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Luis García Montero to be awarded honorary doctorates by two Peruvian universities

The poet will meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the president of the Peruvian Academy of Language to learn about the preparations for the 2023 Spanish Language Congress in Arequipa
Luis García Montero

PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -   The director of the Cervantes Institute, Luis García Montero

The Director of the Cervantes Institute will travel to Peru next Monday, where he will be awarded honorary doctorates by two prestigious universities, will learn about the preparations for the next International Congress of the Spanish Language - scheduled for 2023 in Arequipa -, will meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President of the Peruvian Academy of Language, and will attend the Annual Assembly of the SICELE Association.

A busy work schedule that will begin on Monday, 4 April, the day on which Luis García Montero will receive the first of two honorary doctorates awarded by two Peruvian universities. It will be awarded by the Universidad Nacional San Agustín, in Arequipa. Founded almost two centuries ago, in 1828, it is the second largest public university in Peru, with 24,000 students.

Arequipa, the city where the Spanish-Peruvian Nobel Prize for Literature winner Mario Vargas Llosa was born, was chosen in 2019 to host the next International Congress of the Spanish Language (CILE), which is expected to be held next year. For this reason, Luis García Montero will hold several meetings in Peru to find out about the state of preparations and make progress in the complex organisation prior to this triennial event on the Spanish language organised by the Cervantes Institute, the Royal Spanish Academy and the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language (ASALE).

In Arequipa, he will meet with the mayor of the city (the second largest in the country after the capital, Lima), Omar Candia Aguilar; with the culture manager of the Provincial Municipality, Nilo Cruz, and other officials of the prefecture, as well as with the regional governor, Kimmerlee Gutiérrez Canahuire.

On the second stage of the trip, in Lima, García Montero will meet on Thursday with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, César Landa, at the Torre Tagle Palace, and later with the director of the Inca Garcilaso Cultural Centre, Guido Toro, and his curatorial manager (exhibitions), Gledna Landolt. This organism, which depends on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, promotes Peru's culture in the rest of the world and maintains close contacts with the Cervantes Institute, whose Madrid headquarters houses the delegation of the Inca Garcilaso Centre in Spain.

A meeting is also planned with Marco Martos, President of the Peruvian Academy of Language, the body which, as the host country, will be responsible for many of the organisational responsibilities of the International Congress of the Spanish Language.

"A beggar poet"

The second honorary doctorate that García Montero, who is also a poet and Professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Granada, will receive will be from the Ricardo Palma University in Lima, on Friday 8 April.

At the investiture ceremony, led by the Rector, Iván Rodríguez Chávez, Luis García Montero will give the master lecture "A beggar poet and his illusions of mestizaje", a title which is a wink or allusion to his status as a poet and to the Cervantes' defence of understanding between Spanish-speaking peoples.

At the same academic ceremony, the Ricardo Palma University will award the title of Honorary Professor to Carmen Pastor Villalba, Academic Director of the Cervantes Institute, who will accompany García Montero on this working trip.

SICELE Association

In addition, academic activity will take centre stage, as on Thursday 7 the Fifth Assembly of the SICELE Association will be held at the Ricardo Palma University in Lima, at which Carmen Pastor Villalba, as Executive Secretary, will present the annual report.

The Assembly, which is the supreme governing body of the SICELE Association, will review the year 2021 and set the strategic objectives for 2022. The face-to-face session will be held in the Auditorium of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, although members will also be able to participate online from their respective countries.

SICELE (Sistema Internacional de Certificación del Español como Lengua Extranjera) is a multilateral initiative of higher education institutions in the Spanish-speaking community that brings together 37 universities and institutions from six countries: Argentina (2), Chile (2), Colombia (4), Spain (24, soon to be 26), Mexico (4) and Peru (1).

The Association's activities include the SICELE Seal, a seal of quality, with official recognition in Spain, which is awarded to certificates of proficiency in Spanish as a foreign language that meet strict criteria of good practice in evaluation.

Submitted by José Antonio Sierra, Hispanismo adviser