By Didhiti Ghosh, Bureau Chief (Kolkata), IOP

Kolkata/New Delhi, 29 Sept 2019: The Embassy of Guatemala in India celebrated its 198th Anniversary of Independence at Hyatt Regency, New Delhi on 19th September 2019. The Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Shri Som Prakash, attended as Chief Guest at the event. During his speech, Ambassador of Guatemala to India Giovanni Castillo highlighted the array of bilateral activities carried out successfully in the political, commercial, cultural, academic and touristic levels between India and Guatemala, the same strengthening ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries since the Embassy opened gates to diplomacy in 2013.

Perfectly positioned between North and South America and located between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, Guatemala is a land rich in biodiversity and varied ecosystems. Taking a cue, the reception also hosted the presence of various dignitaries including government officials, businesspersons, diplomatic corps and academicians from renowned universities. The Guatemalan Colony in India delighted everyone with their gracious presence. To add on to the invitees’ gastronomic pleasure, typical Guatemalan dishes were prepared ​​which included black bean dip, roasted corn, Jocon chicken and desserts with banana fillings. The award-winning Guatemalan rum manufacturer Casa Botran featured bottles of Ron Reserva 15 years and Ron Solera 18 years to the guests, who appreciated its fine taste. The company, actively defining its presence for more than 7 decades has already planned to join hands with an importer from Mumbai, to be introduced to the Indian market.

The celebration featured 20 paintings by Guatemalan artist María Victoria García at the Sala B’atz Cultural Centre of the Embassy, the same to be continued for one week. Guatemalan singer Gaby Moreno, who is on a musical tour in India, was honoured by the Guatemalan Colony and the Embassy, ​​thus recognizing her artistic career. The soiree also enjoyed sweet marimba music played for the guests.

 Amb Giovanni Castillo & Didhiti Ghosh; Dignitaries at the event.

In the words of Amb Castillo, “It makes me proud to mention that Guatemala was the Focal Theme Country in the International Kolkata Book Fair 2019 held between Jan-Feb the present year. The same provided the opportunity to open the Honorary Consulate of Guatemala in Kolkata.”

On the commercial front, more than 16 Indian companies are currently having business ties with Guatemala, and more exploring the possibilities of either establishing companies or forming joint ventures with Guatemalan entrepreneurs. The target is to hit favourable markets for products from both countries. Further, around 18 companies from India are visiting Guatemala to take part in the Ferret Expo 2019.

The bilateral and multilateral relations between Guatemala and India have grown exponentially from the time the Embassy was opened in New Delhi. In 2018, Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu visited Guatemala and in the year 2020, the Vice President of Guatemala is expected to arrive in India to return his visit.

This year, Guatemala has also been awarded the “Best Professional for Promoting Tourism” award which was handed over by the Pacific Association Tourism Writers and the prestigious Safari India Magazine.

“The present has been a year of many milestones to foment Indo-Guatemalan diplomacy, the same to strengthen multidimensionally in the years to come,” said Amb Castillo.

 In Image: Amb Giovanni Castillo & Shri Som Prakash, Minister of State for Trade & Industry; Dignitaries at the event; Amb Castillo & Didhiti Ghosh

Photo Courtesy: Embassy of Guatemala in India

[DIDHITI GHOSH is an India Columnist at La Agencia Mundial de Prensa, USA; Bureau Chief of Indian Observer Post based in Kolkata & Conference Interpreter (Spanish-English-Bengali). E-mail: didhiti.24@gmail.com | LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/2H6gNAv].

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