Joaquina Cabrera

Joaquina Cabrera (21 August 1836 – 3 July 1908) was the de facto First Lady of Guatemala and mother of Guatemalan President Manuel Estrada Cabrera. She had a large amount of influence on her son's government and she would be honored on her birthday after her death as if she were still alive. Her funeral, which took place on 4–5 July 1908, began in Guatemala City and traveled through Amatitlán, Escuintla and Mazatenango before returning by train to her home town of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.


Joaquina Cabrera
Doña Joaquina Cabrera on the cover of La Locomotora, 11 August 1906[1]
First Lady of Guatemala
In role
8 February 1898 – 3 July 1908
PresidentManuel Estrada Cabrera
Preceded byAlgeria Benton de Reyna
Succeeded byMercedes Llerandi
First Mother of the Nation
In role
8 February 1898 – 3 July 1908
PresidentManuel Estrada Cabrera
Preceded byVacant (from 1897)
Celia Barrios de Reyna
Succeeded byNone
Position abolished
President of the Asylum of Motherhood
In role
21 August 1901 – 3 July 1908
PresidentManuel Estrada Cabrera
Preceded byNone
Position established
Succeeded byNone
Position abolished
Personal details
Joaquina Arévalo Cabrera[a]

21 August 1836
DiedJuly 3, 1908(1908-07-03) (aged 71)
Guatemala City
Resting placeQuetzaltenango Cemetery
Nationality Guatemala
Spouse(s)Pedro Raymundo Estrada Monzón (1856-1857)
ChildrenManuel Estrada Cabrera
MotherJuana Cabrera
FatherValeriano Arévalo

Early lifeEdit

The remote San José Castle, where President Manuel Estrada Cabrera decided to relocate after two attempts on his life. Joaquina Cabrera would spend the last two months of her life living here.[2]

Joaquina Cabrera was born to parents Valeriano Arévalo and Juana Cabrera in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala on 21 August 1836, but her parents would separate shortly thereafter. Much is unknown about Cabrera's early life but for the details recorded in historian Rafael Arévalo Martínez's book ¡Ecce Pericles! and the official Guatemalan government mouthpieces Álbumes de Minerva and La Locomotora, the latter of those once referring to Cabrera as "the Distinguished Doña Joaquina Cabrera de Estrada" even though she was not married.[3][4] Historians generally agree that Cabrera and her son Manuel led a humble life making and selling confectioneries in the streets of Quetzaltenango and catering for wealthy families in the locality such as the Aparicios.[5]



  1. ^ Cabrera's parents separated, so she retained her mother's surname, "Cabrera."




  • Arévalo Martínez, Rafael (1945). ¡Ecce Pericles! (in Spanish). Guatemala City: National Typography of Guatemala [es].


  • Méndez, Joaquim; Estrada Paniagua, Felipe (11 August 1906). "Filantropía". La Locomotora. I (4). Guatemala. Retrieved 8 November 2017.