Ramón Marín Solá (12 January 1832 – 13 September 1902) was a nineteenth-century Puerto Rican educator, journalist, politician, and historian. He is best remembered for his 1875 historical masterpiece, "Las fiestas populares de Ponce."
Ramón Marín Solá was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, on 2 January 1832 and died in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 13 September 1902. His parents were Vicente Marín and his slave Rosa. He studied at Arecibo's Liceo San Felipe and in 1850, at 18 years of age, he moved to Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, to work as a teacher. He was a freemason. an active member of Aurora Masonic Lodge in Ponce. Also was his son, Americo Marín Castillo and named one his daughter, Aurora.
It was during his time as a teacher in Cabo Rojo that Ramón Marín started his career as a writer. Marín's first publication took place on 20 August 1853, in the "El Ponceño" news weekly, a publication from Ponce, Puerto Rico. He submitted several other writings that were also published. In 1856 Marín Sola graduated as a teacher.
In 1860, Marín moved to Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, where he founded a school. In 1866 Marín Sola established at his school in Yabucoa the first school for adults in the Island. While in Yabucoa, Marín was a survivor of the 1867 San Narciso Hurricane.
Marín moved to the city of Ponce during the tumultuous years of the late 1860s, joining freedom-lovers Manuel Gregorio Tavárez and Manuel Zeno Gandia.
On 21 May 1874 Marín founded his first newspaper "El Avisador." In May 1875 he published his second paper in Ponce, "La Crónica de Ponce", later renamed "La Crónica". In 1880 Marín also became the director of Roman Baldorioty de Castro's paper, the first paper founded to defend the autonomist ideals of the time. In December 1885, Ramón Marín published a 72-page pamphlet titled "Las Fiestas Populares de Ponce".
In October 1881, Marín cofounded with Mario Braschi "El Pueblo", an evening paper printed every other day. Papers during those years did not last long due to the colonial government's oppression of the freedom of the press. On 7 October 1887, he founded "El Popular", also as a result of the oppression of the colonial government.
In 1879, Marín was selected clerk of the electoral commission in Ponce. On 19 February 1886, Ramón Marín became part of the founding committee of the Partido Liberal Puertorriqueño together with Martin Corchado, Rafael Pujals and others. Also with Pujals, Corchado and others, Marín was signatory of the Plan de Ponce, a "carta magna" seeking freedom from the Spanish imperialists. In 1887 Marín and Baldorioty de Castro were arrested by the colonial authorities as they attempted to travel to Spain to denounce before the Spanish Cortes the oppression of the colonial government on the people of Puerto Rico via the "Compontes" – forced removal of citizens from their homes for detention by the authorities without any charges. They were later transferred to the jail at El Morro in San Juan. The young pharmacist Juan Arrillaga Cortes, aided by Xavier Mariani, Olimpio Otero, and others, would later successfully make the trip to Madrid to denounce the atrocities of the colonial government in Puerto Rico.
On 5 September 1856 Marín Sola married María Amalia Castilla. Together they had five sons: Vicente, Ramón, Americo, Alejandro, and Eduardo. They also had two daughters: Amalia and Aurora. His daughter Amalia Marín would later marry Luis Muñoz Rivera, a young man whom Ramón Marín mentored. One child from that marriage, Luis, would later become the first elected governor of Puerto Rico. Ramon's wife, María Amalia Castilla Beiro died on 6 May 1873, at the age of 28, and Marín then married Candelaria Marien with whom he lived the rest of his life.
- Las fiestas populares de Ponce. 1875. Reprint (Rio Piedras: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1994).
Honors and recognitions
In Arecibo there is a public housing development named after him. In Ponce, there is a school named after him.
He is also honored at Ponce's Park of Illustrious Ponce Citizens, both as a historian, as well as a journalist. Together with Federico Degetau, Ramon Marin is the only honoree to be honored for contributions in more than one field at the park.