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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José Peralta

José Peralta Serrano (Chaupi-Yunga, Gualleturo, present day Cañar, 1855 – Quito, December 27, 1937) was an Ecuadorian lawyer, politician, diplomat, educator, writer and journalist who founded several liberal journals in the 19th and early 20th century. He is considered the greatest ideologue of the Liberal Revolution. His works, such as “¿Ineptitud o traición?” (1904), “Tipos de mi Tierra” (1910), “El régimen liberal y el régimen conservador juzgados por sus obras” (1911), and “Eloy Alfaro y sus victimarios” (1951) are an invaluable part of Ecuadorian literature’s heritage. He was an ally of Eloy Alfaro (President of Ecuador from 1895 to 1901 and from 1906 to 1911) and held various diplomatic and public posts during Alfaro’s rule. He was one of the drafters of the 1906 constitution. He was proposed by Alfaro as a candidate to succeed him as president of the republic, which he declined in order to avoid violence from the side of the conservatives.

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Etelvina Carbo Plaza

Etelvina Carbo Plaza (Daule, March 18, 1834 – Lima, March 22, 1902) was an Ecuadorian poet. Her poems were well-regarded by her contemporaries and form part of some national poetry anthologies. A national poetry contest bearing her name is organized by Sociedad Literaria Etelvina Carbo Plaza, a Daule-based literary society founded in 2016 by writer Cecilia Corella Ramírez. This organization is affiliated with the World Academy of Literature, History, Art and Culture (Mexico). An elementary school in the city of Daule also bears the name Etelvina Carbo Plaza. In 2019, Charles J. García Plúas published a biography of her.

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Miguel Riofrío

Miguel Riofrío Sánchez (Loja, Ecuador, September 7, 1822 – Lima, Peru, October 11, 1879) was an Ecuadorian poet, novelist, journalist, orator, educator, lawyer, and politician. He is best known today as the author of “La Emancipada,” Ecuador’s first novel, which was published in installments in the newspaper La Unión in 1863. Many experts however argue that because the book is usually less than 100 pages long in print, it is really a novella rather than a novel, and that Ecuador’s first novel is in fact “Cumanda” (1879) by Juan León Mera. Nonetheless, Miguel Riofro’s “La Emancipada” has been accepted as Ecuador’s first novel, thanks to the arguments of the well-known and respected Ecuadorian writer Alejandro Carrión (1915-1992).

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Manuel Gallegos Naranjo

Manuel Gallegos Naranjo (Guayaquil, March 26, 1845 – Ibídem, 1917) was an Ecuadorian chronicler, novelist and poet of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1871 he founded the magazine “Espejo” which enraged President Gabriel García Moreno who exiled him to Chile. Later, on his return to Ecuador, he supported General Ignacio de Veintimilla. He founded the newspaper “Ocho de Septiembre” being his salary paid by the government, at that time he moved to Quito. In 1878 he began to put out his first productions as a writer. Some time later he published a loose leaf attacking Juan León Mera who was a supporter of Garcia Moreno. He collaborated in the newspaper La Nación in his hometown, he was also editor of “Diario Los Andes.” In 1883 he edited “El Almanaque Ecuatoriano” [The Ecuadorian Almanac] which contained all kinds of valuable information in its more than 300 pages. By 1895, due to thrombosis, he was reduced to a wheelchair. His work “Celebridades Malditas” [Cursed Celebrities] is a historical novel about characters from old Guayaquil who became involved in criminal activity as a result of bad decisions in their lives; it was reprinted by the Editorial of the Municipal Library of Guayaquil. Six of his unpublished works live in the Carlos Alberto Rolando National Authors Library in Guayaquil.

