Sun | Oct 22, 2017

'Salud!' to Nicaragua

Published:Friday | September 22, 2017 | 12:11 AMKrysta Anderson
Three is definitely good company for Anaitee Mills (left) and Camila Megía who sandwich their dear friend, chargé d’affaires for Nicaragua, Wendy Palma-Beckford.
Deep in conversation are (from left) Attache of the Nicaraguan Embassy in Jamaica, Dr Adolfo Mena, Colombian Ambassador to Jamaica Roberto Garcia and Shorna-Kay Richards, director of bilateral relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
From left: Attache of the Nicaraguan Embassy in Jamaica, Dr Adolfo Mena, Anaitee Mills and Camila Megía from the Inter-American Development Bank, and Engelbert Reyes, country head for Huawei, pause for a photo op.
Patricia Chaves, wife of the Colombian ambassador to Jamaica (right), has a chat with Mexican Ambassador to Jamaica Cecilia Jaber and her daughter, Amelia (left).
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It was a week of patriotic pride for ambassadors, and last Friday night, specially invited guests came out to The Knutsford Court Hotel to celebrate Nicaragua's 196th year of independence.

After being warmly greeted by the Nicaraguan family, the intimately gathered group mingled among themselves, forming clusters while enjoying select wines and cocktails.

The Attache of the Nicaraguan Embassy in Jamaica, Dr Adolfo Mena, took the opportunity to congratulate the other countries that celebrated their independence during the week and on the day before the national anthems of both Jamaica and Nicaragua were played.

ChargÈ d'affaires of Nicaragua, the lovely Wendy Palma-Beckford, after observing all diplomatic and distinguished guests present, thanked everyone for coming to such a special occasion, making significant mention of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, who shared the same independence history as Nicaragua. She described her country as a hard-working one, filled with promise as they conquer one milestone after the other. "Because of the work we're putting in, we've seen seven per cent of growth annually. Poverty is down and more countries are investing in Nicaragua," she shared.

 

RECONNECT WITH HERITAGE

 

Palma-Beckford also highlighted the constitutional reform of 2014, which stipulated that they no longer be recognised as a Central American country, but rather, a Caribbean nation, this, she says, she and her government are grateful, now that they are able to take back their roots and reconnect with their Caribbean heritage. With exciting bilateral changes, such as a visa waiver with Jamaica and hopes of opening a University of the West Indies campus in Nicaragua, there was definitely a lot to celebrate.

Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, expressed delight in extending a warm 'buenas noches' greeting from Jamaica. Not only does Nicaragua have a rich historical background, she says, it also shares strong historical ties with the land of wood and water. Jamaicans, according to Gilbert-Robert, actually sought refuge in Nicaragua back in the day.

With strong bonds of friendship and cooperation as well as people-to-people partnership, both nations aspire to seek and develop new opportunities of collaboration. A toast to continued growth, prosperity, and the well-being of Nicaragua and continued partnerships ended the proceedings for the evening. From then on, guests partook of the wide array of savoury and sweet delights and made visits to the bar, while others indulged in a little dancing.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com