Dear Curiosity Journal,

Back in the van with another Catrina co-pilot, I head to the McIntosh Memorial Library in Viroqua to deliver “Adelita” for her continued exhibition. Her presentation placard reads, “Women who participated in the Mexican Revolution as military soldiers, cooks, nurses, and general aids, are known as “adelitas” or “soldaderas”. The term “adelita” originated thanks to Adela Velarde Perez, a young woman who left home at the age of 13 to join the revolution. Her figure stars in one of the most popular corridos (traditional ballad) that became a sort of battle hymn for the revolutionary troops who sang it before the fight”. She lived from 1900 to 1971, which means she survived the revolution, a decade long struggle against dictatorship and peasants being mistreated by the elite. As I stand before her proud figure, I try to envision and embody what it would be like to take on such a battle as a young teenager, to strap an X of weighty ammunition across my chest. I wonder what combination of character and experience lit the fire inside of her. I wonder what she saw and how the revolution changed her. Her interest was in medicine, and she led a group of women who treated wounded soldiers. She was a nurse on the front lines at the age of 15 but wasn’t recognized as a veteran until 20 years after the revolution. She is said to have died in poverty in the United States. I’m honored to be a part of this small tribute to her and all “adelitas”, another little flicker of the light of their lives, a flag in our face, so that we do not forget.