#TBT: 7 Latina Activists Who Fought for Change

In the face of injustice, there have been those brave enough to stand up and demand change—even if it meant their own lives were in danger

Photo: Unsplash/@snowshade

Photo: Unsplash/@snowshade

In the face of injustice, there have been those brave enough to stand up and demand change—even if it meant their own lives were in danger. The following seven Latinas were such warriors, fighting for the rights of the people of their country, and beyond. Thank you.

María Elena Moyano

Afro-Peruana Maria Elena Moyano was an activist and community organizer, who was president of the Federacion Popular de Mujeres de Villa El Salvador (Fepomuves). She fought for the rights of women and the poor in Peru. Moyano was tragically assassinated by the guerrilla group Sendero Luminoso, in 1992, but her legacy lives on.


Dolores Huerta

Chicana civil rights activist and labor leader Dolores Huerta fought alongside Cesar Chavez for the rights of migrant farmworkers. With Chavez, she co-founded the National Migrant Farmworkers Association (later the United Farm Workers), and is credited for coining the phrase, “Si se puede.”


Sylvia Rivera


Gay and trans activist, and self-identified drag queen Syliva Rivera is one of the heroes of the LGBTQ movement. The Venezuelan and Puerto Rican New Yorker was outspoken on the inclusion of trans people, people of color, the poor and homeless, drag queens, and gender-non-conformists into the fight for liberation.


Rigoberta Menchú

Rigoberta Menchú Tum is a K’iche’ Guatemalan activist, who has fought for the rights of the indigenous peoples and women of Guatemala, and other countries. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her work.


Berta Caceres

Honduran activist and feminist Berta Caceres stood up for the environment, the rights of the indigenous Lencas (including their land rights), LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and more. She co-founded the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), and won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015. Caceres was tragically murdered in 2016.


The Mirabal Sisters (Las Mariposas)

Many women died so that many more women could have fundamental rights, and freedom. Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa, and Mirabal (The Mirabal Sisters), who hailed from the Dominican Republic, fought against the oppressive Trujillo regime. The three sisters became martyrs after they were assassinated in 1960. The last surviving sister, Dedé, dedicated her life to keeping her sisters’ memory and legacy alive.


Argelia Laya

Afro-Venezolana Argelia Laya fought for the rights of women, minorities, and workers. This included women’s right to vote, the right to have an abortion, and have a child out of wedlock.

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activist Afro-Latina latina latino history latinx Politics TBT
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