to be protagonists but rather just representatives of the faceless and voiceless. 

5. Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo (The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo)

Credit: 40-años-de-la-primera-ronda-madres-plaza-mayo-foto-pablo-ernesto-piovano-copia . Digital image. Desinformemonos.


Between 1976 and 1983 Argentina suffered from one of the most severe and ruthless dictatorships of the twentieth century. Hundreds of political activists, most of them young, disappeared and were most likely killed. In 1977 a group of mothers whose children were unaccounted for marched in Buenos Aires downtown, in defiance of the right State laws. 

Credit: Madres old photo. Digital image. openDemocracy.


These courageous women marched every week for years, until they announced their final march in 2006. They became a symbol of quiet and peaceful resistance around the world. 

6.Eva Perón

“I demanded more rights for women because I know what women had to put up with”

Credit: eva-peron-1951-1150×862. Digital image. Remezcla.


One of the most famous symbols of early female power in politics. She was the wife of Argentinian president Juan Perón and as First Lady she became a symbol of all those who support labor rights and implement public policies that benefit the most vulnerable. 

Credit: 3422584. Digital image. Mental floss


One of her biggest challenges was advocating for the right of women to vote. Universal suffrage was the firs, but not the last, battle that Latina women have faced in order to truly be heard in politics. 

7. Celia Sánchez

Credit: Sanchez. Digital image. Roberto Landori.


Like all Cuban revolutionaries, her legacy is controversial: some see her as a hero who helped Castro overthrow a tyrannical regime; others see her and the leaders of the Revolución Cubana as tyrants themselves. Truth is that Sánchez embodied a role often taken up only by men: guerrilla fighter. 

Credit: celia-sanchez. Digital image. Radio Bayamo.


She was a close friend of Fidel Castro and once the Batista government was overthrown she was named Secretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, an important role through which Castro entrusted State affairs to one of his oldest and more loyal comrades. 

8. Soldaderas

Credit: 0cbc268db5f98f30e0bf4d29549b8d08. Digital image. Inmense hotels.


The Mexican Revolution was a conflict full of enigmatic characters like Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. But perhaps none are as intriguing as a group of women who not only took on domestic chores and tended for the soldiers, but took up on arms themselves. 

Credit: soldaderas-640454381. Digital image. History.

Soldaderas, as they are commonly known, were mostly of indigenous origin. Their fierce nature and gender-stereotype-breaking has been immortalized in photographs, pieces of silent cinema and corridos, popular songs that persist even today.  

9. Rigoberta Menchú Tum

“Peace cannot exist without justice”

Credit: tum-13442-portrait-medium. Digital image. Nobel Prize.


Along with thousands of indigenous women in Central America, Rigoberta suffered the atrocities of civil wars and iron-fisted governments. Contrary to most, however, she said “enough is enough”. The soft-spoken K’iche’ Maya feminist has organized not only women, but the indigenous population in general, and built bridges with other indigenous groups in the continent. 

Credit: portada-96-724×400. Digital image. Infinite Fire.

She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 “in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples”. Her recent political views have been quite controversial, as she has defended the rule of Bolivian president Evo Morales, who is seen by some as a populist. 

10. Paulina Luisi

Credit: DraPaulinaLuisi[1]. Digital image. Great Thoughts Treasury.


One of the founders of modern Uruguay. She was a revolutionary for many reasons. In 1909 she became the first woman to get a medical degree in her country, an almost impossible feat considering the gender power dynamics of the time. She was also the first Latin American woman to represent her country in the League of Nations (the predecessor to the United Nations). But her biggest achievement was… 

Credit: 231px-Paulina_Luisi_-_1929_-_Planisferio. Digital image. Wikipedia


… getting women to vote! Yes, she was a restless advocate for the right of women to be involved in political life and Uruguay became the first country in America to set things right. 

