Friday, April 8, 2011

In History: Pancha Carrasco

This is the 72nd post in a weekly feature here at Spare Candy, called "In History." Some posts might be little more than a photo, others full on features. If you have any suggestions for a person or event that should be featured, or would like to submit a guest post or cross post, e-mail me at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com.

Painting of Francisca Carrasco Jiménez (Pancha Carrasco) 1826-1890
hanging in the Juan Santamaria Cultural-Historical Museum in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
Pancha Carrasco, born on this day, April 8, in 1826, was Costa Rica's first woman in the military. Carrasco is most famous for joining the defending forces at the Battle of Rivas in 1856 with a rifle and bullets. The strength and determination she showed there made her a symbol of national pride and she was later honored with a Costa Rican postage stamp, a Coast Guard vessel, and the creation of the "Pancha Carrasco Police Women's Excellence Award."

In 1856, at age 40, when William Walker and his filibusteros invaded Costa Rica, Carrasco volunteered as a cook and a medic. She filled her apron pockets with bullets, grabbed a rifle, and joined the defending forces at the Battle of Rivas. She died Dec. 31, 1890, at the age of 64.

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