Roberto Andrade

Roberto Andrade Rodríguez (October 26, 1850 – October 27, 1938) was a politician, historian, writer and polemicist. He was part of the conspiracy to assassinate President Gabriel Garcia Moreno. On August 6, 1875, Garcia Moreno was assaulted with several blows of a machete, while three or four others fired their revolvers on him. Andrade shot him on his forehead. For his polemicist essays and political ideology he suffered constant persecution throughout his life. His semi autobiographical novel “Pacho Villamar” (1910) is regarded as Ecuador’s first political novel.

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Vicente Rocafuerte

Vicente Rocafuerte Bejarano (Guayaquil, May 1, 1783 – Lima, Peru, May 16, 1847) was an independence leader, statesman, diplomat, politician and writer. He was born into wealth and was educated in Spain. He returned to Ecuador in 1807 and was instrumental in freeing the country from Spain and, subsequently, from Gran Colombia. He served in the National Congress, as governor of Guayas Province, and as the second president of Ecuador (from 1834 to 1839). Rocafuerte’s writings on political systems, social reform, religious toleration, and economic development had significant influence on liberals in several Spanish American nations. Several schools and various awards are named after him, and many statues throughout Ecuador stand in his honor.

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Adolfo Hidalgo Nevares

Adolfo Hidalgo Nevares, sometimes spelled Nevarez, (Guayaquil, March 18, 1891 – Quito, 1934) was a doctor, writer and poet. Under the pseudonym Máximo de Bretal he wrote articles for El Guante magazine on topics such as politics, literature and poetry. He also wrote for El Telégrafo of Guayaquil and El Universitario of Quito. In 1920 he was appointed Deputy of Guayas. In 1925 he became a professor at the University of Guayaquil’s new Dentistry and Veterinary schools, and in 1926 he was named Minister of Public Education. He led a bohemian life and had an on and off again addiction to morphine which he sometimes used in the company of some of the members of the Decapitated Generation, a group of young Ecuadorian poets who died young by suicide. He too died by suicide in 1934, at the age of 43.

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Nicolás Augusto González

Nicolás Augusto González Tola, also N.A. González (Guayaquil, April 14, 1858 – Buenos Aires, Argentina, January 18, 1918) was an Ecuadorian writer, playwright, novelist, journalist, poet, historian and diplomat. His plays in verse are among his best known works, which include, “Hojas secas,” “Entre el amor y el honor,” and “Amor y Patria,” which he co-wrote with Alfredo Baquerizo Moreno (President of Ecuador from 1916-1920). Perhaps his most important and controversial work is, “Cuestión Histórica, el Asesinato del Gran Mariscal Ayacucho,” (written between 1887-1889), wherein he accused General Juan José Flores of being behind the assassination of Antonio José de Sucre, which in turn unleashed hatred and persecution from Flores’ son Antonio Flores Jijón (President of Ecuador from 1888-1892). Due to his political views and polemic writing he was exiled to other countries, such as Peru, Colombia, Guatemala and Spain. From 1908-1913 he lived in Spain as a diplomat, and published there his poetry book, “Humo y cenizas” (1908) and his novel “La Llaga” (1908). He returned to Guayaquil in 1917 where a special committee chaired by José Luis Tamayo (President of Ecuador from 1920-1924) awarded him the “Golden Lyre”.

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Camilo Destruge

Camilo Destruge Illingworth (Guayaquil, October 20, 1863 – February 26, 1929) was an Ecuadorian historian, journalist and chronicler. In 1879 he founded the industrial museum known today as the Municipal Museum of Guayaquil, and directed it for 17 years. He authored numerous historical episodes, biographies and texts, such as La entrevista de Bolívar y San Martín (1918). He wrote for various newspapers, such as El Telégrafo, Diario de Avisos, Los Andes, Guayaquil Artístico, and La Nación. He also created and operated newspapers, held public office, was a volunteer firefighter and was a primary school teacher. He was a member of the National Academy of History and also received a decoration from the government of Venezuela. He was declared “Emeritus Chronicler of Guayaquil.” An institution of historical studies, a school, and a street bear his name in Guayaquil.

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Víctor Manuel Rendón

Víctor Manuel Rendón Pérez (Guayaquil, December 5, 1859 – Guayaquil, October 9, 1940) was an Ecuadorian writer, poet, novelist, playwright, biographer, translator, doctor, diplomat, pianist and composer. He wrote the novel “Lorenzo Cilda” in 1906 in French. His own Spanish translation of the book got him accepted to the Ecuadorian Academy of Language in 1921. The book also earned him a Gold Medal from L’Académie française on April 3, 1925. He translated many works from Spanish to French, including a 1904 translation of the poetry of Jose Joaquin de Olmedo. He also wrote a biography about Olmedo in French titled: Olmedo homme d’ etat et poete americain, chantre de Bolívar. He spoke 4 languages, and wrote over 40 books in Spanish and French, which were published in France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Ecuador. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1935 by Celiano Monge, the secretary of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language, but did not win. On two separate occasions he rejected the Presidential nomination of Ecuador.

