loader image


Flora Tristan

FLORA TRISTAN (1803 – 1844) 

Los Tristán fueron una de las familias más ricas de Arequipa, herederas del virreinato español. El padre de Flora Tristán, el capitán Mariano de Tristán, contrajo matrimonio religioso con la francesa Thérèse Lesnais  en España y en 1803 nació la hija única. Criada aristocráticamente hasta los cinco años, la vida de Flora cambió radicalmente cuando falleció el padre. Thérèse y Flora, empobrecidas,  se mudan a París. Flora comenzó a trabajar como obrera a los dieciséis años, se casó con su empleador y tuvo dos hijos. Pero el marido era violento y autoritario y Flora abandonó Paris rumbo a Arequipa, para buscar con su adinerada familia una herencia que le fue negada. A su vuelta a Europa escribió un librto sobre este viaje, a la que titula “Peregrinaciones de una paria”, publicada en francés en 1838, y que dedica «A los peruanos» con su firma: «Vuestra amiga y compatriota».

The book is considered a chronicle of the society of arequipa in the early years of Independence, a powerful text ideological written by a woman avant-garde, of a class or group to another, from one culture to another. It is considered to Flora Tristan as one of the founders of early feminism.



I believed that my story could be of some benefit to you. For this reason, I dedicate it. Without doubt, you will be surprised that a person who uses so few epithets laudatory to speak of you has thought to offer his work. There are people similar to several individuals: while less advanced you are, the more susceptible it is your self-love. Those of you who read my relationship feel first animosity against me and will not be, but by an effort of philosophy to a few, I do you justice. The false censorship is a thing in vain. Founded, irritate and, therefore, is one of the biggest tests of friendship. I have received among you a host so benevolent that would be necessary for me to be a monster of ingratitude, to feed against the Peru feelings hostile. No one there is someone who wishes more sincerely than I your current prosperity and your progress in the future. That vote of my heart dominates my thinking and to see that labour and are flawed, and that you not think first of all in the harmonization of customs with the organization policy that you have taken, I have had the courage to speak, with the risk of offending your sense of national pride.

I said, after you have checked that in Peru, the upper class is deeply corrupt, to satisfy their greed, their love of power and his other passions, attempts to more anti-social. I have also said that the exhaustion of the people is extreme in all the races that compose it. These two situations have always fought, in all nations, the one with the other. The exhaustion of a people, a born immorality in the upper classes, and this immorality spreads and reaches, with all the power they have acquired during their career, the last few rungs of the social hierarchy. When all of the individuals know how to read and write, when the newspapers to penetrate up to the hut of the indian, then, finding in the village judges whose censorship shall ye fear, and whose vote you will have to look for, adquiriréis the virtues that you are missing. Then the clergy, in order to preserve its influence over the people, will recognize that the means used in the present may not serve you anymore. The processions burlesque and all the glitz of paganism, they will be replaced by instructive preaching. Because after that the Press has awakened the reason of the masses, will be at this new school that will need to be addressed, if we want to be heard. Instruid for, the people; it is that by which ye should enter on the path of prosperity. Establish schools even in the most modest villages: it is urgent now. Employees in this all your resources. Consagrad to it the property of the convents, you might not give them target more religious. Take measures to facilitate the learning. The man who has an office, is no longer a proletarian. Unless you hurt calamities, has no recourse to the charity of their fellow citizens. Preserves so that independence of character which is so necessary to develop, in a free people. The future is in America. Prejudices may not enrol in it as in our old Europe. Stocks are not quite homogeneous as for that barrier retards the progress. Since the work ceases to be considered as a heritage of the slave and of the classes with the smallest of the population, everyone will merit of him some day, and idleness, away from being a title to consideration, will no longer look but as the crime of the dregs of society.

Peru, was in all of America, the country of the most advanced civilization, following its discovery by the Spanish. This circumstance should do boast favorably about the provisions of the native inhabitants and the resources that it offers. That a progressive government to call on their aid to the Arts of Asia and of Europe and be able to do that peruvians to occupy that rank among the nations of the New World! It is very sincere desire that encourages me.

Your fellow-countryman and friend.


Flora Tristan.

Paris, August, 1836”.