Organizations representing the Greek Diaspora in Latin America called for stronger contacts with Greece during a video conference with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday.
The premier said he was “moved by the Greek flags set behind them, wherever these people may be, in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Uruguay and the rest of the Latin American countries.”
It is of the utmost significance to sustain the element of unity that defines Hellenism abroad, noted Mitsotakis. “It is my obligation to protect the unity of Hellenism,” he underlined.
The President of the Federation of Greek Communities of Argentina, Anastasios Kavathas, stressed the need to “preserve our language” by strengthening the schools that operate in the communities.
He also referred to the traditional dance programs that schools offer. “In this way, we want to be close to Greece,” he said.
The President of the Federation of Greek Communities of Brazil, Stavros Kyriopoulos, raised the issues of education and the need to increase the number of teachers.
He also thanked the Prime Minister for his initiative to contact the Greek community in Latin America, something he said “No one had done before. Not one another Prime Minister.”
Greek Diaspora in Mexico, Panama, Uruguay
The President of the Hellenic Community of Mexico, Costas Galanis, also referred to the need to strengthen the schools of the communities, emphasizing that in the past “many students learned Greek from Mexican teachers.”
The Vice President of the Hellenic Community of Panama, Ioannis Liakopoulos, presented an overview of the many cultural activities that the community has developed, while he also spoke about the important role played by many expatriates in the business life of the country.
“When Greeks focus on something, they can achieve great things,” he stressed.
The Vice President of the Hellenic Community of Uruguay, Pavlos Augustis, thanked the Prime Minister for sending educational books from the government a few months ago.
He also noted the strong historical bonds between Uruguay and Greece. There is a square called “Athens” and main roads with the name “Greece”, he said.
Greece promises extension of language-learning platform
Mitsotakis referred to the Greek language-learning platform “StaEllinika“, which was launched in April of 2020 in North American schools under the supervision of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s department of education.
Support for native speakers of the Spanish and Portuguese languages will be added before year’s end, he noted.
The program was conceived and supported by the Secretariat General for Public Diplomacy & Greeks Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University (SFU), Vancouver, Canada.
The government has already sent hundreds of textbooks to Latin American countries for the needs of local schools, said the premier, and he promised to consider sending more teachers from Greece to the larger communities as of the start of the upcoming school year.
Greeks abroad can always access the website www.gov.gr, where they can find several useful services, due to be extended to consular authorities soon.