In the Time of the Butterflies online timeline


The second oldest sister in the Mirabal family, and the only survivor.



Dedé has begun to remember how the Mirabal story started, and she is remembering the night her father 'predicted' that she would bury them all in silk and pearls. Dedé feels a sense of foreboding because hers is the only prediction that Papá told.



Dede is very quickly jealous of Minerva when Lío begins to pay Minerva more attention than her, but everyone assumes that she will be together with Jaimito, even Dede herself plays along with their assumptions.

Virigilio Moralez


Virigilio Moralez is introduced as a political ‘friend’ of Minerva’s, but even from the start of the chapter it is evident that Dedé did or still does harbor feelings for him that never bore fruit.

In the bushes

June 1948

When playing volleyball, Dede breaks apart Minerva and Lio in the bushes (not on purpose she tells herself) and a fight between Jaimito and Lio breaks out, ending with the two men shaking hands and making up.

Police State

July 1948

Dede is not sure who to choose, Jaimito or Lio, and she is jealous that her mother has not yet complimented Jaimito, only Lio.
Dede then finds out when Lío’s name is mentioned in a newspaper article about communist demonstrations that they are living in a police state run by Trujillo

For the love of Lío

September 1948

Now Dede knows that she’s set to marry Jaimito, and is resigned to it, knowing that her love for Lío will never amount to anything. Lío is then sent into hiding and writes a letter to Minerva telling her to join him. Dede takes matters into her own hands, and burns the letter, enjoying the fact that for once, she knows something that Minerva doesn’t, about Lio.

Unwanted involvement


Patria asks Dedé to bury some boxes in a field near their old house, but Dedé ends up declining the request..

Packed bags


Jaimito packs his bags, leaves Dedé, and wants to take their kids with him.

A sad day for María Teresa


Leandro gets arrested, and Dedé learns how the SIM took him away from Mate.

Another one gone


Dedé watched Mate get taken away by the SIM, and plans to get her out of prison later.

The Martyrdom of Dede

November 25, 1960 - 1994

When Dede has to be the voice of the past, and the voice of her sisters

The End

November 25, 1960

Partia, Minerva, and María Teresa are murdered after visiting a prison far from home. Trujillo is responsible for this, and Dedé becomes the last of the Butterflies.


1994 2:15 PM - 1994 3:00 PM

Dedé is about to be interviewed by another interviewer, and she is reflecting on how her life has been consumed by the legacy of her dead sisters, Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa.


The third oldest sister in the Mirabal family

Silly Bunny


When she was younger, Minerva compared herself to the bunnies in cages, and tried to set a half grown doe free, but the rabbit didn't want to be free, which is a similarity to the Trujillo regime, the people were used to Trujillo, and didn't know or want anything diferent.


1941 - 1946

Minerva is sent to school at Inmaculada Concepcion with her sister Patria and meets Sinita and Elsa



Minerva meets Sinita, a poor girl, and they become friends. When Sinita doesn't understand how babies come about, Minerva tells her, and in return, Sinita offers to tell Minerva the secret of Trujillo.

The secret of Trujillo


Sinita tells Minerva about Trujillo, and how he murdered all of the men in her family because they had begun to doubt the president and had begun to work against him. Then, she tells Minerva about how Trujillo became president in a 'sneaky' way, and how he slowly rose to power. Minerva doesn't believe her at first, but then, "I felt a china-crack of doubt." (Julia Alvarez, 17)

Lina Lovatón


Lina Lovatón was one of the prettiest girls at Inmaculada Concepcion, and Trujillo noticed her. Trujillo began to send her gifts and poems, and eventually she left Inmaculada and became Trujillo's new favorite 'girlfriend'. Eventually, she became pregnant, and Trujillo's jealous wife found out, and Trujillo had to send Lina away to America. This is when Minerva begins to believe Sinita about Trujillo.



