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.

Juan Benigno Vela

Juan Benigno Vela Hervas (Ambato, July 9, 1843 – Ambato, February 24, 1920) was an Ecuadorian politician, lawyer, journalist, educator, writer and poet. He earned his law degree from the Central University of Ecuador. Since the age of 33 he was completely blind. He founded the newspapers El Combate, La Idea, La Candela, El Argos and El Pelayo. He was an opponent of the conservative governments of Presidents Gabriel García Moreno and General Ignacio de Veintemilla. For his beliefs he was several times persecuted, imprisoned or exiled. From 1912-1919 he was a senator during the governments of Presidents Leónidas Plaza (1901-1905, 1912-1916) and Alfredo Baquerizo Moreno (1916-1920). He is remembered as a consistent advocate for human rights and freedom in Ecuador.

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César Borja Lavayen

César Borja Lavayen (Quito, February 6, 1851 – Guayaquil, January 31, 1910) was a writer, poet, translator, physician, politician and professor. He was educated at the National University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru. He served as the Deputy of the National Congress of Ecuador, and mayor of Guayaquil (1903-1904). He was a member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language (since 1901) and in the latter part of his life was the rector of the Central University of Ecuador (since 1908). For political reasons, he lived various years in exile in Costa Rica. On his return to Ecuador, Borja was appointed to various important posts by President Eloy Alfaro.

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Octavio Cordero Palacios

Octavio Cordero Palacios (Santa Rosa, Azuay, May 3, 1870 – December 17, 1930) was a writer, playwright, poet, lawyer, judge, politician, mathematician, translator, teacher and inventor. Among his plays are Gazul (1890), Los Hijos de Atahualpa (1891) and Los Borrachos (1892). Today the town in which he was born bears his name.

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Luis Cordero Crespo

Luis Benjamín Cordero Crespo (Cañar, April 6, 1833 – Cuenca, January 30, 1912) served as the 14th president of Ecuador between July 1, 1892 to April 16, 1895. Cordero began publishing poetry in Spanish and Quechua after his political and legal career, and in 1892 published the first Quicha-Spanish dictionary. In 1904 he wrote the Hymn of Azuay (also referred to as the Hymn of Cuenca) which is still in use today.

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Numa Pompilio Llona

Numa Pompilio Llona (Guayaquil, March 5, 1832 – April 5, 1907) was an Ecuadorian poet, lawyer, journalist, educator, diplomat, and philosopher. He served as a diplomat abroad, in countries such as Spain, France, Italy and Colombia, during which time he formed friendships with famous authors such as Victor Hugo, George Sand and Alphonse de Lamartine. He served as the rector of the University of Guayaquil, and also as the director of the Municipal Museum and Library of Guayaquil. During his lifetime he was one of Ecuador’s most popular poets.

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Joaquín Gallegos Del Campo

Joaquín Gallegos Del Campo was an Ecuadorian modernist poet, newspaper publisher, and liberal politician. He was the father of the legendary author Joaquín Gallegos Lara. He was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador on July 27, 1873. In 1894, he and his brother Emilio founded the liberal weekly newspaper El Cáustico. In 1896, he founded another liberal newspaper, América Modernista, which published many modernist poets of the era. On November, 20, 1910, while serving as Secretary-General of the Government of El Oro Province, he was killed by a stray bullet during a revolutionary riot gunfight when he looked out his office window from the government building to see what was happening. At the time of his death his only son was less than 2 years old. In 1912, his only book Mis recuerdos: poesías líricas y cuentos en prosa was published posthumously by his window Emma Lara Calderón.

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Francisco Campos Coello

Francisco Campos Coello (Guayaquil, July 24, 1841 – April 25, 1916) was an Ecuadorian writer, historian and politician. In 1871, at the age of 30 he published the hagiographic novel “Plácido,” considered the third novel published in Ecuador. In 1893, he published in installments in the magazine El Globo Literario, his novel “La receta,” which is regarded as first literary work of science fiction in Ecuador. The novel, divided into six chapters, tells the story of R., a man who discovers the recipe for an elixir that can make him go to sleep and wake up 100 years in the future, which is how he transports himself to Guayaquil at the end of the 20th century, when the city had become a utopian society as a result of the implementation of liberal ideas of the time.

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Juan León Mera

Juan León Mera Martínez (Ambato, June 28, 1832 – Ambato, December 13, 1894) was an Ecuadorian poet, novelist, essayist, politician and painter. In 1865 he penned the lyrics for Ecuador’s National Anthem “¡Salve, Oh Patria!” and in 1879 he wrote the novel “Cumandá” which is regarded as Ecuador’s first full-length novel. The novel’s complex characters, lyrical prose, and riveting plot, set against the backdrop of the Amazonian jungle, have made it a revered classic that continues to captivate readers to this day. Juan León Mera was a member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language, and a corresponding member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Language.

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