Italo López Vallecillos (1932-1986) was a Salvadoran poet, essayist, critic, and journalist. But his greatest impact was as editor and publisher to Central America’s most important writers in the 1960s and 1970s.

López Vallecillos was co-founder of two of Central America’s most important university publishers, the UCA Editores in El Salvador and EDUCA in Costa Rica. He published such vital Central American voices as Roque Dalton, Ernesto Cardenal, Sergio Ramírez Mercado, Claribel Alegría, and Otto René Castillo.

Facilitated, encouraged, and befriended by López Vallecillos, these writers articulated the demands for change that were sweeping Central America. Many later joined the guerrilla movements that challenged the region's conservative order. 

López Vallecillos also founded, with the novelist Manlio Argueta, the influential Salvadoran journal La Pájara Pinta. From 1966 to 1972, La Pájara Pinta was a key space for Salvadoran left-leaning writers to publish poetry and essays that widened the country's political and cultural frontiers. They included Dalton, Alegría, Eduardo Sancho, José Roberto Cea, and Ricardo Castrorrivas. Many later joined guerrilla movements. La Pájara Pinta was shut down in a military invasion on the campus of the University of El Salvador, where it was published, in 1972.  

This website features letters and documents drawn from López Vallecillos's private correspondence, as well as the covers of  some of his own publications.

Recently Added Items

Letter from Roberto Armijo to López Vallecillos, undated (1972)

Armijo to ILV.pdf

Roberto Armijo (1937-1997) was one of the Generación Comprometida (Committed Generation) poets who, starting in the late 1950s, sought to renew El…

Letter from Salvador Cayetano Carpio to López Vallecillos, 10 March 1969

Carpio to ILV, 10 March 1969.jpg

Salvador Cayetano Carpio (1918-1983) was a veteran union organizer and leader of the Salvadoran Communist Party who, in 1970, left the party to create…

Letter from López Vallecillos to Rafael Menjívar, 1 August 1969

ILV to Menjivar III.pdf

In this letter, López Vallecillos describes the wave of jingoism that has gripped El Salvador during its short war with Honduras in 1969. The war was…