In the 1840s and 1850s, professional gambler Doña María Gertrudis Barceló, also known as Doña Tules, ran a gambling hall and brothel in Santa Fe. Not much is known about her early life. She was born in the state of Sonora, Mexico, around 1800 to Spanish ranchers and moved to New Mexico in 1821. In 1835, she established a popular hotel and casino on Burro Alley in the heart of downtown Santa Fe.
Known for her shrewd business acumen and flamboyant nature, she became a legendary figure in Santa Fe’s history. In the live performance “Memories of Doña Tules,” Santa Fe’s flamenco dance troupe Companía Chuscales y Mina Fajardo pays tribute the notorious figure with dance, poetry, and music.
The event is at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5, and Saturday, Nov. 6, at Teatro Paraguas (3205 Calle Marie). Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door (available at teatroparaguasnm.org/teatro-paraguas or by calling 505-424-1601). Masks and proof of vaccination are required.