Dolores Cacuango’s 139th Birthday – Today’s Doodle celebrates the 139th birthday of Ecuadorian civil rights pioneer Dolores Cacuango, who spent decades fighting fiercely for the rights of the country’s Indigenous people. Cacuango was a dedicated advocate for accessible education and instrumental in establishing Ecuador’s first bilingual schools, which practiced in Spanish and the Indigenous language of Quichua.
Dolores Cacuango was born on this day in 1881 in the Pesillo hacienda in the northern canton of Cayambe, Ecuador. Like many Indigenous people before her, she began to work at a young age, and at 15 years old was forced to relocate to the Ecuadorian capital of Quito to become a servant. With new insight into the troubling racism and class inequality facing her people, Cacuango returned home committed to the struggle for change.
Back in Pesillo, she became a leader in the movement against the exploitative hacienda system, and through her dynamic speeches, she advocated for causes like land rights, economic justice, and education for the Indigenous community. In 1926, she helped lead the people of Cayambe in challenging the sale of their community land, setting a strong example for future movements. Some two decades later in 1944, she also contributed to the establishment of the groundbreaking Ecuadorian Federation of Indians, which united Indigenous people around economic and cultural issues. She spent the rest of her life advocating for indigenous rights for current and future generations.
Today, Cacuango’s legacy is remembered with a street named in her honor in northern Quito.
You can find more about Dolores Cacuango’s 139th Birthday on the official Google Doodle Page