José Napoleón Duarte was the president of El Salvador during the tumultuous years of the Salvadoran Civil War and had witnessed mass killings of civilians by the army. Though he was supported by the U.S., he failed to remove poverty from his country and ended up being ousted by ARENA.
Born in El Salvador, Alicia Nash later moved to the U.S., where she became one of the first women to join MIT as a student. The physicist met her husband, renowned mathematician John Nash at MIT. Both Alicia and John were killed in car crash while returning home from Norway.
Mauricio Funes is a Salvadoran politician who won the 2009 presidential election representing the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front political party. He served as the 44th president of El Salvador from 2009 to 2014. Before establishing himself as a politician, Mauricio Funes had a successful career in journalism, hosting local news programs and interviewing leftist rebel leaders.
Óscar Romero was the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. He was a prelate of the Catholic Church in El Salvador. Disturbed by a growing war between left-wing and right-wing forces, he spoke against social injustice, poverty, assassinations, and torture. He was assassinated while celebrating Mass in 1980. He is considered an unofficial patron saint of the Americas and El Salvador.
Claudia Lars was a Salvadoran poet best remembered for her work Sonnets of Michael, which earned her second place in the Floral Games in Guatemala in 1941. Some of her best-known works include Estrellas en el Pozo, Romances de Norte y Sur, and Sobre el Angel y el Hombre.
Fidel Sánchez Hernández was a Salvadoran politician and military officer. He served as the 32nd President of El Salvador from 1967 to 1972. In 1969, he led the Salvadoran Army in the Football War against Honduras. Prior to becoming the president, Fidel served as an army general. He also served as the Minister of the Interior from 1962 to 1967.
Ana Maria was a Salvadoran political figure who was second in command of a guerrilla military and political organization called the Fuerzas Populares de Liberación Farabundo Martí (FPL). An intellectual, Ana Maria was regarded as an icon among revolutionary women. She was assassinated on April 6, 1983 by her own comrades in Managua, Nicaragua.
Joaquín Eufrasio Guzmán was a Salvadoran politician best remembered for his service as the acting President of El Salvador. He served as the acting president on three occasions between 1844 and 1859. An important politician, Joaquín Eufrasio Guzmán also served as the Vice President of El Salvador on a couple of occasions.
Alberto Masferrer was a Salvadoran intellectual, essayist, philosopher, journalist, and fiction writer. He is best remembered for his contribution to the progression of the philosophy of vitalismo. He traveled widely and served as a Salvadoran ambassador in Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, and Belgium. Alberto Masferrer also worked as a teacher and taught in many countries like Guatemala, Argentina, and Honduras.
Salarrue was a Salvadorian poet, writer, and painter. He is best remembered for his contribution to a newspaper called Patria, which was owned by a prominent Salvadoran intellectual named Alberto Masferrer. Apart from working as an editor for the newspaper, Salarrue also wrote a series of short stories that came to be known as Cuentos de Cipotes.
Alfredo Espino was a Salvadoran poet best remembered for his book Sad Vessels. His book, a collection of 96 poems, is counted among El Salvador's most published books of poetry. Unfortunately, Alfredo Espino did not live long enough to witness his poetry published.
Maria Luisa Hayem is a Salvadoran politician and economist. In 2019, she was appointed as the Minister of the Economy of Salvador and is currently working towards reactivating her country's economy. Maria Luisa Hayem is also credited with forming a non-profit organization called Mentoring International, which mentors young people in El Salvador.
Maura Clarke was an American religious sister best remembered for her service as a missionary in El Salvador and Nicaragua. She worked with the refugees and poor in Central America from the late-1950s until her murder in 1980. Maura Clarke and three other missionaries were raped and murdered by members of the Armed Forces of El Salvador in December 1980.
Prudencia Ayala was a Salvadoran social activist and writer. A pioneering women's rights activist in her country, Ayala was the first woman to run for president in El Salvador and Latin America. A prolific writer, Prudencia Ayala published novels and poems and also contributed to many newspapers in El Salvador.
