Carlos Calderón Chico (Guayaquil, June 14, 1953 – January 4, 2013) was an influential Ecuadorian historian, writer, journalist, cultural manager, and bibliophile. He pursued a degree in Literature and Spanish from the University of Guayaquil. He emerged as an acclaimed educator, teaching History and Ecuadorian Literature in various Guayaquil schools. Calderón Chico’s contributions extended beyond academia, as he became a crucial figure in Ecuador’s cultural and literary scene. He participated in the management of cultural supplements and magazines, facilitated cultural debates, and engaged with prominent writers, painters, and politicians. As a testament to his dedication, he received the First Class Cultural Merit Decoration from the National Government and was declared Journalist of the Year by the Guayaquil Association of Journalists. His career also spanned overseeing the Ecuadorian Society of Writers, coordinating for Revista Diners, and conducting important research for the Historical Archive of Guayas. Calderón Chico’s writing portfolio boasts numerous publications, interviews, and critical analyses, which have played an integral role in shaping Ecuadorian literature and cultural history.
Early Life and Education
Carlos Calderón Chico was a prominent Ecuadorian historian, writer, journalist, cultural manager, and bibliophile. Born on June 14, 1953, in Guayaquil, Calderón Chico showed an early interest in literature. He completed his secondary education at the “13 de Abril” and “Pedro Carbo” schools, graduating in 1972. Calderón Chico then went on to pursue his higher studies at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Guayaquil, where he received a degree in Literature and Spanish in 1977.
Career as an Educator and Journalist
Calderón Chico spent several years teaching History and Ecuadorian Literature at various schools in Guayaquil, concurrently establishing connections with writers like Jorge Velasco Mackenzie and Hugo Salazar Tamariz, which facilitated his first interviews and publications. He also became the editor of various cultural supplements and magazines, making significant contributions to the cultural scene.
One of Calderón Chico’s notable contributions to Guayaquil’s cultural scene was his organization of a fortnightly cultural program at Café Galería Barricaña from 1990 to 1995. This program invited a multitude of writers, painters, and politicians to debate various topics, encouraging rich intellectual discourse in the city. His efforts were recognized by the National Government, which awarded him the First Class Cultural Merit Decoration in October 1997. Shortly thereafter, the Guayaquil Journalists Association named him “Journalist of the Year.”
Contributions to the Literary World
In addition to his roles as an educator and journalist, Calderón Chico twice presided over the Guayas branch of the Ecuadorian Society of Writers. He also served for more than thirteen years as the Guayaquil coordinator-correspondent for Diners Magazine. His contributions to academia extended to his roles as a professor at the Technical University of Babahoyo and Jefferson University of Guayaquil, as well as an Assistant Director and Researcher at the Historical Archive of Guayas.
Calderón Chico was also an active member of the editorial boards for the “Guayaquil and the River” and “Ecuadorian Readings” collections, where he introduced and presented various works. He further contributed to the academic world by serving as the director of Propuestas magazine, published by ESPOL.
Achievements and Honors
On June 14, 2002, Calderón Chico was inducted as a Corresponding Member into the National Academy of History of Ecuador, presenting a study titled “New Vision of the Guayaquil Cultural Identity in the Last Half Century.”
His contributions to Ecuadorian culture and literature did not go unnoticed. There are two basic education schools in Guayaquil and Durán named in his honor, reflecting the profound impact of his work.
Legacy as an Author
Calderón Chico’s legacy in literature is also immense. His most prominent works include “Literatura, autores y algo más – entrevistas” (Literature, Authors, and Something More – Interviews) (1983), “Pedro Jorge Vera se confiesa: política y literatura” (Pedro Jorge Vera Confesses: Politics and Literature) (1985), and “Guayaquil universal, entre la literatura y la historia” (Universal Guayaquil, Between Literature and History) (2009), among others. His works showcased his brilliance as a writer and his dedication to celebrating and examining Ecuadorian culture, literature, and history.
- Literatura, autores y algo más– entrevistas. Offset Graba, 1983 – 262 p.
- Pedro Jorge Vera se confiesa: política y literatura. Fondo Editorial de la UNP, 1985 – 123 p.
- Palabras y realidades: Febres Cordero y la cultura. Universidad de Guayaquil, 1986 – 223 p.
- Jorge Enrique Adoum: entrevista en dos tiempos. En coautoría con Jorge Enrique Adoum. Editorial Universitaria, Universidad Central del Ecuador, 1988 – 93 p.
- Tres maestros: Angel F. Rojas, Adalberto Ortiz y Leopoldo Benites Vinueza se cuentan a sí mismos. Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana “Benjamín Carrión”, Núcleo del Guayas, 1991 – 263 p.
- Homenaje: Miguel Aspiazu Carbo, Leopoldo Benítes Vinueza, Abel Romeo Castillo, Julio Estrada Ycaza, Manuel Medina Castro, Elías Muñoz Vicuña, Jorge Pérez Concha. En coautoría con José Antonio Gómez Iturralde. Archivo Histórico del Guayas, 1997 – 70 p.
- Cuarenta cuentos ecuatorianos: narrativa guayaquileña de fin de siglo. Sociedad Ecuatoriana de Escritores, Núcleo del Guayas, 1997 – 254 p.
- Medardo Angel Silva, crónicas y otros escritos. Archivo Histórico de Guayas, 1999 – 208 p. ISBN 9978722971, ISBN 9789978722978
- El libro ecuatoriano en el umbral de un nuevo siglo. C. Calderón Chico, 2000 – 74 p.
- Luis Chiriboga Parra,… Tal Como Es. 2002. 148 p. ISBN 978-9978-42-473-5
- Homenaje a Jorge Carrera Andrade. C. Calderón Chico – Casa de la Cultura del Guayas. Guayaquil, 2002 – 49 p.
- “No me importa el juicio de la historia”: (conversaciones con Carlos Julio Arosemena). En coautoría con Carlos Julio Arosemena Monroy. Planeta, 2003 – 290 p. ISBN 997898321X, ISBN 9789978983218
- Pensamiento crítico. En coautoría con Leopoldo Benites Vinueza. Universidad Alfredo Pérez Guerrero, 2006 – 193 p. ISBN 9978340076, ISBN 9789978340073
- Pensamiento socialista. En coautoría con Leopoldo Benites Vinueza. Ediciones La Tierra, 2008 – 201 p. ISBN 9978320415, ISBN 9789978320419
- Guayaquil universal, entre la literatura y la historia. Libresa, 2009 – 359 p. ISBN 9978493484, ISBN 9789978493489
- Conversaciones con Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco. En coautoría con Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco. Paradiso Editores, 2008 – 173 p. ISBN 9978230424, ISBN 9789978230428