Historical Profiles

Antonia Pantoja

A black and white photo of an older woman.

Antonia Pantoja was a formidable figure in the historical development of Puerto Rican and Latinx life in New York, Puerto Rico, California, and beyond during the second half of the 20th century. A black, queer, Puerto Rican educator, social worker, and foundational figure in the Puerto Rican community in postwar New York City, Pantoja established…

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Maria Remedios Del Valle

A statue of a man holding a flag.

Who but a strong, free and patriotic woman would enlist to be a soldier after having lost her husband and sons in battle to continue the fight for the independence of Argentina? Only a valiant heroine, an Afro-Argentine, who was dedicated to the fight for the independence of her country, and who was given the…

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Manuela Saénz

A painting of a woman in a white dress.

La “Caballeresa del Sol†was the title Manuela Saénz earned as she joined the revolution with Simon Bolivar in the independence of “El Gran Colombia†from Spain, which included several northern Latin American countries. Born in Ecuador in 1798, she survived until her final days in Peru (1856) living in exile. Manuela Saénz can be…

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The Mirabel Sisters

A picture of three women in the same family.

The “Butterflies†was the code name of three sisters, Patria, Maria Teresa and Minerva Mirabel from Salcedo, Dominican Republic. They fought for political freedom and were brutally assassinated on November 25th, 1960. The Mirabel sisters became symbols of popular feminist resistance in Latin American countries. They had been part of the underground resistance movement against…

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The Imperial Princess, Redeemer Isabel

A woman with a hat on her head.

Imperial Princess Isabel, baptized Isabel Cristina Leopoldina Augusta, second daughter of Emperor D. Pedro II and Empress Doña Tereza Cristina Leopoldina, became the heiress to the throne at the tender age of 4 years old. Princess Isabel was born July 29, 1846 in Rio de Janeiro in the São Cristóvão palace. She became the Imperial…

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Malintzin Tenepal, “La Malinche”

A painting of a woman with long hair and jewelry.

Malintzin Tenepal, La Malinche, an Aztec slave, considered the mother of the first Mexican, was born about 1505. As a convert to Christianity and baptized Marina, she became the interpreter of the conquistador Hernan Cortes. Malintzin spoke Nahuatl, her Aztec language and the Mayan dialects. She later learned Spanish as Cortes took her as his mistress,…

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Celia Cruz

A woman in colorful dress on stage with microphone.

Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso,dubbed the “Queen of Salsa,†touched the lives of her many fans with her lively and colorful performances. Celia Cruz was born in Havana, Cuba on October 21, 1924, she passed on July 16, 2003, with her music pouring out of Latino radio stations, cars, and homes of…

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