Diógenes Cuero Caicedo (Esmeraldas, October 28, 1948 – Ibidem, January 3, 2019) was an Ecuadorian poet, cultural activist, lawyer, university professor, and a prominent voice in celebrating and affirming black identity. Born in the poor black community of San Francisco de Ónzole in the Eloy Alfaro Canton, Cuero dedicated his life to promoting the culture and heritage of Afro-Ecuadorians. His literary journey began in the 1980s, using poetry as a means to explore themes of blackness, social justice, and the rich cultural legacy of his community. Through works like “Tsunami, Mitología y Poesía” and “Las Huellas de la Carimba,” Cuero illuminated the experiences, struggles, and contributions of Afro-Ecuadorians, challenging stereotypes and fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of black identity. His impact as a poet and cultural advocate continues to resonate, leaving a lasting legacy in Ecuadorian literature. He held a doctorate in Jurisprudence and for 20 years hosted a radio program called “Raíces” (Roots), where he spoke about the culture of his people.
Diógenes Cuero Caicedo was born on October 28, 1948 to José Hermógenes Cuero and María Celedina Caicedo.
Diógenes Cuero Caicedo completed his high school education at “Colegio Nacional 5 de agosto,” where he obtained a degree in modern humanities. He pursued higher education at the Universidad Técnica “Luis Vargas Torres,” where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political sciences in 1984. He also acquired a master’s degree in sciences and became a licensed attorney in the Courts and Tribunals of Justice in Ecuador.
Career at Petroecuador
During his career at Petroecuador, Diógenes Cuero held various positions and made significant contributions to the organization. He worked at the Esmeraldas Refinery, one of Ecuador’s major oil refineries, which played a crucial role in the country’s petroleum industry.
Cuero began his journey at Petroecuador in 1980, where he initially worked as a plant operator, gaining practical experience in the refinery operations. Over the years, he showcased his dedication and expertise, leading to promotions and assuming roles of greater responsibility.
His career at Petroecuador expanded beyond operational tasks. Cuero served as an analyst for the Unit of Social Welfare, where he focused on enhancing the well-being of employees and the local community. He also held positions in various departments, including Public Relations, Administration, Legal Affairs, and Contracts. These roles allowed him to contribute to the smooth functioning of the organization and its interactions with external stakeholders.
In 2007, Cuero achieved a significant milestone in his career when he became the first Esmeraldas native to hold the position of Manager of the Environmental Protection Unit (GPA) at the refinery. This role aimed to support social compensation projects in areas affected by the hydrocarbon industry, emphasizing the importance of environmental protection and social responsibility.
Cuero’s tenure at Petroecuador spanned several decades, during which he not only made valuable contributions to the company but also demonstrated his commitment to the well-being of the local community and the environment. His diverse experiences within the organization further enriched his understanding of the complexities of the petroleum industry and its impact on the region.
LA LUNA Y EL NIÑO Esplendida luna, otra vez te sorprendi, mirandome entre los arboles, mientras el camino trotaba, pisoteando muy de prisa, mi propia sombra; para tu luz disfrutar. Jugar... jugar,cuche.... floron el escondido y la pega. Antes que la niñez se extinga, por tanto el campo labrar y prematuramente señorear. querida luna... llenemos de ternura la noche, hagamos de este momento un derroche. Antes que la niñez se extinga.
- Jugando a las Relaciones Humanas (Playing with Human Relationships)
- Petróleo, Realidad y Sindicalismo (Oil, Reality, and Unionism)
- Tsunami, Mitología y Poesía (Tsunami, Mythology, and Poetry)
- CD. De poemas Tsunami (CD of Tsunami Poems)
- Las Huellas de la Carimba (The Footprints of Carimba)
- Me Quieren Quitar… lo de Negro (They Want to Take Away… My Blackness)