11. Ana Irma Rivera Lassén

“Don’t take under consideration stereotypes, prejudice or anything apart from reason”

Credit: ana-irma-bn-1. Digital image. 80 grados


It is not easy to be a black girl in a Latin American country, more so if you identify as gay. But Ana Irma Rivera Lassén is an awesome Puerto Rican powerhouse who became the first black woman to head the Bar Association of Puerto Rico. She is an amazing lawyer and unapologetic feminist. 

Credit: Ana. Digital image. 80 grados.


Talk about a power move: she was once forbidden to enter the court in pants instead of a skirt. She sued the judge… and won! Burn!

21 Shots of Latin America That Left Us in Awe

things that matter

21 Shots of Latin America That Left Us in Awe

You don’t need us to tell you, Latin America’s dripping in spellbinding scenery and boasts a rich culture and history. In light of this, we’ve collated 21 stunning images that portray South America in all its glory. From rolling valleys to urban skylines, we’ve covered it all. Let’s dive in!

1. Rio at Sunset

Credit: Rio. Digital Image. Pixabay, ujasnpandya. Jan. 27, 2015

This snap doesn’t need a description. The natural beauty here does all the talking. From the impeccable sunset over the mountains to the dreamy harbor- this shot captures some of the best features of Rio de Janeiro.

2. Cows in Rural Paraguay

Credit: Nature. Digital Image. Pxhere. Dec. 31, 2016

The mountainous landforms in Paraguay not only look sublime, but they’re the perfect place for herds of cattle to roam. Ethical farming amidst stunning scenery- what could be better?

3. Morning Brakes in Guatemala

Credit: Dawn. Digital Image. Pixabay marcoreyes. May. 25, 2015

Waking up at dawn and walking through the streets of Guatemala is one of the most peaceful experiences you’re ever likely to have. If you haven’t done it yet, put it on your bucket list.  For what this country lacks in size it more than makes up for in culture. Paraguay’s intriguing history coupled with its natural beauty creates a land full of breathtaking sites and photo ops.

4. Christ the Redeemer

Credit: Rio. Digital Image. Pixabay, fabiowanderley. July 26, 2016

We couldn’t compile a list of stunning Latin American images without including this magnificent structure! The colossal statue of Christ has proudly stood for 87 years at the summit of Mount Corcovado. This landmark’s one of Rio’s most internationally recognized hotspots. No one can visit this stature without being in utter awe of it

5. A Chilean Night’s Sky

Credit: Space. Digital Image. Pixabay, CristinaLaFee. Aug. 18, 2017

Have you ever seen a starry night’s sky as mesmerizing as this? On a clear evening, you can see dozens of twinkling stars. There’s so many dotted around you’ll struggle to count them all! Could you imagine anything more idyllic than setting up a hammock and sleeping here, under a sky as gorgeous as this?

6. Cycling in Paraguay

Credit:  Tree. Digital Image. Pxhere. 3 July. 2017

This snap captures an inkling of Latin American culture and tradition. This man’s working hard, transporting grass through the streets of Paraguay on the back of his bike.

7. Lima: A Dreamy Peruvian Coastline

Credit: Lima. Digital Image. Pixabay, ygrrr. Oct. 25, 2014

This image encompasses a gorgeous blend of cosmopolitanism and scenic coastal views. Lima truly has something for everyone to enjoy! Take a stroll down Miraflores boardwalk and explore all the nearby streets and parks. Lose yourself amidst the beautiful lanes lining the shore. It’s the perfect way to spend a laid-back afternoon.

8. Traditional Puerto Rican Architecture

Credit: Puerto Rico. Digital Image. Pixabay, sjdents. Nov. 10, 2014

Latin American culture’s full of color, creativity, and vibrancy- so it’s not surprising Puerto Rico’s architecture reflects these traits. The choice of bold paint is a treat for the eyes. The best word to describe the overall aesthetic is: ‘divine.’

