Who would ever have thought that a girl born in poverty would one day become one of the most influential women in Argentina. Maria Eva Duarte was born on May 7th, 1919 in the rural village of Los Todas in the Pampas. She was the youngest of 5 children. She was abandoned by her father at an early age and her mother was a seamstress forced to work for neighbors to help support her children.
In 1934 at the age of 15 Eva, who had heard of the capital’s riches left for Buenos Aires with her musician boyfriend. Buenos Aires in the 1930’s was thriving and considered at the time “Th Paris of South America”. Eva arrived with little education and breeding into such a sophisticated city. Her boyfriend was quickly dispensed with and Eva pursued a career in radio and did some modeling. This led to movies and by the early 40’s she was reasonably well established financially and even enjoyed a small measure of fame. On the 15th January a tragic event would change her life forever. An earthquake in the town of San Juar killed 10,000 people. Juan Peron who was then Secretary of Labour organized fund-raising events to help the victims. The most important was a gala on the 22nd of January. Many influential people attended including Eva who was then well established as a movie star. Eva would describe meeting Peron as she did at the gala as her “most marvelous day”. They married and Eva became the first women in Argentina to appear in an official portrait with her husband. Eva embarked on a tour of Europe, where she was mostly well relieved. However, she will be mostly remembered for her work with the poor. She created the Eva Peron Foundation and even contributed the first 10,000 pesos from her own funds. By the late 1940’s the fund had assets of over $200 million. The fund-built hospitals, homes for orphans and even an entire community named Evita City which still exists today. Eva played a pivotal role in women getting the vote. In 1951 she had deiced to run for the position of Vice President which caused much anger among much of the country’s military who hated her and felt she had too much power. The working class who her foundation mostly supported were thrilled and even her husband was shocked by the level of support she received. However, what was not publicly known at the time was that Eva who had fainted in public in January 1950 and an operation 3 days later discovered she had cervical cancer. It was already to late and even a hysterectomy failed to halt the disease. On the 4th June 1952 Eva rode with her husband through Buenos Aires upon his reelection as President. At 20;25 on June 25th He death was announced. All movies were halted and people in restaurants were told to go home.
For more details on Eva Peron and the museum click here
Tinyteddys feedback: Learning a lot on this trip that’s for sure and grateful for such experiences. We both enjoyed the museum.