If you’re taking a trip to the 19th century and thinking about Latin American independence movements, there might be a particular stereotypical image that comes to mind. Valiant soldiers on horses, politicians in stuffy 19th century attire, and those hairstyles which I think can only be described as hairy. You might not be thinking about the role that women played in the fight for independence, but you should. They were just as proud to join their fellow male compatriots on horseback and were often the brains behind political decisions. Here’s how these nine inspirational mujeres played critical roles as Latin American libertadoras.
If it weren’t for this libertadora, Simon Bolivar may have never become “El Libertador.” By thwarting an assassination attempt against him and serving as a trusted advisor, she was just as critical a figure in the fight for Gran Colombia’s independence. After her death in 1856, she was buried in a mass grave, but more recently has been honored as a true heroine. She received an official burial in 2010, images of her on horseback have become a symbol of the importance of women in South American history, and there is a museum dedicated to her in Quito.