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Maria is a 15-year-old orphan girl who loses her godmother, but before she passes, she asks the local priest not to leave Maria to fend for herself. The priest begs his wealthy benefactor, Don Fernando, to let Maria live in his home as a servant, but the man instead brings Maria in as his ward, drawing the ire of his wife Victoria and her niece, Soraya. Maria falls in love with the Don's Troubled but Cute son, Luis Fernando, but also has to fight for his affections with the treacherous Soraya and her accomplices.

If you want to think about a Trope Codifier of the modern audience's view of a Spanish telenovela, look no further. The show contained several catfights, staged pregnancies, faked deaths, and heaps of drama. Maria la del Barrio also had a recent resurgence in popularity among Spanish speakers because of ridiculous antics of the main villain Soraya, as well as a remake for Filipino audiences in 2011.


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