Mariana Grajales Coello
Service to country
Mariana Grajales was born in Santiago de Cuba, daughter of Dominican parents and of mulato race, on June 26, 1808 and married to Marco Maceo in 1851. She bore thirteen children, nine to Maceo, giving birth to her last child at the age of 52. Mariana, along with her family, lived in the refuge of La Delicia in the barrio Majaguabo of San Luis, Santiago de Cuba, later running a mountain settlement and improvised bush hospital.
Mariana and her family served in the Ten Years' War, Little War (1868-1878) and the War of 1895. Jose and Antonio Maceo Grajales, sons of Mariana, served as generals in the Liberation Army from 1868 through 1878. During her time serving in the war, Mariana ran hospitals and provision grounds on the base camps of her son Antonio, frequently entering the battlefield to aid wounded soldiers, both Spaniard and Cuban.
José Martí, after witnessing Mariana Grajales and Antonio Maceos' wife, Maria Cabrales, enter the battlefield to rescue the wounded Antonio, remarked: "Faciles son los heroes con tales mujeres" (It is easy to be heroes with women such as these).
In 1957 the Mayor of Havana, Justo Luis Pozo del Puerto, officially declared Doña Mariana Grajales de Maceo the "Mother of Cuba."
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- Shepherd, Verene (June 2005). Engendering History: Caribbean Women in Historical Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 296. ISBN 0-312-12766-9.
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- Office of Research and Policy (January 1992). Cuba Annual Report: 1989. Transaction Publishers. p. 227. ISBN 1-56000-016-3.