The discussions concerning the organization of the Continental Conference on Culture in the Americas above all was focused on messages of peace and cooperation between countries, which was perhaps a sign that the Cold War was about to begin, and considering that these events were taking place immediately after World War II. The idea had occurred to Gabriela Mistral, the Chilean poet, as a result of her experience as the Latin American representative to the Institute of Intellectual Cooperation at the League of Nations (now the UN) in Geneva in 1925. The letter—which was signed by Brazilian writers, artists, actors, and liberal professionals—talks about “creating a climate that is conducive to reciprocal understanding and friendship” among (Latin) American countries, either by stressing the need for a “fraternal debate” to discuss intellectual activity, or by framing it as a “legitimate expression” of the countries involved. The Conference was ultimately held the following year, in 1953, in Santiago, Chile. It was coordinated by two Chilean poets, Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda, and the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.
Gabriela Mistral (1889–1957) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945, becoming the fifth woman and the first Latin American writer to be accorded this great international distinction.