The Committed Generation

Many of the writers we feature on this website are members of what is called the “Committed Generation,” a group of activist writers born in the early 1930s. Convinced that the writer must serve as the fulcrum of change in word and deed, authors of the Committed Generation not only wrote tirelessly about the struggles in Central America but also played an active role in social justice movements themselves. Many were exiled and some died in their efforts. Their writing and activism continue to serve as a vision of hope for people in Central America and all over the world.

The Committed Generation wrote to bring to light the injustices that prevailed in their countries: the need for land reform, recognition of indigenous and women’s rights, exploitative labor practices, environmental destruction, political repression and violence, and U.S. interference in the region. Too often we think of poetry, novels, and plays as entertainment: romanticized, apolitical, and an escape from the world. These writers believed that their words needed to help their readers delve more deeply into the world, both its deepest injustices and the beauty of their hope.

Writers of the Committed Generation wrote about important themes in the region’s history:

  • indigenous rights

  • women’s rights

  • labor

  • land reform

  • environmental justice

  • political repression and violence

  • U.S. intervention

As a generation of primarily young writers concerned about the world around them, we hope that the stories of the Committed Generation serve to interest and inspire students today.