On Thursday, February 17, convened by the International Committee Galo Plaza Inc. of New York, a select group of cultural activists gathered at the Marathon Hotel in Manhattan, the birthplace of Galo Plaza at 5 West 8th Street, too few steps from the famous Fifth Avenue.
Coinciding with the national celebration of Presidents’ Day, a holiday originally established to commemorate the birth of the first president of the United States, George Washington and which currently includes President Abraham Lincoln, it is a special occasion for Latin Americans to reaffirm their presence in the so-called Capital of the World, highlighting the values of several Latin Americans that have marked the history of this nation, having as a reference the birth in New York of the international leader Galo Plaza Lasso on February 17, 1906.
Since the last celebration, held with a special ceremony on Tuesday, February 17, 2020, in Harlem, the CIGP was forced to suspend this act, established when in 2006 the centenary of the birth of the international leader Galo Plaza was commemorated in his hometown. , since the pandemic did not discriminate against anyone. After two years this tradition was resumed, which seeks to keep alive the legacy of the Latino community in the history of the city.
On a morning that broke the wave of icy cold that hit New York, on Thursday, February 17, with radiant sunshine and spring temperatures, Latin American cultural leaders gathered to commemorate the birth of Galo Plaza Lasso in New York, and it was also remembered to prominent women, such as Puerto Rican Julia de Burgos, also born on February 17, 1914, and Venezuelan Teresa Carreño, Latin Americans who lived, worked and died in Galo Plaza’s hometown.
Among the cultural leaders and activists attending the meeting were the renowned actress, founder and director of Danisarte, Alicia Kaplan and the Deputy Director of the organization Hernán Acuña from Peru; the internationally renowned Peruvian artist Ana de Orbegoso, who was named Honorary Member of the Galo Plaza International Committee; the laureate writer of Guatemalan origin David Unger and the virtuoso Cuban pianist Dayramir González, who was received at the Marlton Hotel by the new honorary president of the organization, Ing. Aldo Bravo Pazmiño.
INCLUSION OF TERESA CARREÑO
The Galo Plaza Inc. Committee, whose main objective is the rescue, maintenance, and promotion of the presence of Latin Americans in the history of New York, established in 2013 the recognition that bears the name of Julia de Burgos, together with that of two Latinas who also lived in New York, the Chilean Gabriela Mistral and the Mexican Frida Kahlo, who symbolically represent South America, Mexico, and Central America, in an award that is given annually to exalt the work of Latinas in the arts, culture, and education.
This 2022, the Founder and Executive Director of the CIGP, Ximena Hidalgo Ayala reported that “based on the historical studies carried out and considering the cultural importance in the history of Latin Americans in the United States, the name of the award will include the pianist, soprano, composer and conductor María Teresa Carreño, born in Venezuela and naturalized American, who lived and died in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, leaving a great cultural legacy in the United States and internationally.
Teresa Carreño is in history, -said Ximena Hidalgo Ayala-, “the first Latin American artist to appear at the White House, wherein 1863 she played the piano for President Abraham Lincoln. María Teresa Carreño became a naturalized United States citizen and now completes the list of leading women in the arts, including literary, visual and musical arts.”
The directors of the Galo Plaza Inc. International Committee reported that the Gabriela Mistral, Julia de Burgos, Frida Kahlo, and Teresa Carreño awards for the last three years will be awarded in a special ceremony at the beginning of the summer.
As special guests, several cultural activists attended the meeting who are part of the select group of women awarded by the CIGP, including the Mexican leader Carmen Serrano; the composer and jazz artist of Argentine origin Julieta Eugenio, who is recognized as a prodigy artist of the saxophone; Diana Vargas, famous promoter leader of Latin American cinema in New York and internationally, Executive Director of the Havana Film Festival of Colombian origin.
This year the CIGP resumed the delivery of the Galo Plaza recognition to children of Ecuadorians born in New York, as it had done during the first years of its work when it presented recognitions to Dr. Caroline Nodillo, Luis Barragán, Xavier Coronel, and Hugo Xavier Bastidas, informing that the award will be presented to the brothers María and Luis Ordóñez, who are pioneers promoting the participation of the Latino community in their district on the Upper West Side and assiduous activists of democratic values like Galo Plaza.
Galo Plaza, one of the most prominent Latin American leaders of the last century, achieved international respect for his fervent defense of democracy, freedom of expression, human rights, and his work promoting peace, international cooperation, and relations between Latin America and the United States. Joined.