Maria Santos Gorrostieta she was mayor of Tiquicheo, a small town in the Mexican state of
Michoacan, which has seen some of the most brutal drug-related violence. She stood her ground
and died a martyr.
Doctor María del Socorro Flores González won the MEXWII 2006 award for her work on
diagnostic methods for invasive amebiasis. María González patented processes to diagnose
invasive amebiasis, a parasitic disease that kills over 100,000 people each year.
Chemist, Luis Miramontes co-invented the contraceptive pill. In 1951, Luis Miramontes,
then a college student, was under the direction of Syntex Corp Ceo George Rosenkranz and
researcher Carl Djerassi. Miramontes wrote a new procedure for the synthesis of the progestin
norethindrone, the active ingredient for what would become the oral birth control pill. Carl
Djerassi,George Rosenkranz and Luis Miramontes were granted US patent 2,744,122 for “oral
contraceptives” on May 1, 1956. The first oral contraceptives trade named Norinyl was
manufactured by Syntex.
Victor Celorio patented the “Instabook Maker” a technology supporting e-book distribution by
quickly and elegantly printing an offline copy. Victor Celorio was granted US patents 6012890
and 6213703 fpr his invention. Celorio was born on July 27, 1957 in Mexico City. He is the
president of Instabook Corporation, based in Gainesville, Florida.
GUILLERMO GONZALEZ CAMARENA
Guillermo González Camarena invented an early system of the color television. He received US
patent 2296019 on September 15, 1942 for his “chromoscopic adapter for television equipment”.
González Camarena publicly demonstrated his color television with a transmission on August
31, 1946. The color transmission was broadcast direct from the his laboratory in Mexico City
Benjamin Valles of Chihuahua, Mexico, developed a system and a method for preforming cable
for promoting adhesion to over molded sensor body for Delphi Technologies Inc. The inventor
was issued U.S. Patent No. 7,077,022 on July 18, 2006. $50,000 offered for his delivery dead or
alive to Porfirio Diaz, President of Mexico. Ochoa was a revolutionist who sought to overthrow
the rule of Mexico’s chief executive in the early nineties.
Victor Ochoa was the Mexican American inventor of the Ochoaplane. And the inventor of a
windmill, magnetic brakes, a wrench, and a reversible motor. His best known invention, the
Ochoaplane was a small flying machine with collapsible wings. Mexican inventor Victor Ochoa
was also a Mexican revolutionary. According to the Smithsonian, Victor Ochoa had a reward of
Mexican inventor Felipe Vadillo patented a method of predicting premature fetal membrane
rupturing pregnant women
Juan Lozano, a Mexican inventor with a lifelong obsession with jet packs, invented the Rocket
Belt. Juan Lozano’s company Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana sells the Rocket Belt for a
hefty price. According to their website, “founder Juan Manuel Lozano has been working with
hydrogen peroxide propulsion systems since 1975, inventor of the penta-metallic catalyst pack to
be used with organic hydrogen peroxide and inventor of the most popular machine in the world
to produce you own hydrogen peroxide to be used as a rocket fuel.
Emilio Sacristan of Santa Ursula Xitla, Mexico, invented a air-pressure powered driver for
pneumatic ventricular assist device (VAD).
JOSE HERNANDEZ REBOLLAR
Jose Hernandez-Rebollar invented the Acceleglove, a glove that can translate sign language
into speech. According the Smithsonian, “by using sensors attached to the glove and the arm,
this prototype device can currently translate the alphabet and over 300 words in American Sign
Language (ASL) into both English and Spanish.
Frida Kahlo FAMOUS surrealist painter who did not shun her power to affect the mind she was a true
feminist artist who is very well known in the feminist movement. She was born in Mexico in 1907 and
worked until her death in 1954. The style she uses is known as Surrealism her husband was Diego Rivera
(11 years her senior), who was known as a painter of murals.
Dávila, José Antonio
(1898–1941), poet, was born on October 7, 1898 in Bayamón, son of Virgilio Dávila. He
studied medicine but he was known better for his modernist poetry. He published “Vendimia”
(1940) and “Almacén de Baratijas.” He died on December 4, 1941 in Bayamõn.
