Policarpa Salavarrieta, heroine of Guaduas


Policarpa Salavarrieta, also known as La Pola is the most known and popular heroine for Colombians.

She represents the other feminine image, almost opposite to the traditional one: the fighter, active, brave woman.

Policarpa was born and raised in Guaduas, in a wealthy family, who had enough to live and was respected in the town, although she did not have any nobility status.

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Policarpa Salavarrieta participated in the “Grito de la Indipendencia” (considered the Colombian Independence day) on July 20, 1810, when she was only 14 years, later his activities during the independence period were especially linked with the patriotic army of the Llanos.

She received and sent messages, bought war material, convinced young people individually and helped them to join the patriot groups.

Expert in espionage, Policarpa quickly became essential to the patriot cause.

She was sentenced to death for being treacherous and died on November 14, 1817.

She is considered as the most representative woman of the Colombian independence revolution.

In that time, the execution of a young woman for a political crime, moved to the population and created a great resistance to the regime of the terror imposed by Juan Sámano. Although many women were equally murdered during the Spanish occupation, the Pola case captivated the popular imagination.

His death inspired poets, writers and playwrights to “immortalize” his story, always highlighting his bravery and courage.

The image of Policarpa can be seen in the 10,000 pesos bills and is the only historical female personality that has appeared in them.

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In Guaduas main square, there is a statue on his honor and the house where she grew up is today a museum.

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Our students in front of the Policarpa house in Guaduas

If you want to learn more about the history and life of the Pola, join our next Guaduas tour!