Manuela Saenz


Manuela Sáenz has been recognized over time and today as one of the relevant characters who played an important role for the emancipation of Latin America . His spirit full of rebellion made her be able to participate in the various actions in favor of independence and soon became a bit of a hero , a great warrior and strategist for freedom.


Personal information

  • When was he born: 12/27/1797
  • Where he was born: Quito, Ecuador
  • When he died: 11/23/1856
  • Where he died: Paita, Peru

Who was Manuela Sáenz?

Manuela Saenz was one of the women heroes who participated actively in the struggle for the freedom of America fighting in several fights and managed to seal the freedom of Ecuador , the sovereignty of Peru and America of the South .

  • What did
  • Biography of Manuela Sáenz
  • Exile
  • Death
  • What study
  • Ideology
  • Contributions of Manuela Sáenz
  • Physical characteristics
  • Personality
  • Parents
  • Relations
  • Sons
  • Importance of Manuela Sáenz
  • Acknowledgments
  • Quotes by Manuela Sáenz
  • Curiosities

What did

Manuela Sáenz not only had a sentimental relationship with Simón Bolívar , but rather she was a fighter woman who broke many of the rules that existed at that time. He dressed in his uniform , learned to use weapons, and was even able to develop various espionage techniques in order to help with plans to achieve independence. A woman who also organized and guided the troops , cared for the wounded and fought enemy fire in order to rescue the wounded .

Biography of Manuela Sáenz

Manuela Sáenz was born in the city of Quito , on December 27, 1797 , although the date varies in various sources. She was the daughter of a Spanish nobleman and a Creole woman . Her mother died of puerperal fever and for this reason, Manuela was delivered to the Convent of the Nuns Conceptas where she spent her first years of life under the care of Sister Buenaventura. Then she was taken by her father to her home, and there Juana del Campo , who had married her father, gave her the proper care of a mother .

She had many talents and gifts as a child, showed a keen interest in reading, and had good manners , all taught by her foster mother. When she traveled to Cataguango with her father, he gave her two black slaves so that she could play and be cared for, and thus a friendship that would last for many years was born.

Performance in the Spanish American wars of independence

Manuela Sáenz participated with Antonio José de Sucre in the battles of Junín , Ayacucho and Pichincha , struggles through which the independence of Ecuador and Peru was achieved , her performance in this battle earned her the title of Colonel of the Colombian Army. She managed to prevent Simón Bolívar from being assassinated when she realized a planned attack against him, it was she who got in the way of the rebels so that he could escape through a window, for this action, Bolívar called her as the Liberator of the Liberator . He also helped Vituallas during the battle of Pichinchaand in the battle of Ayacucho , participation that earned her the rank of colonel of the Independent Army.


After the death of Simón Bolívar , Manuela fell into depression and despair. In 1834, during the government of Francisco de Paula Santander , she was exiled from Colombia and decided to live in Jamaica . Later, in 1835 , he traveled to Ecuador , however, before arriving in Quito, his passport was revoked and he decided to stay in the port of Paita.


Manuela Sáenz died on November 23, 1856 in the midst of a great diphtheria epidemic that occurred in the region. After her death, she was buried in the local cemetery and her possessions were cremated to avoid contagion.

What study

As a child she learned French and English. He studied at the Santa Catalina Convent where he received his basic education that included embroidery, making sweets, languages ​​and some tasks that were later useful during his exile.


His ideology or thought was based mainly on the fight for independence , on achieving freedom for all individuals and peoples , mainly for women . He always had in mind to help in the battles and in fact, he played a fundamental role in them.

Contributions of Manuela Sáenz

Among his main contributions are:

  • He participated in the independence of Peru and Ecuador .
  • He managed to save Simón Bolívar from a death attempt.
  • He supported the political interests of independence .
  • He participated in the battles of Pichincha , Junín and Ayacucho .

Physical characteristics

There are no exact records of his physical appearance. Some historians have relied on small oil paintings of the time to define her as a good-looking, elegant , slightly overweight , vital and seductive woman . His hair was long , black in color , his nose profiled , black eyes, and a small nose .


He had a strong , determined and extremely brave personality . She was willing to break stereotypes which shows an energetic and at the same time dynamic personality . She was also intelligent , insightful , brave and full of passion who always fought to assert herself and for all her ideals.


His father was Simón Sáenz de Vergara , a civil servant and nobleman of Spanish origin who worked for the Royal Court of Quito. His mother was a woman of Creole descent, María Joaquina de Aizpuru .


While still very young, his father agreed to his marriage with an English merchant, James Thorne who gave him money in the form of a dowry, it was the year 1817. When Simón Bolívar arrived in Quito , Manuela was the one who had the task of placing the crown on him. of laurels, that same day a dance was held at night, at which point Bolívar and Manuela fell in love , left her husband and left with Bolívar to help him and participate in various campaigns.


The names of the children of Manuela Sáenz are not recorded.

Importance of Manuela Sáenz

Manuela Sáenz was a very important woman for her active and effective participation in the struggle to achieve the independence of America , an activist woman , a lover of independence who went on to become one of the main feminist symbols in all of Latin America . Her importance also lies in having been a fighter who managed to break with many stereotypes and norms that existed at the time, she was a determined woman who even learned to use weapons to fight for freedom.


For having risked her life to be able to leak important information about José de San Martín on her way to southern Peru, she was awarded the Order of the Sun of Peru and the rank of Knight of the Sun. She was also decorated by General San Martín for his work in the fight for independence. In Bogotá, there is a museum in her honor, ” La Casa de Manuelita Sáenz ” which is located in the house that she lived in for a time. Several colleges and schools in the city of Colombia also bear his name in his honor.

In Ecuador, a museum called ” Museo Manuela Sáenz ” was also founded, which was founded by Carlos Álvarez , an important historian who dedicated the museum to his memory. In the capital of this same country, there is a small bust located in La Alameda Park , which bears his name. In Venezuela , the government inaugurated a moment in 2013 in honor of Manuela, he is known by the name of Rosa Roja de Paita , a structure located next to the Simón Bolívar Mausoleum .

Quotes by Manuela Sáenz

Some of his phrases were the following:

  • My country is the continent of America and I was born under the line of Ecuador .
  • They will never make me hesitate or fear .
  • Gentlemen Generals , you did not allow us to join you; Both Jonathan and Nathán (the two black women who accompanied her) feel as I do the same interest in fighting, because we are Creoles and mulattos and like you, the freedom of this land belongs to us.
  • If only one word can change the course of history , another word, in the dark, defeat the storm .


Some curiosities about this incredible heroine of independence were the following:

  • During his last years, he dedicated himself to selling sweets and tobacco and also worked as an interpreter for English or French.
  • She wrote a letter to her husband to inform him that she would never leave Simón Bolívar.
  • After the death of her husband, she could not recover her dowry because she was in exile .

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