Purita Pelayo

Purita Valentina Pelayo, also known by the pseudonym Alberto Cabral (Esmeraldas, March 24, 1957) is an Ecuadorian transgender activist and author. She was one of the founders and the president of the Coccinelle Association, the first organization of transgender people in the history of Ecuador and which played a leading role in the campaign for the decriminalization of homosexuality in the country, which achieved its goal in November 1997. She is also the author of the award-winning non-fiction work “Los fantasmas se cabrearón” (2017), which recounts police abuse and the birth of LGBT activism in Ecuador at the end of the 20th century.

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Juana Neira Malo

Juana Neira Malo (Cuenca, May 29, 1963) is an Ecuadorian author of children’s literature. In 2008 she published her first book, “Mi amiga secreta.” In 2009, her second book “Se necesita a un súper héroe,” won the “Darío Guevara Mayorga” Prize. She was president of Girándula, the Ecuadorian Book Association for Children and Young People, a branch of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) in Ecuador. She produced and hosted a literary radio program, Sueños de papel, from 2006 to 2018. The program contributed to the country’s culture by highlighting several contemporary Ecuadorian authors and focusing on children’s and youth literature. In August of 2020 it was announced that Juana Neira was the new director of the “José de la Cuadra” National Plan for the Promotion of Books and Reading.

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Victoria Tobar

Victoria Tobar Fierro (Ambato, 1943) is an Ecuadorian poet, writer, and literary critic. In 1983 her first poetry book, “Y de repente” was bestowed the “Juan León Mera” award by the municipality of Ambato. She has written 5 poetry books and her poems have been selected for inclusion in various anthologies of Ecuadorian and Latin American poetry. In 2020 a compilation of her poems was published in a book entitled “Inmensos sentidos” by the publisher El ángel editor.

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Íñigo Salvador

Íñigo Salvador Crespo (Quito, October 23, 1960) is a novelist, lawyer, public official, diplomat, and university professor. His debut novel “Miércoles Santo: un caso de Nuño Olmos” (2013), is a critically acclaimed detective novel set in Quito. His latest novel, “1822: La novela de la independencia,” won the Joaquín Gallegos Lara Prize in 2022, and was that year’s best-selling novel in Ecuador. He served as the Procurator General of Ecuador (PGE) from 2018-2022, and will serve as a judge in the Andean Community Court of Justice.

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Jorge Vargas Chavarría

Jorge Vargas Chavarría (Guayaquil, 1992) is an Ecuadorian writer, teacher, and chemical engineer. He has authored three short story collections, “Aquí empieza lo extraño” (2016), “Las cosas que no decimos” (2018), and “Una boca sin dientes” (2022), which won the Joaquín Gallegos Lara Prize.

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Mireya Romero Plaza

Mireya Romero Plaza de Bravomalo, aka Mireya de Bravomalo (Quito, January 29, 1929 – July 2014) was an Ecuadorian poet, novelist, and feminist. In 1953, at the age of 23, she published a novel entitled, “La pena fuimos nosotras,” which was read by many women and that put her in the forefront of feminism in Ecuador in the 50’s. In 1956, she published a poetry book entitled, “Heliofina,” prologued by poet Francisco Granizo Rivadeneira. She sometimes used the pseudonym Marga del Río.

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Aida Borja Álvarez

Aida Borja Álvarez was an Ecuadorian historian and poet. In 1959 she published a poetry collection, “Nautilo.” Her nonfiction works include: “El Capitán de los Andes” (1960), a two-volume biography of Simon Bolivar; “Grecia” (1960), a book on Greece’s mountains, gods and men; and “Mi visión del archipiélago” (1963) a book on the Galápagos Islands.

