September 17 – Honduran Teacher’s Day

Biography of Venancio Callejas Lozano

He was born in Valle de Ángeles (1886) and died in New Orleans (1946). A dentist and politician. He completed his dental studies in Philadelphia. He served as a Deputy and President of the National Congress (1925-1926), as well as President of the Central Committee of the National Party.

By 1931, a rivalry was emerging between him and Tiburcio Carias, when, during the municipal elections of that year, the Nationalists of Tegucigalpa presented two slates for the Mayor’s office. In 1932, when Carias was nominated by the Convention as the presidential candidate, Callejas (who by then publicly expressed his aspiration for the highest office) chose to resign rather than accept the second position on his party’s electoral ballot. In 1936, he opposed Carias’ reelection, forming the Nationalist Legalist Party and eventually going into exile, first in Nicaragua and then in Costa Rica.

In 1938, he entered into a political pact with José Ángel Zúniga Huete, which did not materialize into a concerted action. Lucas Paredes expressed the following about him: «He struggled with courage and determination when the hour designated by his destiny had not yet arrived. Therefore, Dr. Callejas entered into violent conflict with the Supreme Leader of his party and with other Nationalist hierarchs who, in order to maintain their positions, had the obligation and duty to show solidarity with Carias.

In that impulsive clash from Dr. Callejas’ part, he was the only figure who would come out losing in the unequal challenge between individual strength and that of the powerful, surrounded by so many means to defeat him.» The book «Propaganda pro Honduras» stated: «Venancio Callejas has been one of the few congressmen who, without adhering to sectarianism, have served Honduras first before the political cause they support. His attitude in defense of national rights against the excessive claims of certain foreign companies is well-known and praised by all…».