Hermelinda Urvina: first female pilot in South America

Artwork by Belle, aged 9

Biography by Ava, aged 11


Hermelinda Urvina, Pilot Extraordinaire

Hermelinda Urvina

Lived: 26 Sep, 1905 - 20 Sep, 2008

Claim to Fame: Trail blazing pilot!


Hermelinda Urvina was the first woman in South America to gain a pilot’s license!

Hermelinda's parents were José Belisario Urvina and Felicidad Mayorga. She was born in Ambato in Ecuador on the 26th of September 1905 and died on the 20th of September 2008 at the age of 103 (she was almost 104) in Toronto, Canada.

In 1926 Hermelinda moved to New York. While she was in the USA she got her pilot’s license. Hermelinda was one of the first members of the Ninety-Nines which is an international organization for women pilots.

In 2000 the Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio recognised Hermelinda as one of the ten most influential women of the millennium!



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