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Laura Pérez de Oleas Zambrano

Laura Pérez de Oleas Zambrano, pseudonym Doña Manuelita (Quito, circa 1904-14 — circa 1981) was an Ecuadorian writer. She authored a novel, a collection of stories, two radio dramas, and an unpublished collection of poems. Her 1959 novel, “Sangre en las manos” [Blood on the Hands], based on true events, deals with the morality of abortion. It was inspired by the true story of an obstetrician on trial in Quito in 1938 for the death of a patient during a clandestine abortion. Her other notable work is a two volume collection of stories entitled, “Historias, leyendas y tradiciones ecuatorianas” [Ecuadorian Stories, Leyends and Traditions] (1962).

* Because there does not appear to be agreement on the exact date of Laura Pérez’s birth or death, we have chosen to approximate the dates based on data from various sources, hence why circa is used above.

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María Natalia Vaca

María Natalia Vaca Santander (Ambato, May 5, 1878 – January, 1955) was an Ecuadorian teacher, writer, and poet. She taught reading, writing, and literature in the city of Ambato. Her poetry was published in newspapers and magazines such as La Mujer (created by Zoila Ugarte) and La Ilustración Ecuatoriana. In the magazine La Mujer she also published her short novel “¡Pobre María!” and the short stories “Viaje en diligencia” and “Cuento de Navidad.” In 1907, she was appointed Secretary of the National Library by President Eloy Alfaro. There are two streets named after her in Ecuador. One is in Quito’s Metropolitan District, and the other is in the city of Ambato. A school in Ambato, founded in 1974, bears her name: “Instituto Superior Tecnológico María Natalia Vaca.”

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Enrique Noboa Arízaga

Enrique Noboa Arízaga (Cañar, January 22, 1921 – September 10, 2002) was an Ecuadorian poet and public official who held positions such as Director of Education of Cañar, National Vice President of the House of Ecuadorian Culture, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture, among others. His poetry collections include: “Orbita de la pupila Iluminada,” “Ambito del Amor Eterno,” “Biografía Atlántida,” “Las Posadas de Otoño” and “Poética.” He was awarded a “Gold Medal” in the Ibero-American poetry contest in Uruguay, a “Capulí de Oro” in Ambato, and First Prize in the “Ismael Pérez Pazmiño” poetry contest, to name a few. He was nicknamed “Oso” [Bear] by his friends due to his corpulent body. Several schools in Ecuador bear his name.

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Margarita Dager-Uscocovich

Margarita Dager-Uscocovich (Guayaquil, October 31, 1967) is an Ecuadorian fiction writer, poet, and columnist. Her debut novel, “No es tiempo de morir” was published in Spanish in 2018 and in English in 2019. Her second novel “Las queremos vivas” (2021), deals with the global trafficking of women, and has Guayaquil and Charlotte, N.C as settings. Her short stories and micro-stories have been published in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and the United States. Her poems have been published in the online magazine labelmelatina.com. She is a columnist for the Destinos section of the online magazine La Nota Latina in Miami, FL and Revista Latina NC. She currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Eugenia Tinajero Martínez

Eugenia Tinajero Martínez (Quito, January 10, 1922 – April 6, 2009) was an Ecuadorian painter, university professor and writer. She was a descendant of renowned Ecuadorian authors Luis A. Martínez and Juan Leon Mera. Her best-known literary work is “Leyendas indígenas” (1954), a collection of stories that focus on the Indian motif. She spent many years in the United States, where she was a professor at Harvard University (where she had previously studied). The majority of her artwork is held in both public and private collections in the Ecuadorian cities of Quito and Ambato.

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Carmen Inés Perdomo Gutiérrez

Carmen Inés Perdomo Gutiérrez (Esmeraldas, 1973) is an Ecuadorian poet and journalist. She has contributed to magazines and periodicals in Ecuador. She is the author of three poetry collections: “Silencio en llamas” (2005), “Naufragio del Canto” (2008), and “Tempestad en la Floresta” (2013). Her poems have also been included in several national and international poetry anthologies. She obtained third place in the Gabriela Mistral women’s poetry contest. During the 2007–2009 biennium, she held the position of secretary of the Ecuadorian Society of Writers (SEDE).

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