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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