Demetrio Aguilera Malta was born on May 24, 1909, in Guayaquil, Ecuador. One of the most important aspects of his youth that later influenced his literary production was his contact with the countryside and the peasants on the island of San Ignacio, which was owned by his father. He spent much time there and witnessed the massacre of the workers on the island in November, 1922. In this insular environment, he developed an understanding and sympathy for his surroundings and for the island’s inhabitants, the cholos.
After completing his bachelor’s degree at a school in Guayaquil, he enrolled simultaneously in the law school and in the school of fine arts of Guayaquil University in 1928. He abandoned his studies after two years and in 1930 went to Panama, where he worked for four years as a journalist. In 1936, Aguilera Malta went to Spain to study the humanities at the University of Salamanca, but the Spanish Civil War thwarted his plans and he was forced to return to Ecuador. In 1937, he became a professor at the institution where he received his secondary education and was also appointed subsecretary of public education. He remained in these positions until 1943 and then served several cultural and consular missions in Chile. In 1958, he moved to Mexico. During the course of his lifetime, Aguilera Malta visited almost all the countries of Europe and the Americas. He offered courses and gave conferences in universities in Chile, Brazil, and...
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