Adela Velarde

A full view of a sculpture designed under the guidance of Mexican sculptor Piti Luna, which will be placed upon Adela Velarde Pérez’s grave in the San Felipe Cemetery.

The Val Verde Winery will host the “Glass of Wine with Friends of Adelita” fundraiser on July 25 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The event will honor the late Adela Velarde Pérez and her contributions to the Mexican Revolution.

People wishing to attend must pay an entry fee. Live music and a video about the woman known as “La Adelita” or just “Adelita” will be featured at the fundraiser.

Money raised from the event will be used towards placing a bronze statue over Pérez’s tombstone and celebrate her symbol of bravery and beauty.The goal of the fundraiser is to generate $40,000 for the sculpture.

The sculpture is designed under the guidance of Mexican sculptor Piti Luna. It will feature a woman, in an iconic revolutionary war dress, laying in a bed of roses and a bandolier by her back.

The bronze sculpture will be placed on a marble base approximately 6’10” long, 2’4” wide and 4’11” tall.

“Having her buried in Del Rio is a big deal,” author Alberto Galindo said.

Galindo dedicated a book to Pérez’s story titled “Un Cielo de Metrallas.”

Galindo added many people do not know Pérez’s true merits from the revolution, and only consider her another war icon.

Pérez inspired one of the most renown corridos, “La Adelita” composed by Antonio Gil del Rio Armenta, from the Mexican Revolution.

She gave up the commodity of a home life and enlisted in the army at the age of 13 to serve in the revolution, against her parents’ wishes.

Pérez is recognized for her service in the infirmary unit, not as a guerrilla warrior or a woman wearing cartridge belts and weapons.

Pérez served as a voluntary nurse for the Cruz Blanca Neutral and helped wounded soldiers.

She adapted to her duties and was later incorporated to Col. Alfredo Berceda’s troops. It was during her service in a Chihuahua hospital where she met Armenta.

Armenta presented Pérez with songs as part of their courtship and later on a marriage proposal. Their relationship ended when Armenta was wounded in the Battle of Torreon.

Armenta composed the “La Adelita” as his final act. Pérez continued serving in the war until the Battle of Zacatecas.

After the war, Pérez relocated to Mexico City, Mexico and remained there until her marriage to Col. Alfredo Villegas in 1965 in Del Rio, Texas.

This was Pérez’s first and only marriage. She lived with Villegas for seven years until her passing in Sept. 4, 1971, four days before her 71st birthday.

To this day, Pérez remains in the San Felipe Cemetery.

More information of Pérez can be found online at laadelitadelrio.org.

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