Lola Rodríguez de Tió
Lola Rodríguez de Tió was born in San Germán where she received her primary education. Her schooling continued at home where various intellectuals and politicians often met. In 1868, inspired by the call for Puerto Rican independence known as the "Grito de Lares," she wrote patriotic lyrics to the tune of "La Borinqueña." The song became very popular, but brought her into conflict with Spanish authorities. In 1876 she and her family moved to Mayagüez where she published her first book of poetry, Mis cantares, which sold 2,500 copies. In 1877 the family fled to Venezuela where they met Eugenio María de Hostos. Upon their return to Puerto Rico she and her husband founded the magazine La almojábana. They were exiled again in 1887, returning first to Venezuela and then to Cuba. Once in Havana, their home became a gathering point for politicians and intellectuals as well as exiled Puerto Ricans.
Thanks to the publication of Mi libro de Cuba and her continued revolutionary activities, Lola was exiled once more, this time to New York City, where she helped José Martí and other Cuban revolutionaries. She returned to Havana in 1899 and only made three trips to Puerto Rico in the next twenty-five years. In 1910 she helped found the Cuban Academy of Arts and Letters. Since her death she has been recognized for her suggestion that Puerto Ricans use the Cuban flag with its colors reversed as the model for their own standard.