Beatriz de la Cueva

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Beatriz de la Cueva de Alvarado (died September 1541), was the Governor of the Spanish colony of Guatemala from July 1541 until September of that year. She is unique as the only one of her sex to have such a position in a major division of Spanish Latin America in colonial times.

She was the niece of the duke of Albuquerque and the sister of Fransisca de Cueva, who married the conquistador Pedro de Alvarado in 1527. She married her former brother-in-law ten years after the death of her sister. That first marriage was childless. After the death of her spouse on 4 July 1541, she succeeded him in the position of governor in September 1541 when the news of Alvarado's death reached Guatemala. She signed her designation as governor as La Sin Ventura (The misfortunate one). She died a couple of days later, with her baby daughter in a flood which drowned the city of Antigua Ciudad Vieja after the eruption of the Volcán de Agua. She was succeeded by her brother Francesco de la Cueva y Villacreces.


  • "Conquistador and Colonial Elites of Central America" (list), Fabio Joseph Flouty, University of California Irvine, webpage: UCI-CN.
  • "Conquered Conquistadors", Florine G.L. Asselbergs, First Edition, published 2004