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Palabras de Su Alteza Real el Prícipe de Asturias en la visita al Centro Nacional de Cultura Hispanica

EE.UU.(Albuquerque. Nuevo México), 20.10.2000

A

llow me to express my admiration for what is being accomplished here!

The Center that I have just visited I am told arises from the remarkable spirit of cooperation embracing the State of New Mexico, the city and the Chamber of Commerce of Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico, the US Federal Government and the private sector. I should add that Spain was also represented at the birth of this Cultural Center on April 28 1998. Today, in the place where that first stone was laid, and founded on the solid Hispanic heritage of this great State, there now stands a building which we hope will in time become a Mecca of dialogue and understanding among all cultures with Hispanic roots. Certainly, this is, without any doubt, a source of pride for New Mexico and for all of us who have had any part in the project.

In its conception as a bridge to other sister cultures, the National Hispanic Cultural Center is well placed to play a unique role within the cultural spectrum of the United States and also throughout the world of Hispanic culture. Moreover, it has taken upon itself the mission of educating all New Mexicans, whether they have Spanish roots or not, in the wealth and value of things Hispanic? of traditions, customs and culture.

Today, as a Spaniard I feel proud to see the evidence that, within the social and cultural mosaic of this State, New Mexico has endeavoured to preserve its historic links with Spain and to keep the Spanish language alive. Indeed, it is no coincidence that it is the only State in which Spanish has been in continuous use since the sixteenth century and whose Constitution contains a commitment to developing that language.

For that reason Spain is anxious to participate actively in this new Center, with which we share the same outlook on the future and the same objectives. This desire will be partly fulfilled by the work carried on at the Center for Education Resources. However, it will be even further enhanced when the National Hispanic Cultural Center incorporates a section of the Cervantes Institute, an institution through which Spain seeks to disseminate in other countries the treasure of the language -one that we share with so many countries- and the creativity of its literature and culture.

I am sure that the stress on dialogue and education which characterizes the National Hispanic Cultural Center will equip it to help identify and understand the ways in which the three cultures of this State have influenced one another for over four hundred years. For it is through this fruitful interaction that we can gain a better understanding today of New Mexico?s rich cultural heritage.

Thank you very much.

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