Diana Burbano on Manuelita Saenz

“They called her the liberator of the liberators.”

You’ve heard of Simon Bolivar, but have you heard of the bold Manuelita Sáenz? Diana Burbano tells the story of this South American revolutionary, spy and soldier who fought to free her country from colonial power. An illegitimate mixed-race child raised by radical nuns, Manuelita refused to be oppressed by customs of the day, living life on her own terms. Fierce, romantic, cunning, unconstrained. A wild woman.


Diana Burbano

Diana Burbano, a Colombian immigrant, is a playwright, an Equity actor, and a teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble. Diana’s plays focus on female protagonists. Plays include Policarpa, Fabulous Monsters, & Caliban’s Island. Linda, (in English and in Spanish), has been seen all over the world. Listen to an excerpt of Silueta starring Anthony Heald and Nancy Rodriguez here.

Featured Woman

Manuelita Sáenz

Manuelita Sáenz was a Colombian colonel who received The Order of the Sun for her service in the South American revolution. She saved Simon Bolivar’s life twice and is known as “The Liberator of the Liberator.”