On March 5th, 2020, 7 years after the passing of the Eternal Commander, Hugo Chávez Frías, the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines through its Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation, held the First Spanish Read aloud competition “Young People of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines read about Chavez”.
Students from the St Vincent Grammar School, St. Vincent Girls High School, Bishop’s College Kingstown, St Martin’s Secondary School and Bequia SDA Secondary School participated in the reading competition with passages taken from the book “ Los Cuentos del Arañero”, a compilation of stories written by Commander Chávez based on his life experiences and that he shared with the Venezuelan people through the television program Aló Presidente.
The group of Secondary school students randomly chose a passage from the six selected for the competition namely: I am happy trying to help, Genesis, He made us liberators, Bat towards the Topochal, the Arañero and Honest People. The students read the passage aloud to the Judges and the audience present demonstrating a good command of reading in the Spanish language; At the end, they answered a question related to the text to demonstrate their level of understanding of the passage read.
The activity had a group of specialists in the area who served as a qualifying judges made up of: Mr. Kamara Foster, Foreign Languages Officer at the Ministry of Education, National Reconciliation, Ecclesiastical Affairs and Information of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Violeta Gutiérrez, Hospitality Program Coordinator of the Community College of St Vincent and the Grenadines; Andreína Bermúdez, Academic Coordinator of the Venezuelan Institute and Diana Cyrus, Spanish teacher at the Venezuelan Institute. Francisco Pérez Santana, head of the Venezuelan mission in SVG said: “For the Venezuelan people, Commander Chávez not only represents the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for 15 years and the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution; Chavez is our guide; all things, all actions, that Commander Chávez did in those 15 years represents for us the path we must follow as revolutionaries”. Andreína Bermúdez, VICC Coordinator, explained to students the life of Commander Hugo Chávez from his childhood in Barinas, his time at the Military Academy, his love for reading, and how the Bolivarian Revolution was conceived from there “Chavez was a Very loving man, lover of reading, scholar, a feminist defender of women … Hugo Chávez is a reference for the unity and integration of Latin America and the Caribbean. Chavez deeply loved the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and his revolutionary ideas were always directed at the children of the world.”
At the end of the reading cycle, the judges tallied their scores and the results were as follows: first place, Rheana Harry of the St. Vincent Girls High School; second place, Tiffany Da Silva of the St. Vincent Girls High School and third place, Mitchell Duharte Taylor of the St Martins Secondary School, who received trophies, medal and certificate for the places obtained. A total of 30 students attended the activity, 15 of which participated.
At the end of the activity, the students received a certificate for their participation in this tribute, which seeks to publicize the legacy of Chávez in all generations and promote the learning of the Spanish language.