Caught between Andean folk religion of the native peoples of Peru, and New Spain’s religion of Catholicism, native priest Diego Vasicuio survived through “adaptation” by secretly holding native ceremonies and keeping a low profile in the midst of European domination of his native Peru.
Francisco Baquero Buenos Aires / Rio de la Plata
This master craftsman shoemaker of mixed blood was not allowed to provide his services or sell shoe products to the upper classes of Buenos Aires, as he was not recognized by the white guild in this Spanish colonial city.
For over 17 years Baquero worked relentlessly to be recognized by the white guild, and attempted to set up a nonwhite guild, and even traveled to Spain at his own expense towards this effort.
Although a nonwhite guild was never formed, his unrelenting work eventually caused the dissolution of the white guild, and many nonwhite shoemakers benefitted from this decision.
Beatriz de Padilla was a beautiful, charming and intelligent woman who was born as a woman of color into slavery, of which she was freed. She lived in the 1600’s.
In 1650, she was accused later in her life of poisoning and bewitching her lover, a prominent priest whom she lived with as the mistress of the house. These charges were brought about by his relatives, did not approve of their public relationship.
She was taken before the Tribunal of the Inquisition, and was later acquitted of all charges brought against her.
The mistress archetype is further enhanced by the fact that Beatriz was born into one of the lowest classes, and rose to a position of prominence despite her color and low status in society, and managed to carve out a life, albeit unconventional, in which she bore children and triumphed over adverstiy.
This comely Aztec princess was one of the last legitimate daughters born to Moctezuma II, the last Emperor of the Aztec Empire. She went on to have two Aztec husbands and three Spanish husbands. According to Author Donald Chipman, she became a “devout Catholic and hispanicized woman who bridged the worlds of Spaniard and Indian (Chipman p. 222).
In 1590, a landmark decision was made over her rights of inheritance to the lands of Moctezuma II, awarding the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the emperor revenues from vacant encomiendas in Mexico “in perpetuity” for themselves and their heirs (Chipman).
By noted historian and author Fred Bronner’s account, Hernando de Valencia served as a treasury agent for the Spanish government during the early 1600’s.
He was sent on a mission to Lima, Peru to try to extort funds out of the Spanish Americans to fund ongoing wars the Spanish were engaged in for European dominance. He was very naïve.
The king’s council would “. . . fix land grabs, legalize forbidden vineyards, license food stores. . .sell patents of nobility. . . ” and ask for generous donations from the colonists of New Spain (Bronner p.311).
He found himself caught in the web of corruption and red tape that was the norm for legal proceedings and local government, and was thus kept from the successful execution of his duties.
He returned to Spain in 1635, and the records of Lima mention his role only once.
Juan de Morga and Gertrudis de Escobar Rebellious Slaves of New Spain
According to author and historian Solange Alberro, these two rebellious mulatto slaves lived and worked during the 17 th century and suffered sever hardships and harsh and cruel treatment from the sugar plantations and silver mines where they toiled. Yet they managed to “live by their wits” and survive despite these survival challenges during this time in Spanish colonial history (Alberro).
Cristobel Bequer, an ambitious church cleric with a cruel temper and lack of respect for women, was able to narrowly avoid prosecution for his various crimes as he died before the Lima Church authorities could take legal action against him in 1751 for his crimes of brutality (Paul B. Ganster).
According to historian, Edith Ciuturier, Micaela Carrillo had a Spanish father and an Indian mother, and she lived in what is now present-day Amozoc, a predominantly Indian village in New Spain during the early to mid 17th century.
She married an Indian man, and was left an impoverished widow who managed to rise above her circumstances, and died a wealthy land owner and manufacturer of the intoxicating drink, pulque.
When she wrote her last will, she did so by Indian law, to insure that her natural children would receive inheritance rights.
Her surviving children fought for rights to her estate through an embittered law suit, that resulted in her surviving daughter receiving the intent of her mother’s will.
Micaela was able to live independently, and was afforded many of the same rights as men had during her lifetime.