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Belisario Peña 

Belisario Peña Gómez (Zipaquirá, Colombia, August 5, 1834 – September 7, 1906) was a Colombian poet and educator in Ecuador. At the request of Miguel Riofrio, Ecuador’s Charge d’Affaires, he moved to Ecuador to help found a school with Riofro, Benjamn Pereira Gamba and Francisco Ortiz Barrera. The school, “Colegio de la Unión,” opened on July 20, 1857 at the Santo Domingo de Loja temple. At the beginning of 1860, the Provisional Government of Quito called on Peña and Barrera to found the Colegio de la Unión in Ecuador’s capital. The new Colegio de la Unión opened its doors in Quito on March 2, 1861. Then President García Moreno ordered the merger of the Colegio de la Unión of Quito with the “Nacional” recently created for the Jesuits, who renamed the combined school “San Gabriel.” In 1875 he was a founding member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language. In 1889 he and Carlos Casares resigned from the Ecuadorian Academy of Language due to the political dispute between the conservatives led by José Modesto Espinosa, against the progressives. In 1912 his friend the Archbishop of Quito, Federico González Suárez, compiled his poems and published them in a volume entitled “Composiciones poéticas del Sr. Don Belisario Peña” [Poetic compositions of Mr. Don Belisario Peña] in 334 pages. preceded by a prologue by González in 62 pages. In 1932 Manuel María Pólit published 11 more poems, minor but not unworthy; among them a translation of Manzoni entitled “El día de la Primera Comunión.” An additional 16 poems are compiled in the Library of the Jesuits of Cotocollao, one of them of great interest, in honor of General Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera. Belisario Peña’s biography was written and published in Colombia by scholar Roberto M. Tisnés J. CMF.

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José Modesto Espinosa

José Modesto Espinosa y Espinosa de los Monteros  (Quito, December 2, 1833 – December 21, 1915) was an Ecuadorian writer, polemicist, poet, and politician. In 1875 he was a founding member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language and its first secretary. He held important posts during the rule of General José María Urbina. He was also State Councilor and Senator for the Tungurahua province. Since 1878, he was persecuted for his articles criticizing the government of General Ignacio de Veintemilla. After the Veintemilla distatorship was overthrown in 1883, he spoke at the University of Quito’s formal reinstatement on February 18, 1883, in his role as the Minister of the Interior and Foreign Affairs of the Pentavirate Provisional Government. He served in this capacity until 1887, during the Progressive era in Ecuador’s history. In 1888 he held the position of Minister of Government once more and was appointed Member of the Academy of Fine Arts of Seville (Spain) and two years later, Member of the Quito Athenaeum and Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice. In 1894 he was elected President of the Supreme Court of Justice, a position he held until the Liberal Revolution of June 5, 1895. The next year, the Revolution’s Leader, General Eloy Alfaro, accused him of being a right-wing conspirator and gave him eight days to leave the country. He returned to Quito in 1901 and in 1902 he was elected Senator for the Pichincha province.

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General Francisco Javier Salazar

General Francisco Javier Salazar Arboleda (Quito, January 11, 1824 – Guayaquil, September 21, 1891) was an Ecuadorian lawyer, writer, militarist, and politician. He wrote several works of a military, didactic and educational nature, including: “Método de Enseñanza Primaria,” “Pronunciación del Castellano en el Ecuador,” and “Instrucción de Esgrima a la Bayoneta,” to name a few. He was a founding member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language, as well as a member of the National Scientific and Literary Academy of Quito, the Royal Society of London, the Lima Athenaeum, the Academy of History of Madrid, and the Seville Royal Academy of Literature, among others.

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Mercedes G. de Moscoso

Mercedes G. de Moscoso, born Mercedes González Tola, also known by the pen name Rosa del Valle (Guayaquil, October 12, 1860 – October 23, 1911) was an Ecuadorian poet, playwright, activist and feminist. She is known as the greatest exponent of Ecuador’s second romanticism, she was notable for her poetry and plays. The majority of her poetry is contained in the books, Cantos del Hogar (1909) and Rosas de Otoño (1911). She wrote three plays, Abuela (1903), Martirio sin culpa (1905), and Nobleza (unpublished). In 1905 she collaborated with Zoila Ugarte and Dolores Sucre in La Mujer, the first feminist and suffragette magazine in Ecuador. Her brother was the poet Nicolás Augusto González.

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Dolores Sucre

Dolores Sucre y Lavayen (Guayaquil, November 1837 – Guayaquil, June 5, 1917) was a writer, poet, and a descendant of South American independence leader Antonio José de Sucre (1795-1830). In 1883, she recited her poems at the Centenary of the Liberator’s Birth and the inauguration of the statues of Simón Bolívar and Vicente Rocafuerte. On December 9, 1905, Ms. María Sánchez Urbina presented her with the Golden Lyre at the Olmedo Theater in Guayaquil, and the poet Numa Pompilio Llona dedicated a sonnet to her entitled “A Dolores Sucre,” to which Dolores modestly recited her poem “Mi Gratitud.” Her prolific literary work was published in Ecuador’s main newspapers and magazines, and she was admired in Peru by literary personalities such as Ricardo Palma, Carlos G. Amézaga, Teobaldo Corpancho, and Clorinda Mattos de Turner.

