The Queen of Water

25 10 2011

Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango collaborated on writing this novel which is based on the true story of Virginia’s life as an indígena (native) from an Andean village in Ecuador in the 1980s. Her parents are very poor tenant famers and are convinced or coerced into letting their 7-year-old daughter become a servant to a mestizo (mixed race, light skinned) couple, Doctorita (the wife) and Nino Carlitos. In exchange she is to be abe to come home monthly, be paid, and be given an education. Virginia is not looking for pity, but you need to know her story and know that hers is not the only story like this.

She is called stupid, longo, and forced to do all the house-work and take care of the children. Remember she is seven. Virginia is kept away from her family, never paid, and often kept locked away in the couple’s home. She forgets her native language, Quichua, and speaks only Spanish. She is beaten by Doctorita for even a minor infractions of the couple’s rules. This mestizo couple are educated – she is a dentist and he is a teacher. Yet, they don’t seem to see anything wrong with enslaving this young girl. They don’t give her any of the things her parent were told, no visits, no education, and no money. Virginia cannot even eat off the same plates the family uses.

Virginia is truly a strong person and she survives all the torture and torment. She returns to her family and works her way through high school. And now her story has been told.

This is one of the best books I’ve read this year. You can read an excerpt at Google Books.

Find out more about Otavalo.

And its culture

About the author & the book

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