Nicaragua: A Bit of Gordillo Family History



Alfonso Gordillo

There have been a number of wondrous moments for me this past Fulbright year. Among the most rewarding have come as a series of discoveries about my family’s history through various avenues, usually through relatives.

Going to work every day at IHNCA, Nicaragua’s top history archive and library, has made it possible for me to find out things about my family that I had not previously known, often by chance or serendipity.

It was with a sense of curiosity about the music books published in the country that I happened upon an unusual book (in Spanish and English): A Bibliography of Works published in Nicaragua in 1944. Bibliographical Series of the American Library of Nicaragua no. 1. July, 1944.

In the section listing publishers and printers, I discovered that my paternal grandfather owned a modest printing house, which came as a total surprise.

Here’s the listing in Spanish:

Empezó en 1936. Consta de 2 prensas “Chandler” a motor, tamaño 1/4 y 1/8, que tiran 1.200 formas por hora, Tipo: el mayor, 16 puntos; el menor, 6. Personal: 4. Director y propietario, Alfonso Gordillo, actualmente en EE. UU., estudiando con una beca concedida por el Comité de Ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos. Sus estudios son del ramo de imprenta a que ha dedicado la mayor parte de su vida: Litografía y Artes Gráficas.

English translation:

Begun in 1936. Made up of two “Chandler” motorized presses, sizes 1/4 and 1/8, which print 1,200 documents an hour. Type: 16 point (major), 6 point (minor). Personnel: 4. Director and owner, Alfonso Gordillo, currently in the U.S.A. studying on a scholarship provided by the Committee of U.S. Citizens. His studies are part of the printing industry to which he has devoted most of his life, Lithography and Graphic Arts.

Apart from the details offered about my grandfather’s business, it looks as if he was given a pre-Fulbright scholarship to study in the US (Senator Fulbright established the program in 1946).

I’ll write more another day about the last memory I have of my grandfather when I was a freshman in high school, a pleasant one at that. For now, it’s nice to contemplate him as a highly industrious man in earlier years.

Palacio Nacional, Managua (photo: Bernard Gordillo)

[N.B. This is not an official Department of State website or blog. The views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State.]

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