The loyalty performance to Trujillo performed by Minerva, Elsa, Lourdes and Sinita wins the prize at Inmaculada, and they are sent to perform in front of Trujillo. Minerva protests, but they send them anyway. Sinita almost shoots Trujillo in the face with a little bow, and the nuns are extremely upset. Minerva knows about Trujillo now, and already hates him.

Fatherly love

May 1949

Minerva begins to suspect that something is going on between her father and her mother, and is feeling cooped up in the country while her friends, Elsa and Sinita, are taking a Theory of errors in the capital without her

Ay, Pápa

May 1949 - June 1949

Minerva finds out that her father has been cheating on her mother with one of the campesino (worker) families that he’s been ‘reviewing’. She loses her faith in her father, just like she lost her faith in Trujillo, and figures out that she’s stronger than him. Stronger than the decisions he’s made. She forgives the family, but not her father.

National Treasure

August 1949

• When Minerva starts attending parties with her father, she catches Trujillo’s attention, and he asks them to attend one of his bigger parties. Minerva isn’t happy about it, but she attends.
When Trujillo makes an attempt to invite her into his bed, Minerva goes out of bounds and slaps him, causing huge trouble for her father and the rest of her family. The Mirabal family is now famous for her little stunt.


October 1949

When her father is arrested, Minerva is called in for questioning about Lio, and has to visit Trujillo for an apology, and is offered again, the chance to make life easier for herself by sleeping with him. Again she refuses.
The Mirabal family is pardoned by Trujillo, when Minerva rolls dice with him. They tie, and the score is called even..

Puerto Plate


Patria, Mate, and Minerva begin their journey to Puerto Plate to see their husbands, with Rufino as a driver.

House arrest

August 1960

Minerva and Mate get released from prison, and get put under house arrest.

Back home

November, 1960

The three sisters leave Puerto Plata to go back home, after visiting their husbands.

María Teresa

Little Book

1945 - July 25, 1946

The first diary of María Teresa Mirabal, during her time at Inmaculada Concepcion

Feast Day


María Teresa's first entry into her diary, she ponders about what Minerva means when she says that reflecting upon something deepens ones soul.

Happy benefactors day!


María Teresa wishes El Jefe happy Benefactors day, she is congratulating him and is so happy that she was born in the same month he is (October), and thinks it shows something special about her character. (pre-revolution)



The new years resolutions of María Teresa Mirabal
-I resolve to not scare Nelson with scary stories
-I resolve to be diligent with my tasks and not fall asleep when I say my prayers
-I resolve to not think of clothes when I am in church
-I resolve to be chase, as that is a noble thing to do.
-I resolve not to be so tenderhearted as even Minerva says crying will bring on premature wrinkles.

Park of the Dead


Minerva tells María Teresa about Trujillo, and about the secret anti-Trujillo meetings that she's been attending. María Teresa asks why, and Minerva says "because she wanted me to grow up in a free country."-(Julia Alvarez, 39)

Eyes of God


María Teresa begins to notice things that she's never known before, and wonders how many people the guards have killed, and she begins to be afraid of Trujillo, and his eyes that follow her everywhere. " I see the picture of our president with eyes that follow me around the room, and I am thinking he is trying to catch me doing something wrong. Before, I always thought our president was like god, watching over everything I did." (Julia Alvarez, 40)
But María Teresa still has faith in Trujillo, despite what her sister says, but she is starting to doubt herself.


June 27, 1946

A revolutionary friend of Minerva's named Hilda, is on the run from Trujillo, and is hiding at Inmaculada. The police have been looking for Hilda, but she is hiding out as a nun. María Teresa and the nuns do not approve of Hilda's bad attitude, and think that it's starting to spread to Minerva and her other friends.

Minerva graduates

July 4, 1946

Minerva graduates from Inmaculada Concepcion, and the whole family goes home. María Teresa is excited and wants to spend her summer doing activities with her sisters, such as embroidery, keeping books, cooking cakes and spells from Fela, and learning how to argue with Minerva.

