The Villagers

by Jorge Icaza

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Characters Discussed

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Andrés Chiliquinga

Andrés Chiliquinga (ahn-DREHS chee-lee-KEEN-gah), an Indian who dies defending his huasipungo (a small plot of ground given workers on an estate) against the greedy whites.


Cunshi (KEWN-shee), his wife, who is wronged by Pereira.

Alfonso Pereira

Alfonso Pereira (ahl-FOHN-soh peh-RA-rah), a debt-ridden Ecuadorian landowner who cheats the Indians and sells timber rights on his estate.


Blanca (BLAHN-kah), his wife, who uses Cunshi as wet nurse for their baby.


Lolita (loh-LEE-tah), their seventeen-year-old daughter, in love with a mestizo.

Don Julio

Don Julio (HEW-lee-oh), Pereira’s uncle, who demands repayment of a ten-thousand-sucre loan.


Policarpio (poh-lee-KAHR-pee-oh), Pereira’s overseer, who is somewhat sympathetic toward the Indian tenants.

Padre Lomas

Padre Lomas (LOH-mahs), the avaricious, lustful village priest. He overcharges for masses and burials and tricks the Indians into building a road to open their territory.

Mr. Chapy

Mr. Chapy (CHA-pee), a North American promoter interested in timber and oil.

Jacinto Quintana

Jacinto Quintana (hah-SEEN-toh), the proprietor of the village store and saloon.


Juana (HWAH-nah), his wife, who is forced to accept the attentions of Pereira and the priest.

Juancho Cabascango

Juancho Cabascango (HWAHN-choh kah-bahs-KAHN-goh), a prosperous Indian, cursed by the priest and killed by the Indians.

A captain

A captain, who burns out and machine-guns the rebellious Indians.


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Flores, Angel. “Jorge Icaza.” Spanish American Authors: The Twentieth Century. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1992. Survey of Icaza’s works. An excellent starting point. Stresses Icaza’s contributions to modern Ecuadorian literature.

Foster, David William, and Virginia Ramos Foster, eds. “Icaza, Jorge.” Modern Latin American Literature. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1975. Excerpts from critical studies. An excellent starting point to Icaza’s works.

González-Pérez, Armando. Social Protest and Literary Merit in “Huasipungo” and “El mundo es ancho y ajeno.” Milwaukee: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Center for Latin America, 1988. Indicates that Icaza is an important pro-Indian spokesperson in Ecuadorian political circles. His works often explore themes pertaining to economic exploitation of native populations.

Jones, Cyril. Three Spanish American Novelists: A European View. London: Hispanic & LUSO Brazilian Councils, 1967. Comparative study of works of Latin American novelists. Places emphasis on the tendency toward realism as a means of political empowerment.

Vetrano, Anthony Joseph. Imagery in Two of Jorge Icaza’s Novels: Huasipungo and Huairapamushcas. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1972. Icaza’s social concerns for the indigenous Ecuadorian population inspired realistic scenes well-known for their portrayal of the physical abuse of the Indian worker. Analyzes such images in Icaza’s two best-known novels.

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Critical Essays