In theTime of the Butterflies Timeline

Color code: Chapter 1: Grey Chapter 2: Red Chapter 3: Dark Blue Chapter 4: Dark Green Chapter 5: Light Blue Chapter 6: Orange Chapter 7: Purple Chapter 8: Lime Green Chapter 9: Pink Chapter 10: Brown Chapter 11: Yellow Chapter 12: Black


Enrique Mirabal dies

December 10 1953

The father of the Mirabals dies, causes unclear

*This date is estimated

November 25

November 25 1960

Minerva, Mate, and Patria go up to Puerto Plato to see the men, they are told to avoid the pass by a clerk at the store, but don't follow his advice. They pick up a soldier on their way there, and while on the way they see Pen's car parked at Trujillo's mansion. They make it to the prison safely, but the husbands ask them to please stay at their friends house overnight. They decide not to, and begin to drive home. They are stopped by a car, and are taken and killed. They are then placed back in the car and pushed over the edge of a bridge, so it would like an accident.


Goes to boarding school

September 1938

Minerva starts school at Immaculada Concepcion

Minerva meets Sinita

September 1938

Minerva meets Sinita, a "charity" student and they become friends

Minerva learns Sinita's secret

October 1938

Minerva learns from Sinita that Trujillo killed all the men in her family

Minerva's friend Lina is chosen by Trujillo


Minerva's friend Lina is chosen by Trujillo to be his 'girlfriend' and she ends up pregnant and shipped out of the country

Minerva performs for Trujillo

October 1944

Minerva performs her independence skit for Trujillo, which turns out to be a assassination attempt against Trujillo by Sinita

Minerva graduates

July 1946

Minerva graduates from Immaculada Concepcion

Minerva discovers her fathers affair

August 1949

Minerva is driving around the side roads around their property, and she sees her father's car parked at one of the houses. Every time she goes by that house, a bunch of little girls come out and run after her and she sees their eyes and knows they are her father's.

Minerva discovers Lio's letters

August 1949

Minerva goes into her father's closet and discovers letters addressed to her from Lio asking her to join him in Columbia.

That same day, Minerva confronts her father about the affair and his hiding the letters. She tells him he has lost her respect, and explains he was only trying to protect himself.

Discovery Day Dance

October 12 1949

Minerva's father is invited to a private party thrown by Trujillo and in the invitation it is specifically stated he wants Minerva to attend. Despite Mama's wishes, Minerva, Pedrito, Patria, and Papa attend. Minerva dances with Trujillo, and reveals to him that she knows Lio and wants to be a lawyer. He is sexually aggressive with her, and she slaps him. It begins to rain, and Minerva and her family leave without permission. In the car ride home, Minerva realizes she left her purse with the letters from Lio at the party.

Minerva's father is arrested

October 14, 1949

Two days after leaving the Discovery Dance without permission, Papa is taken in for questioning even after he sent a telegram of apology to El Jefe

Minerva is questioned

October 20 1949

Minerva is brought in for questioning, where she reveals she knew Lio personally but has not maintained contact with him. Trujillo tells her he will release her father for a "private meeting" with her to which she refuses

Minerva's father is released

November 10 1949

Minerva's father is released, but he is a broken man now and his mind is not all there

Minerva marries Manolo

November 20 1955

Minerva marries Manolo

Minerva receives her law degree

July 27 1957

Minerva receives her law degree, but Trujillo withholds her license to practice

Minerva arrested

January 25 1960

House Arrest

August 1960 - November 1960

When they are released, Minerva and Mate are put under house arrest. Minerva has self-doubts- she is not the same as she was before prison. Pena is their authority, they must go to him if they want to leave the house ever. He suggests they write a letter to Trujillo, which they do. They get news that the OAS has imposed sanctions and there is hope again in the revolution. Unknown men try to re-spark the revolution, but are sloppy and get caught. Minerva visits one of the last known revolutionaries and discovers the US didn't want to get involved for fear of helping a communist government. Manolo and Leandro are moved to a different prison in the mountains.


