Female members of the military participating in revolutionary movements, the soldaderas are skilled in the arts of guerilla warfare.
The term “soldaderas” traditionally refers to women of the federal and rebel armies during the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920) and the ensuing civil war. Determined fighters drawn from all strata of Mexican society (nurses, maids, etc.), these women shared common origins, often coming from very poor families. Thousands of them joined the revolutionary troops from villages and haciendas all over the country, some by choice and some through coercion. Although the names of most of these women have been forgotten, their contribution was enormous and many have become heroes of the revolution, such as Petra Herrera and María Quinteras de Meras. On May 30, 1914, Petra Herrera led several hundred soldaderas in an attack on the city of Torréon, which allowed the revolutionary army to obtain heavy artillery, ammunition, and armored vehicles. It is unsurprising, therefore, that there is a corrido, or revolutionary song, dedicated to her.