Dávila, Virgilio (Virgilio Dávila Cabrera)
(1869–1943), poet, teacher and business man, was born on January 28, 1869 in Toa Baja. He
was mayor of Bayamón for a few years. His poetry represents the traditional in Puerto Rican
literature. In 1903, he published his first book of poems, “Patria”, a collection of lyrical portraits
of the island’s landspace, love and Puerto Rican personalities like José de Diego, Federico
Degetau and Lola Rodríguez de Tió. He also published: “Viviendo y Amado” (1912), “Aromas
del Terruño” (1916), “Pueblito de Antes” (1917), and “Un Libro Para Mis Nietos” (A Book for
my Grandchildren; 1928).
Among his best-known poems are “Nostalgia” , “Elegía de Reyes” and “No Des Tu Tierra al
Extraño.” He died on August 22, 1943 in Bayamón and buried in the Porta Coeli Cemetary.
(1862–1914), lawyer, politician, writer, and Puerto Rico’s
first Resident Commissioner of to the United States House of
Representatives from 1900 to 1904, was born on December 5, 1862 in
Ponce. He received is early education in Ponce, and continued studies
in Barcelona, Spain, where he graduated from the law department of
the Central University of Madrid. He founded the newspaper La Isla de
After returning to the island, Degetau became an active member of
the Autonomist Party, under the leadership of Luis Muñoz Rivera.
In 1895, he was among the party’s four commissioners sent to Spain
to petition for political autonomy for Puerto Rico. The petition was
denied, but an autonomic charter was granted three years later. As
a Resident Commissioner and member of the Committee on Insular
Affairs, he submitted a bill to grant U.S. citizenship to Puerto Rico
residents, but it was denied. He wrote “El Secreto de la Domadora”
(1886), “Que Quijote!,” “Cuentos para el Camino”, “Juventud” (1895)
and “La Injuria” (1893). He died on January 20, 1914 in Santurce, and
was burried in San Juan.
(1940–), opera singer, was born on January 29, 1940 in San Juan. He was a soloist for the
choir of the University of Puerto Rico and studied singing at the New England Conservatory of
Music. He has performed with some of the most prestigious orchestras and has participated in
opera movies. He received the Handel Medal, the most important cultural distinction awarded
by the City of New York, as well as the National Cultural Medal awarded by the Puerto Rican
Díaz Alfaro, Abelardo
(1919–1999), writer, was born on July 24, 1919 in Caguas. He obtained a degree in Arts from
the Technical Institute of San Germán and continued social work studies in the University of
Puerto Rico. In 1947, he publishes his first collection of stories and stamps of the rural zone of
the island, “Terrazo.” His most notables books include: “Los Perros” (1956), “Mi Isla Soñada”
(1967), “The Green Antilles,” “Campo Alegra,” among others. His books have been translated
into numerous languages. He died on July 22, 1999 in Guaynabo.
Diego Martínez, José de
(1866–1921), jurist, poet, journalist, essayist, orator, politician and advocate for Puerto Rico’s
independance, was born on April 16, 1866 in Aguadilla. Considered a brilliant orator, de Diego
was also a major poet, but his claim to fame today rests on his advocacy of independence
for Puerto Rico. He was a founder of the Autonomist Party (1887) and co-founder (with
Luis Muñoz Rivera) of the Unionist Party (1904). His dream was to see the establishment
of a confederation of Spanish-speaking islands in the Caribbean, including the Dominican
Republic. He was president of the House of Delegates (1907-1917) and speaker of the House of
Representatives (1917-1918). He was also the founder of the “Colegio de Agricultura y Artes
Mecánicas de Mayagüez now known as the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez.
History considers him a father to both the modern Puerto Rican poetry movement and the
island’s modern independence movement. Works such as “A Laura” and “Postuma” won him
a lasting reputation as Puerto Rico’s finest love poet. His poetry books include “Pomarrosas”
(1904), “Jovillos” (1916), “Cantos de Rebeldía” (1916) and “Cantos del Pitirre,” published
soon after his dead. He died reciting his poem “Último Acto” on July 17, 1921 in New York and
burried in San Juan.
Dueño Colón, Braulio
(1854–1934), musician and composer, was born on March 26, 1854 in San Juan. Dueño is
considered one of Puerto Rico’s greatest composers, his most important contribution is perhaps
the collections of school songs he wrote specifically for the island’s schools, “Canciones
Escolares” (1912), which were co-written with Virgilio Dávila and of Manuel Fernández
Dueño won many literary-musical competitions in the Ateneo Puertorriqueño. Braulio’s best
known dances are “Delia y Belén,” “Patria,” and “La Criolla.” He died on April 4, 1934 in
Bayamón, age 80.
(1851–1892), orator and writer, was born on January 2, 1851 in San Juan. He founded the
Ateneo Puertorriqueño. Elzaburu died on February 12, 1892 in San Juan.
