The youngest Mirabal, Mate is a force of joy, innocence, and pleasure in the novel, retaining a childlike quality throughout her short life. Alvarez tells her story through the device of journal entries, a means of connecting Mate to the book’s motif of secrets. As Mate transforms over the course of the novel from a playful and petted child to Mariposa #2, her skills at the more decorous and apparently frivolous practices of femininity become tools of the resistance. The embroidery skills she learns from Patria train her hands in the fine movements necessary to twist the wires of the bombs the sisters make at the kitchen table. Her pretty handwriting and flowery turns of phrase craft the letters and speeches in praise of Trujillo that protect the family after her father’s death and convince the dictator to allow Minerva to attend law school. When she is imprisoned, she smuggles notes in her long, girlish braids. These details tie Mate to the overall motifs of secrecy and feminine power.