Edited by Anna Popper

Photos by Vilmos Kortye

The Republic of Colombia celebrates its National Day on the 20th July every year.

On the occasion of the 212th anniversary of the country’s independence, the Embassy of the Republic of Colombia in Hungary hosted an extraordinary reception with a scenic boat ride on the Danube, accompanied with music, attended by the members of the Diplomatic Corps, senior government officials, representatives of the social and cultural life, as well as academic and business circles.

The invitees had great pleasure admiring the emblematic monuments and buildings of Budapest from the river, which are illuminated every night.

One of the city’s landmarks, the beautiful Fisherman’s Bastion in Buda Castle, was lit up with the colours of the Colombian National Flag, in honour of the Latin American country’s National Day.

The guests were welcomed by H.E. Mrs Carmenza Jaramillo, Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia to Hungary and her Spouse. The official part of the event started with the Colombian and Hungarian Anthems, followed by the Ambassador’s speech to the audience:

“Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for being here today and accepting this invitation, in the name of our Government and the Embassy I preside, allow me to welcome you aboard this ship, called the Rubin. We are honoured to be in your company on this very special occasion. It might not be the first time a national day is celebrated on board of a ship on the beautiful Danube, but it is certainly the first time for our Embassy.

This remarkable setting makes me think that, like the majestic River we navigate on, the life of a nation is in constant flow, fusing individuals and their own existence with a bigger, greater being.

And that is why today, while we celebrate 212 years of our independence, this is the best opportunity to remember and pay tribute to all previous generations and our national heroes, who contributed to the building of our nation and state, sometimes at the cost of their own lives.

At the end of President Ivan Duque’s term, it is a time of balance and reflection, we arrive to the end of this government with the satisfaction of having had great achievements that contribute to the betterment of our nation, but also acknowledging that there are still challenges and lots of work ahead.

Our government made the greatest investment in education in our history, today we have free access to university for the poorest segments of our society; we have multiplied the capacity of renewable energy by 100 times; we have made a leap forward in infrastructure, having invested to unprecedented levels, particularly in tertiary roads; in four years we handed 52.000 land titles in the countryside; two and a half million Colombians gained access to clean water; 70% of the country has high-speed internet coverage; we created the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Sports, giving special importance to these sectors and fostering the talent of Colombians in these fields; we vaccinated more than 70% of the Colombian population against Covid-19; and we are experiencing the highest economic growth in history, despite a cruel and prolonged pandemic.

But we must also highlight the state of our democracy. We have just celebrated presidential elections in Colombia, and we can say that our democracy is alive and vibrant, we had a wide variety of candidates and proposals in a mostly peaceful electoral process that attests to the maturity of our political institutions.

As we head into the future we face many challenges, some shared with all humanity, some of our own. We are determined to overcome them with the talent of our people, our positive outlook on life and lots of hard work, as well as the help of our friends. We will continue to strive for a better life for our citizens and make our country even more welcoming to investment and visitors.

Thank you all once again for sharing this time with us today and we hope you enjoy the evening and the illuminated sights of Budapest.”

Viva Colombia!

The invitees enjoyed the great performances of Andrés Acevedo and his band, very talented Colombian and Hungarian musicians, playing entertaining Latin and international music from their very large repertoire, that was very inspiring for dancing. Andrés lives and works in Budapest and mixes traditional Colombian sounds with modern and international rhythms. He and his bandmates participated in the X Factor Hungary last year.