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Remembering Guatemala's Courageous Women

Guatemala is a country steeped in culture and history, shaped by the courage and resilience of its people. Among the figures who have made a profound impact are María Chinchilla Recinos, Concepción Ramirez, and Rogelia Cruz. These three remarkable women have not only left a lasting legacy but continue to inspire future generations. To keep their stories alive and raise awareness, Ethny has honored them by naming their handcrafted handbags after these heroines.

María Chinchilla Recinos: A Symbol of Education and Courage

Born on September 2nd, 1909, in Jutiapa, Guatemala, María Chinchilla Recinos dedicated her life to education and activism. Working as a teacher in Asunción Mita, Jutiapa, María became renowned for her dedication to her students and her commitment to social justice.


In 1932, María moved to Guatemala City, where she continued her teaching career and became involved in the Catholic Teachers Association. Known for her leadership and unwavering spirit, María advocated for fair wages for teachers and participated in peaceful protests against the government’s unjust policies.


Tragically, María’s life was cut short during a peaceful protest on June 25th, 1944, when she was shot and killed. In honor of her sacrifice, the National Association of Teachers declared June 25th as Teachers Day, a day to commemorate María Chinchilla’s legacy of courage and advocacy for education.


In honor to María Chinchilla Recinos discover the Ethny María Minibag.

Rogelia Cruz: A Fighter for Social Justice

Born on August 31st, 1941, Rogelia Cruz was a woman of many talents and a fierce advocate for social justice. As a college student studying architecture and a former beauty queen, Rogelia defied stereotypes and pursued her passion for activism.


Rogelia’s socialist beliefs led her to join the revolutionary fight for equality and justice in Guatemala. She fearlessly transported people and weapons, risking her own safety for the greater good.


Tragically, Rogelia’s activism led to her capture in 1967. On January 11th, 1968, her body was found with signs of torture, making her a martyr of the revolution. Despite the risks, Rogelia remained true to her ideals and continues to be remembered as a brave woman who fought tirelessly for a better Guatemala.


The Ethny Rogelia Handbag is named in honor of Rogelia Cruz, a figure synonymous with Guatemala’s pursuit of social justice and her significant contributions to the country’s progress. This handbag celebrates her enduring legacy and commitment to change. Discover the Ethny Rogelia Handbag, a tribute to a true heroine. 

Concepción Ramirez: Beauty, Tradition, and Activism

Born on March 8th, 1942, in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala, Concepción Ramirez embodied beauty, tradition, and activism. Raised in a family deeply rooted in evangelicalism and traditional craftsmanship, Concepción’s upbringing instilled in her a love for her culture and a passion for peace.


At the age of 17, Concepción’s beauty captured the nation’s attention when her portrait was featured on the 25 Centavo coin. She later married Miguel Angel Renada Secay and had six children.


Despite personal tragedies, including the loss of her father and husband to political violence, Concepción remained committed to advocating for peace and the preservation of her cultural heritage. As a spokesperson for the Tz’Utujil region, she worked tirelessly to promote the language and traditions of her people.


Today, Concepción’s legacy lives on in Plaza Concepción, a place named in her honor, and in the Ethny Concepción Backpack, a symbol of her contribution to Guatemala’s development and peace efforts.

As we reflect on the lives of María Chinchilla, Concepción Ramirez, and Rogelia Cruz, it becomes clear that their contributions transcend the boundaries of their individual achievements. These women not only shaped the course of Guatemalan history but also paved the way for future generations to continue the fight for justice, peace, and cultural preservation. Their stories of bravery, resilience, and unwavering spirit remind us of the power of individual action in the face of adversity.


In remembering María Chinchilla, Concepción Ramirez, and Rogelia Cruz, we honor the courage and resilience of Guatemala’s women who have shaped the nation’s history and continue to inspire positive change. Their legacies serve as a reminder of the power of individuals to make a difference, even in the face of adversity.

Explore our beautiful collection at  Ethny Store were every bag has a story and a purpose.

Alexandrine Michelas

Founder and Artistic Director

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