Eugenio María de Hostos was a patriot, educator, sociologist, philosopher, essayist, and novelist. He was born in the municipality of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, on January 11, 1839. He did his first studies in Mayagüez and later went to Spain (Bilbao) for his secondary education. Following his father’s desires, he went to Madrid to study law, but his constant activism in support of the political rights for Puerto Rico and the Spanish republican movement prevented him from pursuing his law degree. In Spain, he associated with liberal, anti-monarchic political groups. From Spain he went to New York, where he spent almost a year and fought alongside the Cubans in their struggle for independence. Later, he undertook a journey throughout South America for more than three years to plead for the Cuban cause. Wherever he went, he was regarded as a man of integrity, devoted to the service of humanity.