MEXICO CITY (appro).- With an act at the National Museum of Art (Munal), also broadcast via social networks, heads of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Public Education remembered the centenary of the arrival of the poet, academic and Nobel Prize for Literature (1945) Gabriela Mistral to Mexico.
In the enclosure located in the Plaza Tolsá of the first frame of the Historic Center – for many the most beautiful after the Zócalo of the capital –, the aforementioned secretariats, in collaboration with the Embassy of Chile in Mexico, remembered the legacy of the poet, in addition to sealing the act with a gift of two thousand copies of Mistral’s poetry translated into Nahuatl by said embassy.
The ceremony was attended by Delfina Gómez Álvarez, head of the SEP; Alejandra Frausto, head of SC; the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Chile in Mexico, Verónica Rocha Ormeño; the president of the Regional Council of Coquimbo (where Vicuña, the poet’s hometown, belongs); Krist Naranjo; and the Chilean singer Mon Laferte. While Senator José Vasconcelos -son of Héctor Vasconcelos, first Secretary of Education–; and Carmen Gaytán, director of Munal.
Both Gómez Álvarez and Frausto recalled the arrival of Mistral to Mexico, specifically to the Port of Veracruz, at the invitation of the then head of Public Education, José Vasconcelos, and received at that time by Jaime Torres Bodet and the diplomat Palma Guillén.
The poet and educator arrived in Veracruz on the steamboat Orcoma, on Friday, July 21, 1921, and whose full account can be found in the text “Gabriela Mistral, among us” (Process #1578) written by Rafael Vargas. She was invited by Vasconcelos with the purpose of collaborating in the educational reform plans and the creation of public libraries.
Frausto also mentioned that Mistral spent only two years in our country, during which time she left a deep “feminist, cultural and poetic humanitarian imprint”, and who later, when she was recognized with the Nobel Prize for Literature (1945), opened the doors to other Latin American poets and writers in that recognition, including Octavio Paz himself.
For their part, Roma Ormeño and Naranjo recalled that a hundred years ago Mistral arrived in Mexico without dimensioning what her stay, legacy and this country would mean for her, in addition to recognizing the work of the Mexican government in not letting this centenary pass.
Finally, the singer-songwriter Mon Laferte read Mistral’s poem ‘El maize’, and then donated to the people of Mexico a painting she made for this moment, where the writer can be seen being embraced by a woman who represents the poetry, and around these the faces of men representing doubts and criticisms that the poet overcame during her years in Mexico.
An oil painting of a portrait of Mistral was also shown at the event, placed next to the stage and belonging to the Munal collection, which was donated at the time by Carlos Pellicer, and it was mentioned that the figure of the poet was left for the posterity in the murals that Roberto Montenegro did for the SEP.
At the end, children from the “Gabriela Mistral” Primary School sang some songs.
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They commemorate the centenary of the arrival of Gabriela Mistral in Mexico