The restored Casa de España in Puerto Rico, a historic building located at the entrance to Old San Juan, was inaugurated Tuesday by the director-general of the Spanish labor ministry’s office of expatriate affairs, Pilar Pin. She said she felt proud to take part, through the contribution of the Ministry of Labor and Immigration, in helping return the building to its historical function as a unifying center for Spanish activities in Puerto Rico. “There is a place in this building for all activities organized by representatives of the Spanish autonomous communities in Puerto Rico,” Pin said after unveiling a commemorative plaque during the ceremony together with the new Spanish consul on the island, Eduardo Garrigues.
Pin said that the center, which received a $250,000 donation for its restoration, is slated to become the “home of Spain’s cultural and economic activities in Puerto Rico.” The official said that the center must become a pole radiating Spanish culture to society on the Caribbean island.
For his part, the president of Casa de España in Puerto Rico, José Eduardo Santiago, said that the commemorative plaque “is evidence of the generous contribution” of the Spanish government. “This building is destined to be the seat and scenario of cultural displays from Spain in Puerto Rico,” Santiago, a prominent Puerto Rican businessman, said.
Garrigues, who recalled that the Casa de España in Puerto Rico was visited by King Juan Carlos, has said that this project should serve to remind people of the Spanish heritage on the island and in the rest of the United States.
The ceremony was attended by the labor and immigration counselor from the Spanish Embassy in Washington, Elisa Carolina de Santos, and by dignitaries from different sectors of Puerto Rican society. The Casa de España in San Juan, with a design very similar to a Seville country house, is the most representative work of Puerto Rican architect Pedro Adolfo de Castro Besosa.
The Casa de España in Puerto Rico has been listed since July 1983 in the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places.
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