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Jose Joaquin De Olmedo
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    (March 20, 1780-February 19, 1847)
    Born in Guayaquil, Ecuador
    Graduated from University of San Marcos (1805)
    Wrote the poems ‘Epitalamio’ (1802), ‘La victoria de Junín: Canto a Bolívar’ (1825), ‘Mi Rosita de Ayacucho’ (1828), ‘Canción del 10 de agosto’ (1837), ‘En la muerte de mi hermana’ (1840), ‘Canto al General Flores, Vencedor de Miñarica’ (1843), and ‘To General Lamar’ (1846)
    Lived in exile in Peru in response to Simon Bolivar’s annexation of Guayaquil into Gran Colombia (July 29, 1922-1824)
    First Vice-President of Ecuador (1830-1831)
    Mayor of Guayaquil (1839-1840)
    President of Ecuador (June 6-December 8, 1845)
    Died in Guayaquil, Ecuador
    He worked as a lawyer.
    Throughout his life, he was caught in between his public office and his writing aspirations.
    His presidency lasted for six months.
    A statue of him in Guayaquil is actually a statue of Lord Byron but with Olmedo’s name on it instead.
    He initially opposed Simon Bolivar, only to view him in positive light.
    His portraits depict him as rather moody or stern, with bushy eyebrows as a constant feature.
    His poems have patriotic themes.
    ‘Canto a Bolívar’, a poem written as a tribute to Simon Bolivar’s liberation of South America, is widely considered one of the greatest examples of South American heroic poetry.
    He was highly loyal to his home city, even creating its flag and shield.
    He campaigned for the abolition of the Mita system in South America, which practically enslaved many natives in the guise of converting them to Catholicism.
    His daughter’s death prompted him to write the poem ‘Mi Rosita de Ayacucho’.
    An airport in Guayaquil is named after him.

Credit: Big Lenny

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