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5 facts you didn’t know about Sarmiento

February 15, 1811: Domingo Faustino Sarmiento was born.
15 February, 2019

Beloved and hated, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento is one of the most controversial proceres in our history. On the anniversary of his birth, we want to tell you 5 facts about his life that you surely did not know.

  1. His real name wasn’t Domingo. The name on his birth certificate is Faustino Valentín Quiroga Sarmiento. However, his family always called him Domingo, because his mother was devoted to Santo Domingo, and that was the name he ended up adopting.
  2. Sarmiento planted the first wicker rod in the country, in the Paraná Delta. He is also credited with bringing the first pecan walnut seeds from the United States.
  3. In 1869, he organized the first national census. As a result, there were 1,836,490 inhabitants in the country, 8% of the total European immigrants and 70% of the rural population. Moreover, 71 per cent of Argentines were illiterate at that time.
  4. He started meteorology in the country. Sarmiento created the Astronomical Observatory of Córdoba. Then, along with the American astronomer Benjamin Apthorp Gould, he began Argentine meteorology studies by creating, in 1872, the National Meteorological Bureau.
  5. Through the Grants Act of 1871, it guaranteed funds for the creation of new schools and the purchase of materials and books. During his tenure, some 800 schools of first letters were founded. The school population rose from 30,000 to 110,000 pupils.
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