Father Joaquín López y López was born in Chalchuapa, El Salvador in 1918 and became a Jesuit in 1952. In 1969 he helped to raise money to create the organization Fe y Alegria (Faith and Joy), which he directed until his death. The organization had a large impact with thirty educational centers and 48 000 beneficiaries including children, youth and adults which addresses the lack of education in El Salvador; an issue of great concern to Father Joaquín López y López.

Father Joaquín López y López was killed on November 16, 1989 along with seven others in El Salvador for refusing to stop voicing concerns over the human rights issues of the poor.