Six Latin American countries and their respective embassies will participate in six days of culture, art, film and cuisine.
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba and El Salvador are the six participating countries. The six-night event begins on June 27 and runs until July 3. All events will take place at the National Library, Hart and Abercromby Streets, Port-of-Spain.
The opening night will feature a documentary film from Argentina which focuses on the life and work of renowned 20th-century, Argentine tango musician and composer, Astor Piazzolla.
Debbie Goodman, the NALIS’s manager, corporate communications said this was the authority’s attempt at bridging the cultural divide between Latin America and TT as more Latin Americans enter the country.
A release issued by the NALIS said: “In an effort to bridge cultural divides, create a greater understanding among communities and promote multiculturalism, the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) will host a celebration of Latin American culture, arts, films, poetry and cuisine…This programme is intended to provide the public with an insight into the culture of our Latin American neighbours and to create a renewed interest in the learning of Spanish as our first foreign language.” Goodman said to Newsday that the event has been in planning since last year. The library then sent out invites to the various embassies, many of which responded, “and were very excited”. Some were unable to participate this year, she said, but have already indicted their willingness to participate next year. Latin Nights was initially scheduled to take place in March but did not happen due to other events the library already had on its schedule.
With the influx of Latin American nationals to TT , the library has seen an increase in requests for the teaching of Spanish as well as Latin American literature at the library. This, Goodman said, is also another reason for Latin Nights. The national library has had a series of such events, providing an intimate look into the lives of other cultures to the wider TT public. The increased requests as well as having more Latin American visitors to the library indicates its success.
An exhibition showcasing Latin American artefacts will run concurrently to Latin Nights.
Dennis Moses, Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister; Maxie Cuffie, Public Administration and Communications Minister as well as NALIS’ executive director are expected to deliver remarks at the event’s opening night.