Gabriela Mistral

What Did They Do?

Gabriela Mistral, born Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, was a Chilean author/poet and educator, who became one of the first Latin American authors to receive the Nobel Prize for literature. She also advocated for many groups of people such as women, children, people in poverty, and others as well. In 1925 she would become Chile's cultural representative in the League of Nations.During Her time as an educator she would write poems such as “Paisajes de la Patagonia” and “Poemas de la madre más trieste”. She would teach classes to workers and people in poverty.She would travel to mexico to help re-established the education system after the revolution.


Gabriel Mistral started as a schoolteacher who would teach elementary and secondary school for years. Around that time she started to write poetry, including poems such as “Paisajes de la Patagonia'' and “Poemas de la madre más trieste”. She would then travel to Mexico to help reestablish the education system after the Mexican Revolution. She played an important role in the education systems of Mexico and Chile. As well as an active diplomat for the League of Nations, being named the cultural Representative of Chile. She was also a consul for Naples, Madrid, and Lisbon. She would be granted honorary degrees from the Universities of Florence and Guatemala. Mistral was also a member in various cultural societies in countries like the United States, Spain, and Cuba. She would become a professor and teach Spanish Literature in the United States in places such as the University of Columbia, Vassar College, and the University of Puerto Rico. She also created various poems that would make her grow to fame.

She was also the first Latin American author to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945.


At a young age Mistral had to leave her home of monte grande and go to Vicuna. She states that “ I was happy until I left Monte Grande, and then I was never happy again”. In her time in Vicuna, Mistral struggled with various obstacles. She would leave for her education, she was accused of stealing school supplies. She was denied admission in some schools, such as the Normal School in La Serena because the teachers accused her of writing like a troublemaker. She would also deal with mental health issues, especially after the death of her first loved who had committed suicide.

What Do They Mean To Me

Gabriela Mistral is an inspiration to many Latin Americans. She was very popular for her poetry and their themes of maternity and childhood. Because she grew up in poverty she wasn't able to have many opportunities. So to Latin America she is a symbol of their aspirations and what many would see as the American dream. So to me she is a symbol of getting up from the ashes and doing what people didn’t seem possible. Being a girl and being poor Mistral didn't have many opportunities.

How Do They Inspire Me

Gabriel Mistral advocated for the rights of women and children. She inspires me in the way she grew up in poverty yet she achieved greatness, she was a self made woman. Mistral inspires me to work hard in order to achieve my goals, I also aspire to be self made. I want to work hard for myself in order to achieve my set goals, when you are self made it gives you a sense of accomplishment. A sense that you did it by yourself and it is something you should be proud of. I respect the fact that even though Mistral struggled with the fact she was denied her education, she was still one of the most successful people in Latin America. Her poems are now a part of history that will not be forgotten. She represented her country as a diplomat making connections in American and Latin America. She also helped establish a better education system for Mexico and Chile because she saw how little opportunities others had. She took the time to actually help people, she taught classes to people in poverty and workers so that they had the chance to learn. I want to help others like she did, I want to help children so that they have the chance to have a better life. ANother group she advocated for was children, more specifically their education. I am sure she is not only a role model for me but for other Latin and or Latin American women. She accomplished much in her life, being self made, giving less fortunate people the right to have an education, reforming education systems, and being one of the first Latin Women to win the Nobel Prize in literature. She is an inspiration to women, in the way that she built her career herself, many immigrants coming to start a new life often have to build themselves up from the ground in order to survive. She is an inspiration to those people who thought it was impossible because she is a symbol of hope, a hope that whatever challenges you will one day help you. She took her life and her experience and created poems out of them, poems that will forever have an impact on the people of Latin America and whoever she taught in the United States.