Francisco Gavidia

Francisco Gavidia was born in Ciudad Barrios, San Miguel on December 29, 1863. He was a prominent writer, educator, historian, political scientist, speaker, translator and Salvadoran journalist. His full name was Francisco Antonio Gavidia Guandique, son of Antonio Francisco Gavidia and Eloisa Guandique of Gavidia, but his mother died when he was eight years old.

Francisco Gavidia

In the year of 1880, he obtained his degree of Bachelor in Sciences and letters, and then moved to San Salvador where he entered to the Faculty of jurisprudence of the University of El Salvador, career, who then left to become an autodidact.

In 1882 was a member of the literary group youth. Since then he already showed a strong interest in French verses. It was in that same year when he met the poet Dario Rubén. Both developed a strong friendship to the point that in 1890, Gavidia was Godfather of marriage of Dario.

Because of an intense intellectual activity and overwork, Francisco Gavidia ill, by what was sent back to Paris by order of the President Rafael Zaldívar.

Gavidia possessed a broad cultural heritage and perfectly mastered several languages, including German, French, English, Italian, Portuguese, Hebrew, latin and Greek, as well as the Maya-Quiché, language which came to develop a grammar in order to popularize the language.

Related:   Alfredo Espino (biography)

In 1887 he married, and a year later founded the newspaper the news weekly, which came out every Thursday.

After the overthrow of general Francisco Menéndez, Francisco Gavidia exiled in Costa Rica, and continued his journalistic activity from that country, where he was director of La Prensa Libre between 1891 and 1892; and later, in Guatemala, he worked as a coredactor of the public property of the city of Quetzaltenango.

On his return to El Salvador held various positions including: Editor of the official journal (1894), Director of primary education (1896), Minister of public instruction (1898). Founder of the party parliamentary (1895), Professor at the Escuela Normal de señoritas, of the National Institute of males, and the University of El Salvador, Director of the National Library (1906 to 1919).

The Government of El Salvador declared it as “He Salvadoran” in the year of 1933, and in 1939 the city of San Miguel paid him a tribute that included the christening with his name in the theatre of the city. The year 1937, Gavidia was a member of the Commission of cooperation intellectual of El Salvador, dependence of the League of Nations, and in 1941 the University of El Salvador awarded him honorary doctorate.

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At the end of his life, he was awarded the highest national decoration of El Salvador, the order “José Matías Delgado”, which received from the hands of the President of the Republic Oscar Osorio on his bed sick in the Rosales Hospital, a few days before dying.

Francisco Gavidia died in San Salvador on September 22, 1955.

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