Juana, la Avanzadora tells the story of an extraordinary woman who fought for the freedom of her country at a time when women were relegated to the sidelines.
The history of women during the Venezuelan War of Independence is marked by their absence. They are better known as cooks, nurses or companions in the revolutionary struggles of their husbands and male relatives. We know little about the women who fought on the battlefield against the Spanish Empire. Juana Ramírez is an exception.
Born into slavery in 1790, Juana Ramírez dreamed of an equal society for brown, indigenous and black people. Juana hoped to join the fight for independence from the Spanish Empire, but women were relegated to accompanying fathers, husbands, sons or brothers who went to war. At the age of 15, she joined the fight as a simple laundress and then as a makeshift nurse. But when all seemed lost at the Battle of Alto de los Godos on 25 May 1813 and the men had fallen, her actions at the head of a 100-strong all-female artillery unit won them the war. Did Juana live to see her dream of freedom come true?
Juana, la Avanzadora is part of REVOLUCIONARIAS, a collection of historical fiction about inspiring Latin American women from colonisation to the present day, created by Margarita Pérez García and Adriana Ramírez.
Other books in the collection are:
- María Cano, la Flor de trabajo by Adriana Ramírez (2021)
- Guaitipán, la líder guerrera by Adriana Ramírez (2023)
Re-reading Latin American history from the perspective of women engages you with issues of power, inequality and social justice.
Read to learn Spanish and read to rewrite History! Learn Spanish by reading with Juana, la Avanzadora.
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This is Margarita Pérez García’s newest addition to the series called Revolucionarias (Maria Cano and Guaitipán are the first 2 - written by Adriana Ramírez.)
Born into slavery in 1790, she later joined the fight for independence from Spain — but her story is not in the history books. She headed a 100-strong all-female artillery unit when the men had all fallen.
It’s a rewriting of a known story from the perspective of the women this time and it’s powerful.
I really, really love this story. It’s around a level 3/4. Beautifully illustrated. Beautifully. It’s a compelling story and grabs your attention and holds it.