José Martí lives on in Guatemala

Juan Leon Alvarado, ambassador of Guatemala in Cuba.

Interview with Ambassador of Guatemala in Cuba, Juan León Alvarado


January 30 marked the 190 years since the Congress of Panama. There , outstanding, was the great figure of Simon Bolivar who would serve as an example to José Martí in the coming times.

The day for the Latin American Identity was chosen in Cuba to evoke the date that holds one of the key ideas of the apostle, the integration of Latin America. Each year, the José Martí Cultural Society in Havana with other institutions invite a country on the continent to celebrate the union of these peoples.

This time Guatemala was chosen to show its traditions, games, customs and art forms. Its ambassador to Cuba, Juan León Alvarado told Radio Metropolitana how his country promotes Marti’s thought.

“In Guatemala, there is an academic chair that is called José Martí where young people and academics show their interest in Marti’s works and philosophy. Also all Guatemalans remember and practice mainly in schools the poem La Niña de Guatemala. Besides José Martí was the director of a boys school which is currently still operating as a school.

“Moreover he practiced Journalism and wrote on a wide variety of issues in the country. He was a friend of José Joaquín Palma, from Bayamo who wrote the National Anthem of Guatemala. Therefore it is impossible to forget Martí.”

The white rose of the Master, so popular in his verses, is a recognition that the José Martí Cultural Society currently offers to personalities or institutions that promote Marti’s thought and do an outstanding work in this area.

The artist Yoyi conceived the aforesaid flower in iron, which was given to the diplomat as a gift. His gratitude and emotion to receive this was reflected in his words: “This recognition means reaffirming the thought of José Martí with the white rose through his poem, offering white roses to friends but also enemies. One way to understand, forgive, reconcile and learn to treat people as human beings first and foremost. This is what it means to me to get this tribute, is so beautiful revalidating the thought that José Martí promotes.”

Translated by ESTI

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