Remarks by Ambassador Ronald Johnson during the Inauguration of the renovated “American Space” at the University of Don Bosco
Ambassador Ronald Johnson
Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 2:00 PM
Universidad Don Bosco
* This is a courtesy translation. Only the original Spanish version should be considered authoritative.
Good afternoon. It is a pleasure for me and my wife to be here with you today. We always like to go to higher education institutions with young people, because we see so much potential in you. Thanks for having us here today.
El Salvador’s first “Binational Center” was inaugurated 65 years ago. It was intended a space to close the cultural gap with the United States. Since then, this concept of a binational center has evolved to become what we now call “American Spaces”. To this day, and they continue to be a living concept with spaces that are constantly changing. Now, the American Space of Don Bosco University is celebrating a decade of facilitating genuine connections between our cultures by encouraging dialogue, exchange of knowledge, ideas, experiences and perspectives through cultural and educational activities, technology, and encouraging personal development with a special emphasis on science and technology.
In other words, the American Spaces foster a mutual appreciation. It is a place where Salvadorans can not only learn more about the United States, but also where you can combine what the culture and society of the United States offers with the talent, creativity and skills of young Salvadorans. Our relationship with El Salvador is unique in many ways. Our bonds go beyond just diplomacy. With so many Salvadorans living in the United States, what unites us is our people. Therefore, what is good for El Salvador is good for the United States and vice versa.
We want to continue supporting the aspirations of young Salvadorans. That is why this space will organize activities to create new capabilities, explore innovative technologies, learn about models of democracy and strong economic markets and learn about new forms of expression and culture — all this we do together. In a few years your generation will be the leaders in all these areas, and we want the activities of this space to help you in your development.
The renovated facilities that are here now are part of our continuous effort to adapt to the needs of Salvadorans and to promote the creativity and talent we see in the youth of this country. Our plans and the possibilities for this newly renovated and re-equipped space are ambitious. We aim to bring activities that will introduce new technologies and trends. And best of all, our programs are free and open to all audiences. Invite your friends and colleagues to participate here, too.
We also want to hear from you so that we can continue to evolve and offer what you need to be able to make your projects come true. Share with your ideas us about what you would like to do here in this American Space and we will help you. At the U.S. Embassy we believe in one simple philosophy: we are here to support Salvadoran efforts and we are sure that the ideas you have are worth knowing.
Participate in the activities of your American Space. But more importantly, I invite you to use this great resource at your disposal to set up your own initiatives. And, I have no doubt that you are going to find completely new ways to use these facilities.