Eugenio Maria de Hostos y Bonilla

Eugenio Maria de Hostos y Bonilla was born in Rio Cañas on 11 January in 1839. In later years Hostos would become well-known as both a politician and as an educator.

Eugenio Maria attended an elementary school in his home country, in San Juan but later moved to Spain to complete his secondary and tertiary education. He decided to pursue a career in law and so attended a law school where he became interested in politics. His interest went a step further when he became actively involved in Republican politics, which advocated that its constituency nominate a leader for the country rather than maintaining a monarch.

Shortly thereafter, he joined the Spanish Republicans when he became disenchanted with the country’s new constitution. When he first joined the Spanish Republicans, Party leaders pledged to make Puerto Rico an independent country but when the constitution was introduced he soon realized that this was not the case. Hostos left Spain and moved to New York City in the United States and became an editor of the “La Revolucién”, an independent Cuban Journal.

In 1870 he left his job as editor and began a trip around Latin America that would last for a total of four years. During his travels he presented his views about bringing an end to slavery, an amalgamation of all the Antillean nations and showed his support for Chinese laborers that had been maltreated. To a large degree his efforts to change the view of the public were successful to the point of that women in Chile were given the opportunity to attend University. In the Dominican Republic and in Chile he taught as both a teacher and as a professor and spent a lot of his time trying to improve the educational system for the better.

Eighteen years after he first left the United States, Hostos returned and again became involved with politics. This time he was focused on changing the status of Puerto Rico to one of independence. However his efforts were futile as the U.S government continued its rule over the island. Again he left America and returned to the Dominican Republic where he continued to add to his collection of writings pertaining to social science. One of the most important works he ever wrote was called “La Peregrinacién de Bayoán”, which advocated the independence of Cuba. Eugenio Maria de Hostos y Bonilla died in Santo Domingo in 1903.