Carlos Altamirano Sánchez

Early Life and Education

Carlos Altamirano Sánchez was born on November 15, 1926, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to Santiago Altamirano Freile of Tungurahua and Delia Sánchez Rodríguez of Pelileo. His early life in Guayaquil set the stage for a journey marked by literary exploration, social activism, and a relentless quest for justice through the written word.

Literary Career and Journalism

Altamirano Sánchez’s career is a vivid tapestry of poetry, journalism, and advocacy. His foray into the literary world began with his contributions to the anthology “33 Poemas Universitarios” in 1955, showcasing his early prowess in poetry with works like “6 a.m.,” “Sueño Profético,” and “Equivocación de Dios.” His tenure at “El Universo,” one of Ecuador’s leading newspapers, was punctuated by a commitment to social issues and a brief foray into international activism that saw him leaving his position to participate in the World Youth Congress in Poland.

Despite facing professional instability, including periods of selling raffle tickets on the streets and brief stints at various newspapers, Altamirano Sánchez’s resolve to voice the struggles and dreams of his people remained unwavering. Based on his experiences in Chicago, Carlos Altamirano Sánchez wrote “Puercos y Ratas,” a novel that remains unpublished. This work reflects the challenging realities faced by Latinos in the United States, drawing from his personal observations and encounters during his time abroad.

In 1967, he founded the Union of Ecuadorian Journalists, reflecting his dedication to not only literature but also to journalistic integrity and advocacy. His later works, including “Lamento de un Soñador” published in 1991 after a 40-year hiatus from poetry, offer a deep, introspective look into the soul of a dreamer confronting the realities of life.

Personal Life and Legacy

Married to Jeaneth Noboa Hidalgo and a father to four children, Altamirano Sánchez’s personal life is as rich and complex as his professional endeavors. Despite facing the profound challenge of blindness in his later years, his spirit and literary contributions continue to inspire.


Carlos Altamirano Sánchez’s life story is a compelling narrative of resilience, creativity, and unwavering commitment to social justice. His poetry and journalistic work have left an indelible mark on Ecuadorian literature and society, painting a portrait of a man who dared to dream, speak, and write against the grain. His legacy is a beacon for future generations, illuminating the power of words to challenge, comfort, and transform.


  • “Hijo Imperfecto” (1946)
  • “Paralelo 38” (1950) – Gold Medal winner of the Borja Lavayen Poetry Contest
  • “Danza de una queja” (1963)
  • “Exhumación” (co-written with Ricardo Vasconcelos, 1977)
  • “Lamento de un Soñador” (1991)

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