Want to make creations as awesome as this one?

Genially about Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American to win a Nobel Prize in Literature


Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral was a Chilean poet, diplomat, and teacher. She was the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.


Gabriela Mistral was a Chilean poet, diplomat, and teacher. She was the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Gabriela Mistral was born in a small mountain town in Chile in 1889. She was raised by her mother, and lived with her much older sister; her father had left when she was only three. However, Mistral was inspired by the poems her father would write her, as well as by the biblical poems her grandmother taught her. When Mistral was eleven, she left her family in the town of Monte Grande to go to school in the town of Vicuña, Chile.

In 1945, Mistral became the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. She also received the National Literature Prize in Chile a few years after. Throughout her life, Mistral advocated for women, children, and the poor, as well as for democracy and peace. She stood up for those who were mistreated such as women, Native Americans, workers, and the poor, and used her poetry to support and advocate for them.

In Vicuña, Mistral struggled. She was accused of stealing, she was denied admission to a school because the teachers did not like her writing, and her first love unfortunately committed suicide. These experiences greatly impacted Mistral and her views on life and justice, and she began writing about these events. Mistral worked as a teacher’s aid to support her family while submitting her writing to newspapers. She earned her teaching certificate in 1910 after teaching herself to pass the exam. After earning her certification, she began teaching across Chile.

A few years later, Mistral published her first work outside of Chile. A literary magazine in Paris published a short story of hers, along with some poems. This publication helped her get a job as principal of a high school for girls. During her time as principal, she wrote more poems. She also organized many initiatives at the school such as holding classes at night for workers who could not attend school during the day, as well as classes for the poor. After a couple years, Mistral was sent to be principal of another school in a Native Chilean territory where she saw the mistreatment of the indigenous people. This inspired her to write poems about their unjust treatment.

Mistral later became principal of a prestigious school in the capital of Chile, Santiago. While in Santiago, Mistral wrote poems, articles, and other materials. She published her first book in 1922, and began traveling and lecturing outside of Chile. She moved to Mexico to help rebuild their education system after the Mexican Revolution, and also lived in France and Italy. She taught classes and spoke at schools such as Columbia University, Barnard College, Middlebury College, and Vassar College. She also served as a consul in Lisbon, Nice, Naples, and Madrid.