On Thursday, the Colombian Embassy presented the ‘Ten Colombians’ awards, which recognise the work of a select group of five women and five men who, through their personal and professional careers, have contributed to strengthening the image of Colombia in Spain.
In the fifth edition of these awards, the event opened with a video greeting from President Iván Duque, on the occasion of the National Day of the Colombian Migrant, addressed to the more than 4.7 million nationals living outside the country.
In the field of medicine, the work of two doctors who have experienced the challenge of the pandemic at first hand was highlighted: Marco Marzola, specialist at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital, and Oscar Oviedo, medical director of Madrid Fertility. “The Covid has come to give us a lesson in humility, a lesson in humanity…” said Dr. Marzola on receiving the award, while Dr. Oviedo pointed out that “we still have a long way to go before we find an effective vaccine”.
In gastronomy, the recognition went to Oscar Colmenares, businessman and founder of ‘New York Burger’; the head chef of the ‘Mugaritz’ restaurant, Andrés Felipe López; and Elizabeth Delgado, founder of the Colombian restaurant ‘Patacón Pisao’ in Madrid.
“Gastronomy is one of the areas in which Colombian talent shines with its own style and in which both the veterans and the new generations give us great satisfaction,” said Ambassador Carolina Barco when she presented the awards.
In art, the award went to Verónica García Blanco, head of restoration at the Royal Tapestry Factory, who recalled the words of one of her first bosses: “If you are Colombian, it is a guarantee of success”. Also awarded was Lilian Pallares, an artist and writer from Barranquilla, who delighted the audience with one of her poems.
Maria Nubia Salazar, a social activist in Valencia, highlighted the joint work with the Consulate in that city to attend to the more than seven thousand people in her social organisation and she especially remembered the recently deceased Consul Araminta Beltrán Urrego, with whom she had planned to collect this award.
The footballers Carlos Bacca, from Villarreal FC, and Isabela Echeverri, from Sevilla Club Femenino, could not attend due to current restrictions, but sent a video greeting thanking for the award.
As in other editions, the ambassador had a recognition to the Colombians from the heart. Spanish citizens who feel Colombia as their second homeland.
On this occasion, special mention was made of the Spanish journalist Rafael Manzano Torrá, of Radio Caracol and WRadio, whom Ambassador Barco notified at the same ceremony, at the request of Iván Duque’s government, of the granting of Colombian nationality by adoption.
Manzano expressed his gratitude for this concession: “I knew I was Colombian since I arrived in Colombia, because my grandfather used to say that you are not from the country you are born in, but from the country where you have felt good, and I must say that I have been very happy in Colombia”.