Here ends the Little Book

July 25, 1946

Hilda has been caught, and Minerva is burying anything that might connect her to Hilda, and since María Teresa has written about Hilda, her diary has to be buried too. María Teresa is distraught, and is writing in her diary for the last time. "Minerva was right. My soul has gotten deeper since I started writing in you. But this is what I want to know that not even Minerva knows. What do I do now to fill up that hole?" (Julia Alvarez, 43)

Diary #2

December 15,1953 - February 14,1958

The second diary of María Teresa, detailing her late teen years, and the beginning of her adult years and her marriage to Palomino, or Leandro.

The new book

December 15,1953

Years after she buried her first diary, Mate is given a new diary and decides to start writing. The new diary was a gift from Minerva; who said that writing in a diary makes the sadness stop.

"I hate men"

August 15, 1955

During the time she lived with Minerva, Mate learned the sad truth about Minerva's husband, Manolo: He was cheating on Minerva with another woman. After hearing this, she had to admit her feelings by saying, "I hate men".

The second butterfly

September 28, 1955

After learning more about Minerva's life, Mate tells Minerva that she wants to participate in her movements.

María Teresa and Leandro, forever!

February 14, 1958

After María Teresa and Leandero spend time together, they get married on February 14, The Day of Lovers.

Diary #3

3/16/1960 - 7/7/1960

The third and final diary of María Teresa, detailing her time in prison and her torture at the hands of the SIM

Writing again

March 16, 1960

While in prison; Mate recieves a notebook that had been smuggled in for her.

Prison gets worse

March 21, 1960

Mate breaks down in her cell; where she feels she never will escape both the prison itself, and the sadness it brings to her.


April 2, 1960

On the night the prisoners called out, "Viva la Mariposa!" Mate believed that she had truly felt courage, even though she was in prison.


August 7, 1960

María Teresa says goodbye to both her third diary, and the prison that she and Minerva were held.


The oldest sister in the Mirabal Family

Hidden Struggle

1941 - 1942

Patria describes how there is a struggle going on between her mind and her flesh, and how even though she’s devoted her life to the Lord, her wandering hands have other ideas at night.

Sor Mercedes


• Patria is explaining her early life, and how she had felt the 'Pearl of Great Price' within her from the moment she was born. She was a born servant of the Lord, and felt her calling even at a very young age. She was noticed by the nuns at Inmaculada at a young age, and they had given her some time to think about becoming a nun.

Servant of the Lord


At the age of 16, the nuns at Inmaculada notice patria, and ask her if she’s given any thought to becoming a nun. Patria says that she’ll think about it, and she is planning on saying yes.

Earthly Groom

March 17, 1942

One night when she’s washing feet, she sees the feet of a young man, and is immediately sure that this is her earthly groom, Pedrito Gonzales.

Voice of the Virgin


When the family goes on a pilgrimage to Higuey, Patria sees the Virgencita in a new way, and realizes that the Virgin Mary has been with her all along, in the voices of the people and as the voices of her family. She’s been looking up to try to find God all her life, but then she realizes that she has to try to find God in the hearts, and faces of others.

The Pearl of Great Price


Patria gets married, and has two little children, Nelson and Noris, and has a third on the way. Then, Patria slowly starts to question her faith and realizes that she’ seen looking at the Lord the wrong way all of her life, and she gives birth to a stillborn little boy.

A witness of terror


During Patria's religious retreat, she witnesses a casualty of Trujillo's madness, and she becomes changed forever.

Raúl Ernesto


Patria gives birth to another boy, who she named Raúl Ernesto.

Nelson returns


Trujillo began to pardon minors in prison, so Nelson would be returned to Patria.

"Margarita Mirabal, to serve you."


Patria's half sister arrives at her house to tell her about smuggling in the prison Mate and Minerva are staying at, and offers service to Patria.

Another home

January 1960

After losing her home, her husband, and her son; Patria has a hard time living at her mother's house.

Patria becomes famous


Patria and Noris meet Trujillo in person, who gives Noris ice cream and takes a picture with Patria and Noris.