|Spanish Queen Sophia Concludes Visit to Dominican Republic|
Spain’s Queen Sophia concluded her visit to the Dominican Republic with a visit to the Los Mina neighborhood where she observed the results of a women’s project supported by the Spanish Cooperation Ministry. Following that, Queen Sophia met in the National Palace with Dominican President Leonel Fernandez and his wife, the First Lady, Margarita Cedeño.
The Queen went to the poorest areas of the city where she listened to the problems of the women and children who live there.
Taking a hard look at Dominican social reality, Queen Sophia spent two days meeting with various groups, some of which receive direct and ongoing Spanish aid. She visited some of the poorest neighborhood in Santo Domingo where 120,000 people live in absolute poverty and who, nearly two years ago, had to take refuge on the roofs of their homes as a result of flooding caused by tropical storm Noel.
The Queen went to the poorest areas of the city where she listened to the problems of the women and children who live there. They discussed the projects being funded by the regional governments in Spain including Galicia, the Baleares, Malaga and the town hall of Cavanillas del Campo which is in Guadalajara, Central Spain. Spanish cooperation in this area mainly involves women’s training in the area of micro credits which helps them set up their own small businesses, essential for their survival. Spanish support is also given to neighborhoods for risk and disaster prevention.
Loans given to the women in the neighborhood known as “Vietnam” can vary between 5,000 and 10,000 pesos (between $142 and $285 dollars) with which they set up small businesses, services or production, the most popular being small grocery stores or making simple jewelry.
Up until now, 786 women from this area have benefited from these micro credits. Small loans throughout all of Santo Domingo have reached a total of 3,900 people. During Queen Sophia’s meeting at the National Palace with President Fernandez, who began a third term in office last August, the president expressed his gratitude for Spain’s cooperation.
The First Lady, Margarita Cedeño, received the Spanish Queen at the main door of the Presidential Palace and escorted her to the President’s office where they held a private meeting and discussed, among other things, the Queen’s itinerary in the Dominican Republic.
At the end of the meeting with President Fernandez, the Dominican First Lady accompanied Queen Sophia to her own office where she brought her up to date on the various social programs being implemented by her office.
Spain Will Continue to Help
The Queen took advantage of her free time to visit the Cultural Center of the country…
Accompanied by the Minister of Spanish International Cooperation, Soraya Rodriguez, the Queen and the First Lady visited the new headquarters of the Office of Technical Cooperation (OTC) of Spain to inaugurate the new office where Dominican Economy Minister Temístocles Montas awaited them. The Queen saw the commemorative plaque on the wall of the new OTC headquarters. The plaque, since 1987, had been on the wall of the first Santo Domingo OTC office which, throughout the years, continues to supervise the various programs and projects founded and supported by Spanish humanitarian aid.
The OTC, under the general coordinator Miguel Angel Encinas, represents the Spanish Cooperation Agency for International Development (AECID) in the Dominican Republic. The projects carried out are principally centered on Democratic Governance, Institutional Development and Basic Necessities.
The geographic objectives in the DR are in the southeastern part of the country in the Enriquillo region (the provinces of Pedernales, Barahona, Bahoruco and Independencia) and El Valle (provinces of Elias Pina, San Juan de la Maguana and Azua) as well as other eastern zone and the urban belt of Santo Domingo. Spanish help – from the average increase of poverty due mainly to bad distribution of wealth and since the beginning of Spanish cooperation – has amounted to some 275 million euros as of last year.
The Queen took advantage of her free time to visit the Cultural Center of the country located in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo which at the moment is showing an exhibition called “To Move the Rock” being put on by “Quintapata,” a Dominican art group.
Three members of the group, Jorge Pineda, Belkis Ramirez and Raquel Paiewonsky, explained to the Queen that the theme of their artwork is based on dialogues about personal and social issues.
Ms. Paiewonsky told the Queen that her photographs of children whose heads are emerging from plants, is a call for environmental consciousness because, in her opinion, the way to save the planet is through education of the new generations.
|Date of Publication: January 22, 2008|
Las ultimas noticias/novedades de lo que acontece con los Dominicanos en las Grandes Ligas durante toda la temporada 2019.