Maria Guadalupe DeLarios, a young woman who followed her dreams

Adventure and bravery come in many shapes and forms. The following real-life account of a girl following her dreams is a contribution passed on to me by Marie Murphy of Running Springs, California at the recently concluded ‘49ers Encampment in Death Valley National Park. The young adventurer Marie describes is her grandmother.

Maria Guadalupe DeLarios was born in the beautiful exotic fishing village of Veracruz, Mexico in 1898. She was orphaned as a child but was blessed to be adopted by a wealthy family with whom she lived until she reached the age of sixteen. Guadalupe always loved to dance and sing and expressed her desire to become an entertainer and work on stage. However, the theatrical profession was not considered a proper one for women. So, at the age of sixteen, amidst threats of losing her inheritance, she followed her dream and boarded a stagecoach for her long trip alone to the United States.

This was the start of an adventure. Pancho Villa was active during this time, so many times during the long ride as they approached small villages the stage coach driver would advise his passengers to draw the blinds. Curiosity was too much for Guadalupe. She would pull up a corner of the blind and what she saw would forever be imprinted in her mind. Strung up on trees in the villages were the bodies of villagers who suffered at the hands of Pancho Villa.

Guadalupe succeeded in her dream of working on stage. She met her husband while performing in vaudeville in California, where she spent the rest of her life.

For the record, I must note that Marie herself has inherited some of that stage presence for she sings, dances, plays the washboard, and teaches line dancing each year at the encampment.

Death Valley ‘49ers Encampment

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