(1945–), singer, was born blind on September 10, 1945 in Lares. José has been acclaimed by
critics throughout the world as “the greatest living guitarist.” When he was five, his family
emigrated to New York City. Jose learned to play a concertina at age six, using a handful of
records as his teacher. Later on, he taught himself to play the guitar. Jose has received over forty
gold and platinum records, has won 14 Grammy nominations and six Grammy awards, and
has earned countless prestigious awards the world over. Jose has also been given a star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame. His most notable songs includes: “Light my Fire,” “Que Sera,” “Feliz
Navidad,” “Rain,” “Chico and the man,” “California Dreamin’,” “Destiny,” “Affirmation,” “Ay
cariño,” “Ponte a cantar,” “Cuando el amor se acaba,” and “Porque te tengo que olvidar?,”
(1906–), musician and composer, was born on October 31, 1906 in Aguadilla. He collected folk
songs and re-orchestrated them for chamber orchestras; his recordings have been sponsored by
the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture. In 1959, he published: “Cancionero de Puerto Rico.”
Fernández Juncos, Manuel
(1846–1928), one of Puerto Rico’s best known journalists, poet and humanitarian, was born on
December 11, 1846 in Oviedo, Spain to Puerto Rican parents. Fernández first wrote for the
newspaper “El Progress” (Progress), and later for the “Porvenir” and “El Clamor del Pueblo.” In
1876, Juncos launched the newspaper “El Buscapie”, campaigning liberal ideas such as free
education for children and adults. The weekly newspaper soon became the most read in the
island. In 1887, he founded the “Revista Puertorriqueña” (The Puerto Rican Magazine),
specializing in the Arts, Sciences and Letters.
Fernandez joined the Autonomist Party and became its secretary. In 1898, when Puerto Rico
was granted autonomy from Spain, he was elected Secretary of State. After the end of the
Spanish-American War he retires from public life and devotes his time to writing about Puerto
Rican traditions and folklore. He published numerous books and essays.
Among his most notable works are: “Tipos y Caracteres” (1882), “De Puerto Rico a Madrid”
(1886), “Costumbres y Tradiciones” (1888), “La Ultima Hornada” (1928), “Libro Cuarto de
Lectura,” and “Canciones Escolares,” which he co-wrote with Virgilio Dávila and Braulio
In 1952, “La Borinqueña”, written by Fernández, became the offical anthem of the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
He held the Presidency of the Puerto Rican Literacy Society, directed the Antillian Academy of
Language and founded the Puerto Rican Red Cross. He died on August 18, 1928 in San Juan.
Ferré Aguayo, Luis Alberto
(1904–2003), engineer, industrialist, politician and philanthropist, was
born on February 17, 1904 in Ponce. He was the third democratically
elected Governor of Puerto Rico (1968-1972). He ran a family cement
company and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1952. In
1967, he founded the New Progressive Party; as its candidate he won
the governorship in 1968, breaking the Popular Democratic Party’s 28-
year domination. His re-election campaign in 1972 became a virtual
referendum on statehood, which Ferré advocated. Ferré was defeated
by Rafael Hernández Colén, who pledge for the continuation of the
commonwealth status. He died on October 21, 2003.
(1938), writer, poet and essayist, was born in 1938 in Ponce. On 1960, she completed her
studies in English Literature from the Manhattanville College, and earned a master in Spanish
and Latin-American Literature from the University of Puerto Rico. From the 1970’s she began
to write, first as an editor for the Zona de Carga y Descarga Magazine, later on she became a
continuous collaborator for newspapers, El Nuevo Día and the San Juan Star. Her first work was
the novel “Maldito Amor,” which won the Libertur Award in 1992. Her works include: “Papeles
de Pandora,” “La Casa de la Laguna” (1996), and “Vecindarios Excentricos” (1998).
Ferrer, José Vicente
(1912–1992), actor, director, and producer noted for his Academy Award winning performance
in the film Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), was born on January 8, 1909 in Santurcce.
Ferrer made his film debut with Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Arc in 1948, for which he received
his first Academy Award nomination for “Best Supporting Actor”. Active both in the theater and
films, Ferrer portrayed Iago in a stage production of Othello (1943) and Toulouse-Lautrec in the
film Moulin Rouge (1952). He directed the plays Stalag 17 (1951) and The Shrike (1952). Later
films include Dune (1984). Died on January 26, 1992 in Miami, Florida.
