It was an honour and a privilege to be invited to be part of this momentous occasion especially at a time when the ambassadors of many Latin American countries accredited to Trinidad and Tobago are once again coming together to promote the Spanish language and culture of the different Latin American countries. The Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation (IVCC) in Port of Spain recently celebrated its 60th anniversary and resumed classes in January 2023 after a 2-year hiatus.
Members of the diplomatic corps in attendance at the relaunch today, 27 April 2023, included the Ambassadors of Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela and diplomats from the Embassies of Argentina, Chile, the Dominican Republic and Panama.
Most of the speakers addressed the audience in Spanish – even the Brazilian Ambassador – whose native tongue is of course Portuguese.
The Latin American region is not homogenous. Besides the main languages of Spanish and Portuguese, multiple languages are spoken there and it is home to about 656 million people, with Brazil having the largest population of 200 million people.
Imagine if #CARICOM were to take full potential of the market right on our doorstep.
Imagine if #language were not a barrier.
Imagine if we, Trinidad and Tobago (and CARICOM as a whole), were to take significant, sustained steps to promote #foreignlanguageacquisition from early childhood, right through to university in addition to continuous learning in the workplace, especially of #Spanish and #Portuguese. So many opportunities are on our doorstep in the areas of education, research, trade, training and development, cultural exchanges, tourism and regional security, to name a few.
At present there is funding in place (through exporTT Limited) to assist non-energy sector companies to access services like translation to create marketing materials and interpreting to conduct meetings in French and Spanish spoken in these and other largely untapped markets.
The Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) through its #GoGlobalTTServices initiative has been supporting companies to export their services and access new markets including non-English-speaking markets. (See link to article published today in the Trinidad Guardian in the comments together with the balance of this article.)
In addition, in early April 2023, Rutaca resumed direct flights to Margarita, once again opening the doors of tourism to the Trinidad and Tobago population.
So many collaborations and business opportunities are staring us in the face. Are we going to allow them to pass us by? This could be the year you invest in improving your foreign language skills and take advantage of the resources that are available right now.
For more information on how you can acquire or boost your foreign language skills, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.