Esteban Pichardo, Cuba

Esteban Pichardo, the most eminent Cuban geographer

Havana Cuba. — On December 26, 1799, the researcher and professor of Natural Sciences Esteban Pichardo y Tapia was born on the island of Santo Domingo, now the Dominican Republic. He has been considered the most prominent Cuban geographer, a field in which he made the main contributions. of the.

Living in Cuba with his family since he was two years old, Esteban Pichardo lived and began his studies in the city of Camagüey. He later moved to Havana, where he graduated from the prestigious Seminary of San Carlos and San Ambrosio to enroll in Law at the University of Havana, which he concluded in 1822.

His professional work forced him to live interchangeably between Havana, Matanzas, Santa Clara and Camagüey. The vast knowledge he possessed about the insular territory gave rise to his most relevant geographical work: General Itinerary of the Island of Cuba, which he meticulously prepared after an expedition carried out through the central and eastern region, during which he collected important topographic, descriptive and statistical data. which were later enriched with the incorporation of Camagüey and the western region.

By the year 1829, the Compendium of Geography of the Island of Cuba, of his authorship, was used in colleges and secondary schools. In 1840 he produced a General Map of Cuba on a reduced scale, and by the year 1853 a map of the province of Matanzas and another of the Western Region saw the light of day.

It was in the year 1874 that Esteban Pichardo presented the Great Map of Cuba, his largest and most complete work, to which he dedicated more than thirty years. His scientific career was worthy of numerous recognitions, granted by prestigious institutions such as the Economic Society of Friends of the Country and the Royal Academy of Medical, Physical and Natural Sciences of Havana.

Separated from his duties as Archivist of the Directorate of Public Works in 1865, and abandoned by his contemporaries in a context of political turmoil, Esteban Pichardo y Tapia plunged into a painful financial situation with his family. He died blind and poor in the year 1879.

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