In 1492 the Spaniards came to the Americas and traded their tiny mirrors and beads for all the wealth available in gold, silver and precious metals and stones. The kings of Spain at the time never visited the “new” world. In 2007, today to be precise, the Kings of Spain, Don Juan Carlos (Charles) and Doña Sofía (Sophy) decided to pay a visit to the former colonies in the American continent. This time around the reyes, kings in Spanish, bring back some of the wealth in the form of economic aid for the third world/developing countries (poor countries: if you want to obviate the euphemisms) and they take back tiny mirrors and beads in the form of folk-art and handicrafts. Boy oh boy, what goes around, comes around.
According to the book 1491 by Charles C. Mann (related entries in AGDP), the saddest thing about the clash of the civilizations of Europe and the civilizations of the Americas was the loss more than 2,000 ways of being human. The three great empires, the Aztecs or Mexicas, the Maya and the Inca, and their cultures and knowledge pretty much vanished due warfare and disease. From the ashes and the aftermath of the greatest holocaust known to humanity (over 10 million people and counting) emerged what we now called Latin America. From the Spanish language the Spaniards left behind geysered Miguel Ángel Asturias, Gabriel García Marquéz, Rubén Darío, Juan Rulfo, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar, Pablo Neruda and on and on to an endless list of Nobel-prize-winner novelists and poets.
On a personal note, this is the first time in my life that I am this close to kings and I hope that it will be the last. Adiós Don Juan Carlos and Doña Sofía, best wishes for your trip back to Spain and say hello to Dsole and Carmen, who are doing a wonderful job painting and photographing the life of Madrid. With the reyes came the first rains of 2007; I hope that is not a sign.
Here is a small Slide Show (9 photos) of the Kings of Spain visit to San Pedro Las Huertas, La Antigua Guatemala:
Here is a small video (1:38 minutes) of the Kings of Spain visit to San Pedro Las Huertas, La Antigua Guatemala:
You may have to come back to see the video as it is being held in moderation.
© 2007 – 2014, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.