Omitir los comandos de cinta
Saltar al contenido principal
Activities and Agenda
  • Listen it
  • Imprimir la página
  • Send to a friend
  • Suscribe to RSS
  • Share it on Facebook
  • Share it on Twitter
  • Share it on Linkedin
  • Share it on Google+

Palabras de Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de Asturias en la inauguración del Centro Nacional de Cultura Hispánica

EE.UU.(Albuquerque. Nuevo México), 21.10.2000

G

overnor Johnson, distinguished guests, friends of new Mexico, ladies and gentlemen, amigos de Nuevo México:

Following my visit to New Mexico in September 1989, I received an invitation from the Director of the Hispanic Cultural Foundation of Albuquerque to serve as Honorary President of that institution, wich I was very happy to accept.

Back in new Mexico 11 years later, I am pleased to see that of all the projects that the Foundation has implemented in the intervening years, the most successful has been the founding and setting up of the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The Center has since become one of the most interesting and attractive cultural initiatives in the United States.

Conceived as the largest and most dynamic of its kind ever built in this country, the Center will be devoted to the vital task of highlighting the social and cultural values of the communities which have shaped the spirit of New Mexico. New Mexico today is uniquely favored, with a wealth of traditions and diverse customs. This is only natural in a State that has successfully bound together in a single project three great cultures and three great peoples, the native community, the Spaniards and the Americans from the East who built what we now know as the United States of America. Many of the spiritual values, the material culture and the customs that are still visible today in this area, were the legacy that Spain left when New Mexico and Spain  were under the same rule of the Spanish Crown .

I therefore believe that the commissioning of a dynamic, forward-looking Center like the one I have had the privilege to view in detail, is something worthy of acclaim and recognition,

Although it will be difficult to find an area of the United States which could not claim, either historically or in modern times, a Hispanic presence, I enjoy especially being in the South West -in New Mexico- where our historical presence was so important from early times and where our heritage has been so well preserved, as we can well appreciate in the Old Town of Albuquerque or the historic markers of the "Camino Real". With more than thirty million Spanish speakers, the United States today ranks third in the world in terms of use of our language. Moreover, given the present pace of cultural and demographic growth, in a few years time the United States may well overtake Spain to take second place after Mexico in the ranks of Spanish-speaking countries.

As the King of Spain, my father, reminded us last February during his State Visit to the United States,  and I cuote "The presence of the Hispanic community in this country is continuously growing. This presence should not be seen as the mere outcome of strong demographic growth; it is a process that has major social and political repercussions as the people of that community acquire an increasingly important role in society" . Those were his words.

During my many visits to your Country and specially over the last few months, I have closely followed developments in American life, and in doing so I have been struck by the renewed strength of the Hispanic community in the United States. I would like to convey to you all -Spanish and English speaking Americans alike- that we feel very close to your community, that we share your hopes and aspirations, and that we eagerly support your wishes to become a major contributor of the social, economic and political achievements within the context of this great nation, the United States of America.

Both historically, and in modern times, the Kingdom of Spain enjoys the unique condition of having strong European and American interests. We still share with the people of Latin America powerful links of language, culture and common values, shaping a political and economic community with a growing sense of identity and pride. But I am specially proud to acknowledge that spanish explorers, priests and farmers explored and colonized two thirds of the vast territory which was to become later part of the United States, although it is true that the hub and main focus of the Spanish presence flourished along the banks of the Rio Grande and the area that was later named "Spanish Southwest". Nor would it be superfluous to acknowledge the decisive contribution of Spain to the independence of the United States or the little known fact that, still in 1810,New Mexico sent a delegate, Don Pedro Baptista Pino, to the Spanish Parliament in Cadiz, where one of the first democratic Constitutions of Europe was drafted. In Washington a few  months ago, the King of Spain again recalled the words of President Kennedy in 1961, when he said: "Unfortunately, too many Americans think that America was discovered in 1620, when the pilgrims came to my state, and they forget the immense adventure of the 16th century and beginning of the 17th century  that took place in the South and Southwestern part of the United States".

Of course, the history of the Spanish Southwest  -a term apparently coined by the prestigious Hispanist Charles F. Lummis- was studied by important scholars like Herbert E. Bolton, who created the "Spanish Borderlands School" which has had many prominent followers, especially in the Southwest. Although I know and cherish the Eastern States -and in fact spent some fruitful years at Georgetown University- I would dare to say that traditionally, there has been a certain imbalance in American history books with regard to the main elements which shaped the American way of life; and I would like to take this opportunity to suggest that it will be only fair to take more into consideration the major contribution of the Hispanic legacy and culture to this Nation.

No tenemos los españoles ninguna vana nostalgia del pasado. La nostalgia no cabe cuando hemos sabido dotarnos a nosotros mismos de una fortaleza, de una prosperidad y de una capacidad de proyección hacia el exterior como seguramente no se haya producido nunca en nuestra historia pasada. Y es precisamente esta España, firmemente anclada en sus convicciones democráticas, decidida a participar en términos de igualdad con todos los pueblos de la tierra para construir un futuro en donde no cabe la injusticia, la opresión o la pobreza, la que saluda y se alegra de la pujanza de lo hispano en los Estados Unidos de América. Ese es un poderoso factor de entendimiento adicional para reforzar los lazos de que nos unieron en el pasado y cimentarlos de manera permanente hacia el futuro.

Es en es perspectiva en donde quiero manifestar nuestra profunda satisfacción por la existencia de este Centro Nacional de Cultura Hispánica, abierto al mundo entero, con un gran porvenir, un excelente instrumento para que los ciudadanos de Nuevo México y de todos los Estados Unidos puedan conocer mejor la realidad pasada y futura de esa patria común que es la lengua y la cultura hispanas.

I am pleased to find that Spain is already actively involved in this project through the Center for Education Resources and the Cervantes Institute. I am confident that both will increasingly help to make the Center's programs both attractive and useful to those availing themselves of them.

Finally, I would like to express my sincerest hope for the success of this institution, which undoubtedly embodies the leading edge of Hispanic cultural development in the United States. You can be sure that Spain and the Spanish people will always be behind you in your endeavors.

Back to Speeches
  • Listen it
  • Imprimir la página
  • Send to a friend
  • Suscribe to RSS
  • Share it on Facebook
  • Share it on Twitter
  • Share it on Linkedin
  • Share it on Google+