9. A Long Peruvian Road

Credit: Peru. Digital Image. Pixabay, al3xitox100pre. Dec. 8, 2016

What could be better than jumping in a car and heading out on a road trip through the mysterious mountains of Peru? This image makes you want to pack up your bags and go on the adventure of a lifetime.

10. Glaciers in Argentina

Credit: Glacier. Digital Image. Pixabay, derwiki. Dec. 30, 2014

To the southwest of Argentina, there are more than 300 glaciers. Some are as large as 217-miles long in the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares.

11. Ipanema Beach

Credit: Ipanema Beach. Digital Image. Pixabay, eacuna. Dec. 21, 2012

Situated towards the South of Rio de Janeiro, this beach is famous for its breathtaking sunsets and natural beauty. People flock from all around the globe to visit this place- judging from the picture; we’re sure you can see why!

12. Colors of Peru

Credit: Substances. Digital Image. Pixabay, LoggaWiggler. Aug. 17, 2011

Peruvian fabrics are famous for their bold use of color- it’s hard not to smile when you see a market stall brimming with hues as bright as these. After all, they say variety’s the spice of life- so, why shouldn’t this apply to color-filled fashion.

13. Machu Picchu In All Its Glory

Credit: Machu Picchu. Digital Image. Pixabay, skeeze. Aug. 5, 2016

Behold, Machu Picchu. As you probably already know, this is the Incan citadel that sits proudly amidst the Andes Mountains. The structures were expertly crafted back in the 15th century and later abandoned. The best thing about this mysterious place is that no one’s 100% sure what the remains were used for by the Incas- eerie!

14. Colombian Street Art

Credit: Face. Digital Image. Pixabay, lanur. Aug. 23, 2014

The street art in Colombia is astounding. Take a walk through Bogotá, and marvel at the world-renown graffiti that’s captured the hearts and imaginations of art-lovers from around the world. The quality and the diversity of the work plastered across the walls is second to none.

15. Tango Like No One’s Watching

Credit: Tango. Digital Image. Pixabay, pinthemapproject. Sept. 14, 2015

Check out this stunning couple as they enjoy dancing the Tango in the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Can you think of anything more romantic?

16. Penguin Colony in Argentina

Credit: South America. Digital Image. Pixabay, magicaltravelling. Feb. 24, 2016

Everyone loves penguins, and Argentina is home to four beautiful species. The colony pictured above is nothing short of majestic.

17. Rainbow Mountain

Credit: Peru. Digital Image. Pixabay, jerzykwpodrozy. March 29, 2017

This beautiful Peruvian mountain looks as though it’s painted in stunning golds, emeralds, reds, and violets. Once upon a time, this mountain was covered in ice. As it began to melt, the water combined with the minerals in the rocks and created the colors you see here- how neat is that?

18. Chilean Shanty Town

Credit: Landscape. Digital Image. Pxhere. 03/04 2017

This photo’s living proof that money isn’t everything. These Chilean slums exude color right across the Valparaíso coastline. As you can imagine, the skyline’s mesmerizing!

19. Ecuadorian Llamas

Credit: Landscape. Digital Image. Pxhere. 4th April 2017

These Ecuadorian llamas are gorgeous. It looks like the one in the brown fur’s gazing out across the lake- and who can blame him? The mountainous landscape set behind the blue body of water looks idyllic.

20. Peruvian Dress

Credit: Architecture. Digital Image. Pxhere. 3rd July 2017

These Quechuan ladies are proudly sporting traditional Peruvian dress. Living high within the Andes, this community farms wool to produce beautiful handicrafts.

21. Traveling in Paraguay

Credit: Tree. Digital Image. Pxhere. 3rd Dec. 2017

This snapshot provides another quick insight into the traditional culture of Paraguay. This man’s elegantly riding a cart pulled by cattle. A mode of transport that’s better known as an oxcart. Initially, oxcarts were used in Costa Rica during the mid-nineteenth century to transport coffee beans. Although they’re rarer in today’s society, they remain a beautiful symbol of Latin American history.

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