To 107 kilómteros of La Serena, Elqui Valley, lies the village of Montegrande, where Gabriela Mistral spent part of his childhood and he was buried.
Lucilia Godoy Alcayaga, who later became known as Gabriela Mistral, Vicuña was born in 1889. When he was three, his father, elementary school teacher, left home, a situation for which his mother, his half sister and she went to Montegrande.
The poet lived in this small town between three and nine years. Being deeply influenced by the life he had in these lands. She identifies with Montegrande to the point of noting in a letter that was it, "their land of origin. In fact die before decided to give the right of their works published in South America s children Montegrande.
During his childhood, his maternal grandmother, puritanical and austere, was an important figure, delivering a biblical culture that will be reflected in his writing.
The house where this family lived in women, today called "house of Gabriela Mistral" was very simple, a small adobe building a floor, typical of the sector, nestled at the foot of a hill. In a room about 20 square meters was the classroom where she worked her elder sister, called Emeline, who was primary teacher and head of the mail. The second piece, the smaller was the bedroom of the family. The house also has a long narrow courtyard with beautiful trees and river views. Lucila left the house at nine to fourteen years and knows a very difficult period that hurt forever the poet: frequent changes of school, poor living with his mother, lack of communication with their partners, physical complex. His career educator begins at age 16 while working as an assistant at a school near Vicuña. Only in 1923, at age 34 earned the title of professor of Castilian, it had developed alongside his literary career, which by then was already advanced, being the relevant date in 1914 when he won the highest distinction in a literary competition and began using his pseudonym Gabriela Mistral. This award opens doors to the poet who began publishing in various national and international magazines.
In 1922 she was invited to Mexico and from then travels the world: USA, Europe, Latin America, and of course, Sweden where he received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1945, the first awarded to a Hispanic-American writer. In 1951 he obtained the National Prize for Literature. He died in New York in 1957, declaring national mourning in Chile. According to his will, expressed in his will is buried in his "beloved people of Montegrande Elqui Valley. His mausoleum is located at 1 km from the village on a rocky promontory overlooking the valley and the village.
Gabriela Mistral leaves a sensitive and melancholy poetry with religious influences that is about love, motherhood, childhood, earth, nature and others. His best known works are desolation, tenderness,logging, winery. He also wrote prose on many topics such as education, art, religion, politics, and history, etc..
With the recent earthquake that has affected the Region IV (October 1997), Casa de Gabriela Mistral, suffered considerable damage including cracked walls, cornices detachment, uprooting of a palm. Until she not repaired, will remain closed to the public.