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IVCC encouraging bilingualism and cultural integration
By Kerri Gooding
THE Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, H.E. José Gómez Febres encourages more persons to enroll in courses offered at the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Co-operation in Barbados (IVCC).
Ambassador Febres believes that a greater bilingual population would expedite the unification of the region. As incentives, Ambassador Febres highlighted the plethora of advantages of possessing a second language. As well as reiterated that studying at the Institute facilitates further integration between the two countries of Venezuela and Barbados.
Ambassador Febres explained that “The Heads of State and Government of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, gathered in Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on 2nd and 3rd December, 2011, within the framework of the III Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean on Integration and Development (CALC) and the XXII Summit of Rio Group, and in the year of the commemoration of the Bicentenary of the Independence of Venezuela, and in memory and homage to the historic and transcendental work of The Liberator, Simón Bolívar, agree: To launch CELAC as a representative mechanism for political consultation, integration and co-operation of Latin America and Caribbean States, and as a common space to ensure the unity and integration of our region”.
However, at present much of the integration occurs at the governmental, political and policy level as opposed to the personal, individual level, hence Tutor Jamal Henry added his voice to the plea by the Ambassador to have more persons embracing the culture and learning Spanish. CELAC comprises 33 nations making up an estimated population of 600 million people with five official languages. United and integrated the countries of CELAC can be powerful, “together [the 33 nations of CELAC] are the number one food exporter on the planet,” further commented Ambassador Febres.
Though “the classes are continuing to grow almost exponentially” said IVCC Co-ordinator Melza Archibald, the prospective students must commit to full participation. “Many think it is a bother on their Spanish classes” learning the cultural components however only then will the integration be comprehensive. Archibald asserted, “IVCC is not simply a language institute, you cannot just learn the culture through the language”.
Ambassador Febres is pleased with the growing interest in the classes however he implores persons to enroll in the courses, both linguistic and cultural as well as encourages each to commit fully to the courses. Through greater dedicated participation at the level of the individual, the IVCC in Barbados can continue to contribute to the process of encounter and integration of the region.