Gautier Benítez, José
(1848–1880), poet, was born on April 12, 1848 in Caguas. Considered the greatest poet of
the romanticism period in Puerto Rico. He died on January 24, 1880 in San Juan.
(ca. early 1700s–1800s), Spanish naval captain, pirate, was born in Puerto Rico. This hero, a
mulatto who was one a shoemaker, eventually became a corsair and then experienced many
adventures as captain of a Spanish warship. He may have participated in conquering the offshore
island of Vieques.
(1892–1965), composer, was born on October 24, 1892 in Aguadilla.
He was one of the most important figures in 20th-century popular
Puerto Rican music, dividing his career between Puerto Rico, the U.S.
Works such as the “Lamento Borincano”, “Capullito de Alelí”, and
his masterpiece “Preciosa” were thought to express the soul of Puerto
Rico. He died on December 11, 1965 in San Juan.
Hernández Colén, Rafael
(1936–), former governor of Puerto Rico (1973-1977, 1985-1993),
was born on October 24, 1936 in Ponce. An honors graduate of Johns
Hopkins Univ. (1956) and the Univ. of Puerto Rico law school (1959),
he practiced law in Ponce, and was elected to the senate in 1968. He
was a protégé of Luis Muñoz Marín. He served as president of the
senate and as president of the Popular Democratic party. In 1972 he
decisively defeated Gov. Luis Ferré to become, at 36, the island’s
youngest governor. He sponsored ambitious programs of economic
development and housing construction, and he strongly opposed U.S.
President Ford’s wish to make Puerto Rico the 51st state. He wanted to
make Puerto Rico less dependent economically on the United States.
He was reelected in 1984 and 1988.
Hostos y Bonilla, Eugenio María de
(1839–1903), educator and politician, was born on January 11, 1839
in Rio Cañas, Mayagüez. Hostos received his elementary schooling in
San Juan and then went to Spain for both secondary studies and law
school. Hostos was educated in Spain and became active in republican
politics as a university student there. He left Spain when that country’s
new constitution (1869) refused to grant independence to Puerto Rico.
He went to the United States, where he became editor of the Cuban
independence journal La Revolucién in 1870. In Santo Domingo (1879-
88) he founded the first normal school and introduced advanced
teaching methods, but nine years later he had to leave the country
because of his liberal views. He subsequently traveled widely
throughout South America and taught in Chile. As professor in the
Univ. of Chile, he was instrumental in having women admitted. He
returned to the United States in 1898 and participated actively in the
Cuban independence movement, but his hopes for Puerto Rican
independence after the Spanish-American War (1898) were
disappointed when the U.S. government rejected his proposal for
autonomy and instead established its rule over the island as a territory.
Hostos returned to the Dominican Republic. Hostos played a major
role in reorganizing the educational system of the Dominican
Republic. He is widely known throughout Latin America as a publicist
of civic reforms, as a rationalist in ethics who believed that to be
civilized and to be moral is the same thing, and as a writer of sober,
graceful, and didactic prose. He wrote many essays and treatises on
social-science topics and was one of the first systematic sociologists in
Latin America. His most important was “La Peregrinacién de Bayoán”
(1863), a seminal work promoting Cuban independence and revealing
on a fiction tone restrictions of the Spanish Colonial regime. The book
was suppressed by the Spanish Government. He was also known as a
supporter of women’s rights. He even wrote his own epitaph: “I wish
that they will say: In that island [Puerto Rico] a man was born who
loved truth, desired justice, and worked for the good of men.” Other
works: Moral social (1888); Lecciones de Derecho Constitucional
(1887); and a superb essay, Hamlet (1873). He died on August 11,
1903 in Santo Domingo.
Juliá, Raúl (Raúl Rafael Carlos Juliá y Arcelay)
(1944–1994), actor, was born on March 9, 1944 in San Juan. Juliá proved his versatility on both
stage and screen. Raul Julia made his New York City debut in 1964 in a Spanish-language play.
He worked on: Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival Macbeth (1966), Two Gentlemen
of Verona (1971) for which he won the first of his four Tony nominations, Mack the Knife in
The Threepenny Opera (1976). Julia’s film career, which began in 1971, ran the gamut from
the comic–The Gumball Rally (1976), The Addams Family (1991), and its sequel Addams
Family Values (1993)–to the biographical–Romero (1988), in which he played the Salvadoran
archbishop, and The Burning Season (1994), about Brazilian labor leader Chico Mendes–to the
tragic–Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985). He died on October 24, 1994 in New York.