Minerva Mirabal, the third of the Mirabal sisters, was adamant in attending school. Her parents decided to send their daughters to Inmaculada Concepción, a Catholic boarding school in La Vega. Minerva caught the attention of Trujillo at an early age. After refusing Trujillo’s physical advances, Trujillo made sure that she would be unable to get the proper licenses to practice law. While in law school, she met Manolo Tavarez whom she later married. Minerva was the first to be called “La Mariposa”, “the Butterfly”. Due to her anti-Trujillo involvement, Minerva was imprisoned numerous times before her death.
Maria Teresa, the youngest of the Mirabal sisters, was born on October 15, 1936. Like her sisters, she attended Inmaculada Concepcion and later graduated from the University of Santo Domingo with a degree in mathematics. In 1958 she married the engineer Leandro Guzman and they had a daughter together the following year. On January 22, 1960, she and Minerva were arrested and taken to La Cuarenta and then transferred to La Victoria.
Patria Mirabal was born on February 27, 1924. This was the anniversary of the Dominican Republic’s independence and she was thus given the name “Patria” which means “fatherland.” At Inmaculada Concepcion, Patria excelled in painting and art. At seventeen Patria married Pedro Gonzalez, a farmer, and the couple had four children together. Patria’s support for Minerva’s anti-government efforts resulted in Patria’s property and home being seized by the government. Patria’s role in helping her sisters was centered around her concern for the future of the country’s children.
Dede Mirabal, the only Mirabal sister not assassinated, presently lives in Salcedo, Dominican Republic in the house where she and her sisters grew up. She works to preserve her sisters’ memory through the Museo Hermanas Mirabal, a museum which was the home of the sisters for the final ten months of their lives.
(Adapted from Elizabeth Shaffer’s informational Flyers)