Canary Islands
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

UTSA hosts Canary Islands symposium March 12

(March 10, 2005)--UTSA and the Friends of the Canary Islands Foundation present a symposium, "Canary Islands-Texas: The Historical Connection," from 7:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12 in the Buena Vista Street Building Aula Canaria (1.328) at the UTSA Downtown Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Felix D. Almaraz Jr., UTSA professor of history and symposium coordinator, is a presenter in the symposium as well as Julio Montesino, consul general of Spain, Houston, Texas, Ricardo Melchior Navarro, president of the Tenerife District Council, and Jose Manuel Soria Lopez, president of the Grand Canaria District Council.

Other speakers at the event are Eduardo Aznar Vallejo, professor of history, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife; Ana Oramas, mayor of San Cristobal de La Laguna, Tenerife; Gilbert Cruz, professor of history, Glendale Community College and Arizona State University West; and Alfonso Vazquez Sotelo, director of the Institute of State Documentation, Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, Mexico.

Fifty-six Canary Islanders (or "Islenos") arrived in 1731 to establish what is known today as San Antonio. Ordered by King Philip V of Spain to establish the settlement, the Islanders organized the municipal government, and the first mayors of the city were original settlers or their descendants.

In 1738, the Islanders began construction of a church, now the oldest part of San Fernando Cathedral. Islenos descendants were instrumental in developing the culture and institutions of San Antonio.

The Canary Islands are often described as Spain's tropical paradise. In mainland Spain, they are synonymous with holidays, as they are for thousands of foreign tourists who pack the islands' resorts year round. Colonized and populated by Spaniards, the seven islands lie 1,150 kilometers off the west coast of Africa.

The symposium is sponsored by the UTSA Office of the President, the UTSA Department of History, the Friends of the Canary Islanders Foundation and the government of the Canary Islands.

Parking is available on the upper level of the UTSA parking garage on Pecos-La Trinidad Street. Simultaneous translation equipment will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on the symposium, contact Felix D. Almaraz Jr. at (210) 458-2616.

--Tim Brownlee


More information about the Canary Islands:

Friends of the Canary Islands
Government of the Canary Islands

University Communications
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