Jaramillo Alvarado, Pío (1884–1968)

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Jaramillo Alvarado, Pío (1884–1968)

Liberal lawyer and sociologist Pío Jaramillo Alvarado (17 May 1884–24 July 1968) is best-known for his critique of the exploitation of indigenous peoples in Ecuador. He was born to a white mestizo family in the southern Ecuadorian province of Loja. Typical of early twentieth century indigenistas, he critiqued indigenous realities from a non-indigenous perspective. In 1940 he led the Ecuadorian delegation to the Pátzcuaro Congress in Mexico that founded the Interamerican Indigenist Institute. Three years later he helped found the Ecuadorian Indigenist Institute, for which he subsequently served as director.

Jaramillo Alvarado earned a doctor of jurisprudence degree and engaged in an intensive study of his national reality. He contributed essays to newspapers throughout the country, most significantly under the pseudonym Petronio in the liberal newspaper El Día. On occasion, he served as governor and deputy of his native province of Loja. He also taught law at the Central University in Quito and the University of Guayaquil.

Jaramillo Alvarado's best-known work is El indio ecuatoriano (The Ecuadorian Indian), originally published in 1922. He significantly rewrote the book for subsequent editions in 1925, 1936, and 1954. This work established him as one of Ecuador's leading intellectuals. Del agro ecuatoriano (Of Ecuadorian Land; 1936) extended his discussion of issues facing Ecuador's rural peoples.

See alsoIndigenismo .


Jaramillo Alvarado, Pío. El indio ecuatoriano: Contribución al estudio de la sociología indoamericana, 6th edition. 2 vols. Quito: Corporación Editora Nacional, 1983.

Muńoz Vicuńa, Elias, et al. Vision actual de Pío Jaramillo Alvarado: Documentos del seminario nacional, Loja, 13 al 16 de septiembre, 1988. Loja, Ecuador: Subsecretaria de Cultura, Dirección Provincial de Educación, Departamento de Cultura de Loja, Fundación Friedrich Naumann, 1989.

                                             Marc Becker