Salvador Sánchez Cerén is a Salvadoran politician best known for his service as the 42nd President of El Salvador from 2014 to 2019. A guerrilla leader in the Salvadoran Civil War, Sánchez Cerén was the first ex-rebel to serve as president. An influential politician, Salvador Sánchez Cerén also served as the Vice President of El Salvador from 2009 to 2014.
Antonio Saca is a Salvadoran politician best known for his service as the 40th President of El Salvador from 2004 to 2009. Prior to his political career, Saca worked as a broadcast journalist. Antonio Saca made headlines in 2018 when he was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was convicted with money laundering and embezzlement charges.
Maria Ofelia Navarrete is a Salvadoran politician who was appointed by President Nayib Bukele as the Minister of Local Development in May 2019. She also played a prominent role in the establishment of a bridge named Maria Chichilco over the Torola River, which was inaugurated in 2019.
Francisco Flores Pérez was a Salvadoran politician and an important member of the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA). From 1999 to 2004, Flores served as the 42nd president of El Salvador. Flores became the first former president from El Salvador to be charged with a crime and tried on corruption charges.
Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry was a Salvadoran-French artist and writer. She is perhaps best remembered for her tumultuous marriage with French aristocrat Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Tale of the Rose, a memoir detailing her marriage with Saint-Exupéry, was published posthumously in 2000 and became a national sensation. The marriage also inspired a biopic titled Saint-Ex.
Nicaraguan-Salvadoran author and poet Clara Isabel Alegría Vides, better known as Claribel Alegría, was an influential name in Central American literature. The Neustadt Prize winner was known for her masterpieces such as Flowers from the Volcano. She was highly critical of the Salvadoran military government and often wrote on socio-political issues.
Irma Lanzas was a Salvadoran writer and educator. She started her career as a teacher and worked as a professor in many prestigious institutions like the National University of El Salvador. Later in her life, Irma Lanzas established herself as an important writer and published popular books like Toward the Kingdom by Faith and Grass Song.
María Isabel Rodríguez is a physician, government official, and academic. In 1956, Rodríguez was among the first set of women to enter the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly. She then went on to serve as the Minister of Health and Social Welfare from 2009 to 2014. Rodríguez also served as the rector of the University of El Salvador from 1999 to 2007.
Lilian Mercedes Letona was a Salvadoran communist and guerrilla revolutionary. An important member of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, Mercedes is best remembered for taking an active part in the Salvadoran Civil War. Lilian Mercedes Letona died fighting in a battle at the age of 28.
Tatiana Huezo is a film director of Mexican and Salvadoran nationality. She gained international recognition for her first documentary film El lugar más pequeño, which is about the Salvadoran Civil War. In 2016, she received the Fénix Award for her documentary film Tempestad, which also won the prestigious Ariel Award for Best Director in 2017.
Milena Mayorga is a Salvadoran political figure and former beauty pageant contestant and model. She represented El Salvador at the 1996 Miss Universe pageant where she entered the top ten. Milena Mayorga is currently serving as Salvadoran Ambassador to the United States of America.
Carlos Humberto Romero was a Salvadoran politician best remembered for his service as the 37th President of El Salvador from 1977 to 1979. His presidency was marked by political unrest that culminated in the 1979 Salvadoran coup d’état, which ended Carlos Humberto Romero's presidency.
Juan José Cañas was a Salvadoran poet best remembered for his contribution to the national hymn of El Salvador. Cañas is said to have written the national hymn along with Italian conductor and composer Juan Aberle. In 1902, President Tomás Regalado honored Juan José Cañas with a gold medal for writing the lyrics of the Salvadoran national anthem.
Horacio Castellanos Moya is a Salvadoran journalist, short story writer, and novelist. An important writer and journalist, he helped establish a weekly publication called Primera Plana in 1995. Horacio Castellanos Moya is the recipient of several prestigious awards such as the Premio Nacional de la Novela and Manuel Rojas Ibero-American Narrative Award.