Doña Manuela Sáenz y Aizpuru (December 27, 1797 – November 23, 1856) was an Ecuadorian revolutionary heroine of South America who supported the revolutionary cause by gathering information, distributing leaflets, and protesting for women's rights.
Manuela received the Order of the Sun ("Caballeresa del Sol" or 'Dame of the Sun'), honoring her services in the revolution.
Sáenz married a wealthy English merchant in 1817 and became a socialite in Lima, Peru.
This provided the setting for involvement in political and military affairs, and she became active in support of revolutionary efforts.
Leaving her husband in 1822, she soon began an eight-year collaboration and intimate relationship with Simón Bolívar that lasted until his death in 1830.
After she prevented an 1828 assassination attempt against him and facilitated his escape, Bolívar began to call her "Libertadora del libertador" ("liberator of the liberator").
Manuela's role within the revolution after her death generally was overlooked until the late twentieth century, presently she is recognized as a feminist symbol of the 19th century wars of independence.