Cover photo for Hugo Manuel Gordillo Gomez's Obituary
Hugo Manuel Gordillo Gomez Profile Photo
1960 Hugo 2023

Hugo Manuel Gordillo Gomez

February 16, 1960 — September 14, 2023

Hugo Manuel Gordillo Gomez
February 16, 1960 - September 14, 2023

Writer, journalist, human rights activist. Lover, husband, father, friend.

Born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Hugo Gordillo was raised by his grandmother, Doña Elvira Alvarado Velasquez, in the province of Retalhuleu. From 1980-2012, he worked as a journalist, focusing on human rights and social inequality, and received three UNICEF prizes for journalism. Gordillo was the founder of the PEN Writers' Center of Guatemala, which supports journalists, writers, and editors.

In 2014, Hugo moved to Houghton, Michigan, where he could be seen walking his white dog Sarah in all kinds of weather. He saw the beauty in every everyday thing: autumn leaves, growing garlic, squirrels, the sparkling snow. He was a great lover of art, culture, whisky, justice and freedom.

Gordillo quickly became part of the cultural fabric of Houghton, offering Spanish lessons and sharing his poetry and writing. In 2019, the Michigan Tech Superior Wind Symphony performed ¡Fiesta! - a concert based on his poems for children, which was also released on Spotify. He was the author of 14 books; a frequent poet at literary festivals in Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras; and the recipient of multiple awards for literature in the Floral Games of Guatemala.
His short story, Beethoven, will be published posthumously.

Writer Rudy Alfonzo Gomez Rivas notes, "To speak of Hugo Gordillo as a writer is to refer to a captivating, delirious, incisive narrator because his literature is committed to the good treatment of language. He is a writer full of unique, biting qualities, full of fine and delicate humor, where sarcasm sometimes came to light. All that remains is to thank Gordillo for his literary legacy. It is the task of those of us who read him and knew him to continue rewriting history and our own lives with his literature."

Hugo was dedicated to his wife, his family, his friends, his community, and his pets. He is survived by his wife, Lisa "Tenchita" Gordillo; his children, Gabriela Gordillo Granados and Gustavo Gordillo Granados; brother Alfredo Gordillo; cousin Carolina Hernández Gordillo and her children Constanza Marcela Cifuentes Hernández and Ervin Cifuentes Hernández; in-laws Alice and Earl Johnson; and sister- and brother-in law, Lora and Brandon Strayer.

A celebration of Hugo's life will be held on Saturday, November 4 at 3pm at The Canterbury House in Houghton, Michigan.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Hugo's name to The Canterbury House for the work that they do to create a welcoming community for all. Checks should be made out to: Episcopal Association for College Work (EACW). 1405 E. Houghton Ave. Houghton, MI 49931




Hugo Manuel Gordillo Gomez
16 de febrero de 1960-14 de septiembre de 2023

Escritor, periodista, activista de derechos humanos. Amante, esposo, padre, amigo.

Nacido en la Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala, Hugo Gordillo fue criado por su abuela, Doña Elvira Alvarado Velásquez, en la provincia de Retalhuleu. De 1980 a 2012, trabajó como periodista, centrándose en los derechos humanos y la desigualdad social, y recibió tres premios UNICEF de periodismo. Gordillo fue el fundador del Centro de Escritores PEN de Guatemala, que apoya a periodistas, escritores y editores.

En 2014, Hugo se mudó a Houghton, Michigan, donde se le podía ver paseando a su perra blanca Sarah en todo tipo de clima. Vio la belleza en cada cosa cotidiana: las hojas de otoño, el cultivo de ajos, las ardillas, la nieve resplandeciente. Fue un gran amante del arte, la cultura, el whisky, la justicia y la libertad.

Gordillo rápidamente se convirtió en parte del tejido cultural de Houghton, ofreciendo lecciones de español y compartiendo su poesía y escritos. En 2019, la Michigan Tech Superior Wind Symphony interpretó ¡Fiesta! - un concierto basado en sus poemas para niños, que también fue lanzado en Spotify. Fue autor de 14 libros; poeta frecuente en festivales literarios en Guatemala, México y Honduras; y ganador de múltiples premios de literatura en los Juegos Florales de Guatemala. Su cuento, Beethoven, se publicará póstumamente.

El escritor Rudy Alfonzo Gomez Rivas dice, "Hugo Gordillo representa y forma parte de la historia de la literatura castellana. Hablar de Hugo Gordillo como escritor es referirse a un narrador cautivante, delirante, incisivo porque su literatura está comprometida con el buen trato del lenguaje. Hugo Gordillo es un escritor lleno de cualidades únicas mordaz, lleno de humor fino y delicado, dónde el sarcasmo salía a relucir a veces. Solo queda agradecer a Gordillo por el legado literario que nos ha heredado. Es tarea de quienes lo leímos y lo conocimos seguir reescribiendo la historia y nuestra propia vida con su literatura."

Hugo estaba dedicado a su esposa, su familia, sus amigos, su comunidad y sus mascotas. Le sobreviven su esposa, Lisa "Tenchita" Gordillo; sus hijos, Gabriela Gordillo Granados y Gustavo Gordillo Granados; hermano Alfredo Gordillo; la prima Carolina Hernández Gordillo y sus hijos Constanza Marcela Cifuentes Hernández y Ervin Cifuentes Hernández; los suegros Alice y Earl Johnson; y cuñada y cuñado, Lora y Brandon Strayer.

El sábado 4 de noviembre a las 3 p.m. se llevará a cabo una celebración de la vida de Hugo en The Canterbury House en Houghton, Michigan.

En lugar de flores, se pueden hacer donaciones en nombre de Hugo a The Canterbury House por el trabajo que realizan para crear una comunidad acogedora para todos. Los cheques deben hacerse a nombre de: Episcopal Association for College Work (EACW). 1405 E. Houghton Ave. Houghton, MI 49931

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Hugo Manuel Gordillo Gomez, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 22

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree