Yolanda Garden

Coming of age during the dictatorship of Trujillo (1930-61), Yolanda Garden confronted repression, homophobia, machismo and war, with valor, becoming a key figure in the 1965 civil war in the Dominican Republic, despite never appearing in history books. Her revolutions, however, were many, including the human rights of women, particularly queer women, immigrants, and sex workers. Yolanda Garden currently resides in Lecco, Italy where she continues to lead a life that is an example of intersectionality and transnational struggles for justice. In this video interview we hear from both Thiara Garden, Yolanda’s niece, and Yolanda herself about her role in 1965 Dominican Civil War better known as La Guerra de Abril. Yolanda Garden and other working women from the northern neighborhoods of Santo Domingo carried weapons, trained soldiers, fought in battle against the marines and the Legalista Dominican forces, and worked as messengers during the key days following the U.S. military intervention, risking their own lives for what they believed was right. Many died during the Operación Limpieza that followed the U.S. intevervention. Yolanda, luckily, survived to tell the story.