Rotary Presentation “Tales of La Vírgen Morena”

Rotary Presentation “Tales of La Vírgen Morena”

By Ronald Felton


Throughout his time as an author and historian Beldon Butterfield has often articulated his intention of telling Mexico’s story in a way that North Americans could get to know it “as one should, as their next-door neighbor.” In his book, “Mexico Behind the Mask”, Butterfield explores a broad range of topics including issues of independence, the economy, social hierarchies, international trade and narcotrafficking among others. 


But in his presentation to the Mid-Day Rotary Club on Tuesday, April 13, Butterfield is focusing a cultural and historical lens on the Virgin of Guadalupe, also called “La Vírgen Morena,” or the dark-skinned virgin. The Virgin of Guadalupe is the “Religious Mother” of the Mestizo Nation, and it is her story that is considered responsible for bringing the indigenous people to the Catholic Church. To this day multitudes of campesinos conduct pilgrimages to the Basílica of Guadalupe in Mexico City to pay homage to her image.


Butterfield will tell the story of the appearance of the Virgin Mary to a Mexican Indian named Juan Diego and why she is considered one of the two women in the history of Mexico (along with Malinche) who have shaped the cultural traditions and the caste prejudices in Mexico.


Butterfield obtained a degree in history at Washington and Lee University and has lived in Mexico since 1962 when he came to this country with “Time-Life.” In the 1980s, as a representative of Business Week, he produced features on “production sharing” along the border and also served on a Mexican think tank in Mexico City known as the “The Pinnacle Group.” Through the 1990s, he’s had many opportunities to interact with Mexican politicians and businessmen. Butterfield has also written two novels, “The Crystal Bull” and “The Line/La Linea.”


Join us Tuesday, April 13 at 9:30am to welcome Beldon Butterfield and to hear more about Mexico’s rich history. Go to and sign up. You’ll receive an email with instructions on how to join this week’s meeting. 


Rotary is where neighbors, friends and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders and take action to create lasting change. For more information, contact President Skip Essick at