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Augusto N. Martínez

Augusto Nicolás Martínez Holguín, aka Augusto N. Martínez (Ambato, March 25, 1860 – March 19, 1946) was an Ecuadorian volcanologist, geologist, agronomist, scientific explorer, historian, writer, translator, and educator. His works contributed to the geological knowledge of the volcanic region in Ecuador. They include: “Crónica de los fenomenos volcánicos y terremotos en el Ecuador” [Chronicle of the Volcanic Phenomena and Earthquakes in Ecuador] (1896), “Algunas montañas volcánicas” [Some Volcanic Mountains] (1905), and “Vulcanologia y geología de los Andes ecuatorianos” [Volcanology and Geology of the Ecuadorian Andes] (1905). He also left a great legacy of photographs of the volcanoes he visited, which later were a great help to other climbers. His other works include themes such as science, history, scientific research, and exploration. He was a corresponding member of the National Academy of History, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften [German Geological Society], and the Société astronomique de France [French Astronomical Society]. He was fluent in English, French, and German, as well as his native Spanish. He translated several works from German and French into Spanish, particularly the valuable writings of his mentor Father Luis Dressel, with whom he ascended to some mountains and volcanoes in Ecuador. In 1920, he was honored by the French Academy of Sciences for his work.

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Anacarsis Martínez

Anacarsis Martínez (Ambato, Tungurahua, July 16, 1862 – March 27, 1930) was an Ecuadorian politician, satirist, writer, publisher, and editor. His first political writings were published in the newspaper “El Combate” alongside Juan Benigno Vela and Celiano Monge. Then, in 1887, he founded and became the editor of “La Avispa,” a political-satirical newspaper. His writings were mainly published in Trajano Mera’s “Revista Ecuatoriana” and in “Revista Guayaquil,” where he published his acclaimed article “Las ilusiones de un gamonal.” He also wrote the short novel “El desfalco.” In 1911, he served as Governor of Tungurahua. He was the older brother of the writers Augusto N. Martinez and Luis A. Martinez.

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Francisco Martínez Aguirre

Dr. Francisco Martínez Aguirre (Baba, Ecuador, January 6, 1850 – February 8th 1917) was an Ecuadorian physician, medical professor, statesman, journalist, publisher, editor, caricaturist, and poet. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in the United States in 1871, at the age of 21. During his time in the United States, he also became a Freemason. He held several high-level political positions in Ecuador’s government as well as high-level academic positions in Ecuadorian medical schools throughout his life. He worked as a professor at the Medical School of the Central University of Ecuador from 1878 until 1910. From 1898 and 1907 he served as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Guayaquil. On November 7, 1885, he founded the satirical weekly “El Perico,” which called attention to issues of the time through poetry, political cartoons, and humor. The newspaper, whose motto was “Each bird cuts his own quill and proceeds,” quickly became popular, perhaps more so than any other newspaper had before. In 1886, for his role as the publisher/editor of “El Perico,” he was arrested and exiled to Peru. In his later years he became a close collaborator of President Eloy Alfaro. In the two critical years preceding President Eloy Alfaro’s murder (1910 and 1911) he was one of five ministers in Eloy Alfaro’s Cabinet, serving as Minister of Defense. After Eloy Alfaro’s murder, he went into voluntary exile in Chile from 1912-1915.

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Temístocles José Araúz Rojas

Dr. Temístocles José Araúz Rojas (Machala, October 14, 1871 – ?) was an Ecuadorian doctor, writer, and politician. His best known work is the hymn of El Oro province. He wrote political articles for several newspapers in the country, including El Telégrafo, Diario de Avisos, and El Tiempo. He served as governor of El Oro province and then senator for 9 years.

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Roberto Andrade

Roberto Andrade Rodríguez (October 26, 1850 – October 27, 1938) was a politician, historian, author and polemicist. He was a participant in the assassination plot against President Gabriel Garcia Moreno. On August 6, 1875, Garcia Moreno was beaten with a machete while three or four others shot revolvers at him. Andrade landed a deadly shot to Moreno’s forehead. Throughout his life Andrade was persecuted for his polemicist essays and political ideology. “Pacho Villamar,” his semi-autobiographical work from 1910, is widely considered Ecuador’s first political novel.

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