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Doña Margarita

Other names/titles:
Gender: F
Ethnic origin: Indigenous

Biographical details

She was probably from Tlanapantla, near San Xavier, about 3 leagues from Mexico City. She is described by Frances Calderón de la Barca in 1841 as, “a tall, noble-looking Indian [...] a mountaineer by birth, and now a rich widow, possessing land and flocks, though living in apparent poverty.” She uses most of her money to educate poor orphans: “She takes them into her house, brings them up as her own children, has them bred to some useful employment, and when they are old enough, married. If it is a boy, she chooses a wife for him from amongst the girls of the mountains where she was born, who she says are generally ‘less corrupted’ than the girls of the village. She generally has from twelve to twenty on her hands, always filling up with new orphans the vacancies caused in her small colony by death or marriage. There is nothing picturesque about these orphans, for [..] the most deformed and helpless and maimed and sick, are the peculiar objects of Doña Margarita’s care; nevertheless, we saw various healthy, happy-looking girls, busied in various ways, washing and ironing, and sewing, whose very eyes gleamed when we mentioned her name, and who spoke of her with a respect and affection that it was pleasant to witness. Truly this woman is entitled to happy dreams and peaceful slumbers! The remainder of her fortune she employs in the festivals and ceremonies of the church; in fireworks, in ornaments for the altars, etc.” (Calderón de la Barca, 429.)

Life Events

Other 1841Frances Calderón de la Barca met her.


Calderón de la Barca, Frances, (1982), Life in Mexico


There is no writing by this subject in the database.


Resource id #21 (17)

Resource id #25 (12)

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