Goes to boarding school

January 1939

Dede starts school at Immaculada Concepcion


1948 - 1949

Dede and Minerva meet a young scholar named Lio, and are both immediately taken with him, but Minerva and him really hit it off. Minerva and Lio and Dede and Jaimito begin going on double dates and hanging out all the time. Mama learns of Lio's affiliation with the university and the protests of the government and tries to ban the girls from seeing him, but they all meet in secret. The same night Lio goes into hiding, Jaimito asks Dede to marry him. Dede denies the feelings she has for Lio and accepts. Lio later gives her a letter for Minerva asking her to go into hiding with him, but Dede burns it.
Later on in 1994, Dede notes Minerva's getting involved with Lio as the start of all the "problems" becase "Lio presented a very real opportunity to fight against the regime" (pg 66).

Dede's struggle

December 1959 - March 1960

Minerva, Mate, and Patria want Dede to join them, but Jaimito is completely against it. She resolves to leave him, but fears losing her sons. They go on another honeymoon, and are reconciled.

Dede is visited by an interviewer

March 1994

Dede is visited by an interviewer, which launches her into a series of flashbacks


Goes to boarding school

September 1938

Patria starts school at Immaculada Concepcion

Patria gets married

February 24, 1941

Patria marries Pedrito three days before her 17th birthday

Nelson is born

November 1941

Patria has her first child, Nelson

*No specific date given, November is an estimation

Noris is born

January 1944

Patria has her second child, Noris

*No specific date given, January is an estimation

Patria gives birth to a stillborn

July 19 1946

On religious retreat, Church gets attacked

June 14 1959

While on a religious retreat, the Church that her and the people she is with are in gets attacked by guerillas. Patria sees a young boy get shot and decides then and there she's not going to "watch her babies die". This was a turning point for Patria, it was what really motivated her to join the revolution.

Patria allows Minerva's meetings to be held inside

September 1959

Patria had been letting Minerva have her underground meetings on her property, but always outside the house. Patria lets them come inside, and this is symbolic for her joining the resistance with Pedrito.

*This date is estimated

Nelson and Pedrito arrested

January 1960

Nelson and Pedrito are arrested, and Patria's home is torn apart

Nelson released

March 1960

After weeks of petitioning Nelson is released, another 'debt' the Mirabals owe Trujillo

Maria Teresa

First Communion, receives diary

December 1945

Maria Teresa recieves a diary for her First Communion from Patria

Mate learns about Minerva sneaking out of school

February 18 1946

Minerva learns that Minerva has been sneaking out of school and lies to the principal to cover for her

Minerva tells Mate about the meetings

February 24, 1946

Minerva tells Mate about how her, Elsa, Lourdes, and Sinita have been going to secret meetings at Don Horacio's house and about how Trujillo is bad

Mata and Mama meet Minerva's new boyfriend Manolo

February 14 1954

Mate and Mama meet Minerva's new boyfriend, who is also studying law, and both really like him

Mate graduates

July 3 1954

Maria Teresa graduates from Immaculada Concepcion

Mate moves to the capital to attend university

September 19 1954

Mate moves to the capital and stays with Minerva while they attend university

Mate moves in with Minerva and Manolo

July 29 1957

Mate moves in with Minerva and Manolo, noting tension and talk in "treasure hunt clues" between the two

Mate joins the underground movement

September 28 1957

After Mate meets a man who was bringing a delivery that was a part of the movement, Minerva and Manolo explain the entire underground to her, and she instantly wants to join

Mate falls in love with Leandro

November 14 1957

Mate falls in love with a man who is involved in the movement- making her permanently involved in the movement

Mate marries Leandro

February 14 1958

Maria Teresa arrested

January 20 1960

Mate and Minerva's recorded time in prison

March 1960 - August 1960

Mate received her journal March 16, and talks about her fears. While they're in jail Minerva insists they go to "school" like Castro did while he was incarcerated. Minerva is put in solitary often for not complying with the rules. They are offered a pardon, but Minerva refuses to let them accept it because they have nothing to be pardoned for, and she won't go until everyone gets to go. Mate realizes that she is pregnant, and decides to abort it. She is taken to La 40, the torture chamber, and is tortured there in front of Leandro to get him to talk, which he does. Because of this, she has a miscarriage. Minerva and Mate have a trial, and get 5 years. They hear that the OAS will be coming to investigate human rights abuses in Trujillo's prisons, and Minerva wants Mate to tell them what happened in La 40 but Mate doesn't want to. When she meets with them she drops a note about the injustices but nothing about her own personal story. They hear all political women will be released, and they describe it as bittersweet.