Stories of Girls’ Resistance
Maria, Nicaragua


“I don’t know if you have children, but if you had a son, and you bring him and his name is Carlitos and I tell him, what is your name? Robert? I’m lying because I know his name is Carlitos but the adult always says, “his name is not Roberto” and you take away the child’s ability to talk and I’m always seeing the world of adults. I am an anti-adult, pro-girl, anti-adults, but I would tell you to look for each other, to run away from adults.”

María’s Story

María José is a Nicaraguan feminist. She has been writing poetry since she was little. She was born in Chinandega, a city located on the border with Honduras and El Salvador. Chinandega is situated between a volcano and an ocean. She grew up recognising the limitations of her context and wanting something different.

She lived in a humble neighbourhood that had huge rates of alcoholism. Her house was located approximately a block away from Canaveral. Since she was little, she knew that she had different life aspirations than the other girls in her neighbourhood who were already mothers or about to have children.  She learned and assimilated the violence against girls, and recognised that it could be challenged.

Her first significant resistance was reading. She read absolutely every possible book at her reach. She was a girl who was part of a leftist family. It wasn’t hard for her to get involved as she had a revolutionary dad that was part of the old ANS7 (Sandinistas Kids Association). And became a national leader in that space while she was barely 11 years old. The action group would become a protection bubble for her. In the action group, María José and the other kids would learn to name the violence as such. In there, she would find more strength and more reiteration of their demands, dreams, and goals. In this group, boys and girls were involved in different processes related to them. For example, María José was part of a group that was consulted about the Childhood and Adolescence Code. A legal framework that is currently valid in the country, and penalises physical abuse.

Her power grew and she became more confident in standing up for what she thought was unfair. As she pointed out: “I decided to become what I’m today: an activist, a permanent militant. But being a  permanent militant, it’s not always easy. Sometimes it is a confrontation with itself and with those who are supposed to be allies.”

At the age of 16, she experienced sexual harassment from one of the adult leaders of the movement in which she was participating. Fortunately, she met with a friend who told her that what she experienced was harassment and would support her to submit the accusation against the harasser. Unfortunately, doing so would cost her to quit the space where she had grown. While María José was a child, she learned to use a megaphone to denunciate violence. The persons in that space wouldn’t be exempt from being denounced.  She used a symbolic megaphone against them.

After some years, María José and her activist friends documented their experiences of activism in their childhood through an initiative called: “witches with bad behavior, women at liberty.” In this project, they worked with girls that are stigmatised at school and home because they are considered as the “troublemakers, the rebels, or those with bad behavior.” The girls are invited to open feminist chats.

María José is a 34 years old woman survivor of Ortega’s dictatorship, a mother, and a student pursuing her Ph.D.  She was persecuted and has been in exile. However, she plans to return to her country as she does not think she can survive the idea of being exiled, and living in limbo. And, at some point, she hopes to document the atrocities committed by Nicaragua since 2018.

She is a feminist that supports pregnancy interruption. Fierce when there is violence against girls and boys. She doesn’t mind arguing,  fighting, or entering a political distance with other women if she needs to guard the integrity of girls and boys. She teaches her son that there is no ideal mother, just a possible one. Her maternal relation is from love, care, and respect.