Juan Pueblo is a popular character and icon of Guayaquil, created in 1918 by cartoonist Virgilio Jaime Salinas for the column kaleidoscope that was published by El Telegrafo Newspaper, who was identified as the person responsible of complaints within Guayaquil’s society. The character represents the modest man, the worker who struggles to succeed.
The character had several versions and was illustrated in several newspapers of the country like El Universo and La Prensa. Initially he was portrayed as a very thin man, malnourished, who walked barefoot and wore old clothes and a black cap with a star in the center; he was accompanied by a dog as skinny as its owner.
When Virgilio Jaime Salinas died in 1959, Ecuadorian artists Miguel Angel Gomez and Luis Peñaherrera Bermeo subsequently retook Juan Pueblo. Finally Peñaherrera, known by his pseudonym "Robin", in 1962 won a contest held by El Telegrafo newspaper to succeed the original author and he inherited the character and published it in his column “Flechazos”.
In 1992 during the administration of Leon Febres Cordero, Juan Pueblo became the symbol of the "new Guayaquil", leading the civic campaign "Ahora o nunca, Guayaquil Vive por Ti". Since then Juan Pueblo became an icon of the city, dressed in his white guayabera shirt, his blue pants and his October star Cap.
In 2011, Mayor Jaime Nebot proposed to Peñaherrera the idea of perpetuating him in a sculpture.
The sculpture is made of bronze and appears seated on a bench. The work of Luis Peñaherrera is located at the Simon Bolivar Pier next to the Moorish Tower within the Civic Plaza and also at the Pier of the Salado Estuary inside the Rodolfo Baquerizo Moreno Square.