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Quintiliano Sánchez

Quintiliano Sánchez Rendón (Quito, April 13, 1848 – Quito, July 24, 1925) was a poet, novelist, journalist and teacher. He taught literature at the Vicente León School in Latacunga. As a journalist he was very critical of the government of General Ignacio de Veintemilla, for which he was exiled and made to suffer serious penalties. He was the director of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language.

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Celiano Monge

Celiano Monge Navarrete (Ambato, December 15, 1856 – Quito, November 21, 1940) was an Ecuadorian poet, historiographer, journalist, politician, educator, and founder of various newspapers. He taught philosophy, rhetoric, mathematics and experimental physics in schools in Quito, Latacunga and Ambato. He occupied important positions within the teaching profession: he was the Director of Education of the Tungurahua and Pichincha Provinces; and later he was appointed Member of the Superior Council of Public Education. He was the secretary of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language and the director of the National Academy of History. In 1939 Monge was named “Ambato’s favorite son and official chronicler.”

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Julio Zaldumbide Gangotena

Julio Zaldumbide Gangotena (Quito, June 5, 1833 – Quito, July 31, 1887) was a prominent Ecuadorian poet whose works reflect Romanticism, Classical works, and Neoclassicism. He was one of the founding members of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language and is one of the most important 19th century figures in Ecuadorian literature. He was devoted entirely to the literary world and wrote prolifically in different genres and styles, including stories and poems. Julio Zaldumbide’s writings represent an ode to love, sadness, happiness, nostalgia, the environment and nature.

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Rita Lecumberri

Rita Lecumberri Robles (Guayaquil, November, 14, 1831 – Guayaquil, December 23, 1910) was an Ecuadorian writer and educator. She was a published and awarded poet and essayist. She is also noted for her contribution to the education of women in Ecuador. She was director of the Escuela San Alejo in 1880-82 and 1882-95. A school, (El colegio Rita Lecumberri) is named after her as well as an award.

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Federico González Suárez

Federico González Suárez (Quito, April 12, 1844 – Quito, December 1, 1917) was an Ecuadorian priest, historian and politician who served as the Archbishop of Quito for twelve years. Prior to becoming the Archbishop of Quito, he served as a senator in the Ecuadorian government in 1894 and then as the Bishop of Ibarra from 1895 to 1905. He wrote several books about the history of Ecuador, among them the book Historia General de la República del Ecuador, which is considered a masterpiece for its objectivity, painstaking research and erudition. He was not shy about criticizing the Church in Ecuador for abuses during the colonial period. The publication of the fourth volume of his history in 1894 was particularly scandalous since it uncovered the sexual liaisons of seventeenth-century Dominican friars in Quito. Although this work drew criticism from his superiors, he was ultimately vindicated, with the Vatican acknowledging the veracity of his analysis.

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Manuel Belisario Moreno

Manuel Belisario Moreno (Loja, 18?? – 1917) was an Ecuadorian writer and priest. Belisario Moreno is best known as the author of the novel Naya o La Chapetona (1900). He is the father of the sculptor Alfredo Palacio Moreno (1912-1998) and the grandfather of the former Ecuadorian President Alfredo Palacio González (in office 2005-2007).

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José Joaquín de Olmedo

José Joaquín de Olmedo y Maruri (Guayaquil, March 20, 1780 – Guayaquil, February 19, 1847) was a notable Ecuadorian poet, first mayor of Guayaquil, and former president of Ecuador. In his poetry, Olmedo emphasized patriotic themes. His best-known work is La victoria de Junín: Canto a Bolívar (1825; “The Victory at Junín: Song to Bolívar”), which commemorates the decisive battle won there by the forces of the liberator Simón Bolívar against the Spanish armies. It is considered by many critics the finest example of heroic poetry written in Spanish America.

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Dolores Veintimilla

Dolores Veintimilla de Galindo (Quito, 1829 – Cuenca, May 23, 1857) was an Ecuadorian poet. Veintemilla left few works, which were published posthumously in a collection entitled, “Producciones literarias,” by Celiano Monge in Quito. Her best known poem is “Quejas” (Laments). Her literary style is characterized by rhythmic and musical verse, and she hardly made use of metaphors or imagery in her poetry. She committed suicide on May 23, 1857 in Cuenca.

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Manuela de la Santa Cruz y Espejo

Manuela de la Santa Cruz y Espejo, also known by her pseudonym Erophilia in her articles (Quito, December 20, 1753 – Quito, 1829) was an Ecuadorian journalist, nurse, feminist, and revolutionary. She was the sister of Eugenio Espejo, with whom she discussed and shared Enlightenment and revolutionary, pro-revolutionary thought and ideas.