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City Hosts Rare Cadre of Top-Level Spanish Delegates

Meeting fosters international business opportunities, celebrates Instituto Cervantes

June 23, 2021

Mayor Tim Keller hosted a VIP Spanish delegation at the Albuquerque Convention Center on Tuesday to discuss business opportunities and officially declare June 22 as Instituto Cervantes de Albuquerque Day.

The mayor, administration executives, and representatives of various City departments welcomed Luis Garcia Montero, Undersecretary of State and director of the Instituto Cervantes; Santiago Cabanas, Ambassador of Spain to the U.S.; Julia Olmo, Consul General of Spain (Houston); and several other dignitaries. 

The group discussed ways to encourage investment by Spanish renewable energy companies in Albuquerque; create opportunities between Spain and Albuquerque’s thriving film industries; increase tourism and cultural exchanges; and connect Albuquerque’s space technology ecosystem with innovative Spanish companies.

“My administration has prioritized supporting growth in key industries and fostering our city’s rich arts and cultural exchange,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Meeting with the delegation today not only uniquely advanced those goals, but it was also among our first opportunities since the pandemic to welcome international visitors to Albuquerque. It was an honor to have them.”

Spanish Ambassador Visit 2021

The group of Spanish officials also joined the City in celebrating the local Instituto Cervantes, which promotes the teaching, study, and use of Spanish language and cultures. Through its centers, classrooms, and extensions, Instituto Cervantes is present in 89 cities, in 45 countries, its most recent location opening today in El Paso, Texas. The visiting delegation recognized Instituto Cervantes de Albuquerque for its instrumental role in that expansion and joined Mayor Keller in an official proclamation honoring the center.

“This visit helps to further strengthen the collaboration between the Instituto Cervantes and this city that has embraced us since 1999,” said local Cervantes Director, Silvia Grijalba.  “Albuquerque is a perfect destination for filmmakers, writers, musicians, and all artists who express themselves in Spanish, and we will continue to generate language tourism through our role as promoters of Latin culture and as presenters of world-class events like the Magnifico Latinx Festival.”

Founded in 1999, Instituto Cervantes de Albuquerque serves more than 3,000 children and adults annually in addition to its many cultural events like ¡Cine Magnífico!, Albuquerque’s premier Spanish-language film festival.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from the Mayor," said Spanish Undersecretary of State and Director of Cervantes Worldwide, Luis García Montero. “Language is much more than vocabulary.  Language tells the story of a culture and we are proud that the Spanish language is woven into the fabric of America, and more specifically, this city that unites us in all that we have in common."