Germán Rodas Chaves

Germán Rodas Chaves is an Ecuadorian historian, writer, university professor, and a leader of the Ecuadorian socialist party. He has authored and co-authored multiple books, research studies, and articles on Ecuadorian and Latin American history, politics, medicine and health. Among his books are: “La izquierda ecuatoriana en el siglo 20” [The Ecuadorian Left in the 20th Century] (2000), “Fidel en el Ecuador: a propósito de la visita de Fidel Castro a Guayaquil en 1971” [Fidel in Ecuador: About Fidel Castro’s Visit to Guayaquil in 1971] (2001), and “Eloy Alfaro y Cuba en el siglo XIX” [Eloy Alfaro and Cuba in the 19th Century] (2013). In 2012, the Quito Municipality honored Rodas with the “Isabel Tobar Guarderas” Award for a book he co-authored and edited entitled “Revolución Juliana y salud colectiva” [The Juliana Revolution and Public Health] in recognition as the best book of the year in the social sciences field. In 2021 he published his latest book “Pandemias y enfermedades en la historia del Ecuador, siglos XVIII-XXI” [Pandemics and Diseases in Ecuador’s History, 19th-20th Centuries]. He is a member of Ecuador’s National Academy of History and of the Association of Historians of Latin America and the Caribbean (ADHILAC).

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ben aki

ben aki, pseudonym of Rodrigo Jurado (Ambato, Ecuador, 1967) is an Ecuadorian poet, writer, and university professor. He has published 7 poetry collections, including: “Tesis” (2006), “Telares” (2014), “Cartas desde la cárcel” (2015), “Inicios absolutos” (2016), “Querido señor presidente” (2017), “La piel que habito” (2018), and “Poemas para la tarde y el después” (2019). In 2021, ben aki published a biographical novel about his maternal grandmother, María Agripina Cruz Torres, entitled, “María Agripina.” He currently resides in Ambato where he is Professor of Communication and Academic Writing at the Catholic University of Ecuador.

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Gustavo Abad Ordoñez

Gustavo Abad Ordoñez (Loja, 1968) is an Ecuadorian journalist, essayist, editor, and university professor. His articles have been published in numerous newspapers, including El Comercio, HOY, El Universo and El Telégrafo. His scholarly and journalistic books include: “El monstruo es el otro: La narrativa social del miedo en Quito” (2005), “Medios y movilidad humana. Pautas para informar sobre hechos migratorios” (2009), “El club de la pelea: Gobierno y medios, un entramado de fuerzas y debilidades” (2011), “Ecuavoley: La ovación voluntaria” (2011). He teaches at the Faculty of Social Communication (FACSO) at the Central University of Ecuador. He worked as an editor for the magazines Chasqui and Textos y contextos. In 2022 his book “Crónica de multitudes. La dimensión carnal de la escritura” (2021) was bestowed the “Isabel Tobar Guarderas” Award by the Municipality of Quito.

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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, 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 she 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 or Mireya Romero y Cordero (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 released a remarkable collection of poetry titled “Nautilo.” Alongside her poetic endeavors, Aida also delved into nonfiction, producing compelling works such as “El Capitán de los Andes” (1960), a comprehensive two-volume biography chronicling the life of Simon Bolivar. Additionally, she authored “Grecia” (1960), an insightful exploration of Greece’s majestic mountains, its gods, and the people that inhabit its land. Aida’s literary repertoire extended further with “Mi visión del archipiélago” (1963), a captivating book that offered her unique perspective on the enchanting 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. One of her significant works, published in 1959, is the novel “Sangre en las manos” (Blood on the Hands), which grapples with the moral complexities of abortion. This compelling narrative draws inspiration from a real-life incident, the trial of an obstetrician in Quito during 1938, charged with 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, “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 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. Tinajero Martínez hailed from a distinguished lineage, being the 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 several years in the United States and was a respected 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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