José Eustasio Rivera
José Eustasio Rivera was born in San Mateo (now called Rivera) in 1888, one of eleven children. He showed an aptitude for education and went to college where he started writing poems. He obtained a scholarship for studying in college in Bogotá. In 1909 he became an inspector of schools but continued to write poetry. In 1912 he enrolled as a law student, graduating in 1917. He supported himself by working as a civil servant. His first collection of poetry was published in 1910 but he achieved greater success with his second collection – Tierra de promisión (Promised Land), published in 1921. In 1922 he was appointed secretary to the commission studying the Venezuelan-Colombian border. The commission traveled through the country. Rivera resigned from the commission but continued traveling through the country. He rejoined the commission and the travels continued. During all of this period he was writing his only novel, La vorágine (The Vortex) but he also made extensive notes on the squalid conditions of Colombians living in the border area and submitted a report to the Government on his return. He took up a campaign on behalf of this issue but it was ignored by the Government. La vorágine (The Vortex) was published in 1924. He continued to write exposés of Government incompetence and fraud. After going to Cuba he went to New York, where he founded a publishing house, Editorial Andes. He arranged for his novel to be translated into English and tried to get it made into a film. He died in mysterious circumstances in his New York apartment in December 1928. His body was returned to Colombia and he was buried in Bogotá.
1910 Oda a España
1921 Tierra de promisión (Promised Land)
1924 La vorágine (The Vortex)