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C. American Envoys Mark Independence
Hundreds of Guests Attend Reception in Seoul
By Ted Gim
Staff Reporter
Mr. Umana (3rd from left) poses for the camera with Mr. Salazar (to his right), Guatemalan ambassador; Mr. Park Jin (far left), member of the National Assembly; Ms. Byun Do-Yoon (2nd from left), minister of Gender Equality; and Ms. Zoila Aguirre De May, El Salvadoran ambassador.

Five Central American countries teamed up to celebrate the 187th anniversary of their independence
in Seoul on Sept. 19, 2008.

The five ambassadors of Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua gathered in a Seoul hotel on the day, to observe the independence day of the Central American countries.

The hosts of the day's event were four ambassadors from the Central American nations. They were Mr. Rene Francisco Umana, Honduras ambassador to Seoul; Mr. Rafael Salazar, Guatemalan ambassador to Seoul; and Ms. Zoila Aguirre De May, El Salvadoran ambassador to Seoul.
She also serves as the ambassador of Nicaragua.

Lawmaker Park Jin serves as chairman of National Assembly's Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee.

Among about 500 guests were a number of both local and international VIP guests including scores of top foreign envoys serving in Seoul.

Local politicians also took part in the ceremony. Ms. Byun Do-Yoon, minister of Gender Equality of the Republic of Korea, and Mr. Park Jin, member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea attended the gathering.

Currently, Lawmaker Park Jin serves as chairman of National Assembly's Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee.

The buffet dinner reception which started at 6:30 p.m. lasted a couple of hours with performances by local musicians.

Mr. Rene Francisco Umana, Honduras ambassador to Seoul

The following is the full text of the Honduras ambassador to Seoul, Mr. Umana's speech on the occasion of the celebration of the 187th Anniversary of the Independence of Central America.

Honorable, Byun Do-Yoon, minister of gender equality of the Republic of Korea.
Excellencies ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps,
Distinguished Guests,
Central American citizens,
Ladies and gentleman:

On behalf of my dear colleagues, the ambassadors of Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica and their staffs, I'd like to express our sincere appreciation to all of you for attending the reception of the celebration of our national day.

We will develop a short program according to this event, but I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to our sponsor.

Thank you very much, as well, to Miss Jimmy Do who will play the violin like a virtuoso could do it, delighting us with wonderful music.

Mr. Park Jin (center), member of the National Assembly, poses for camera with Chairman Yun Ik-Han (2nd from left) of The Seoul Times at the ceremony held to mark the 187th Independence of Central America in Seoul. To Park's right is President Jhun Jong-Hoon of MIP Corporation, and at far right is Chairman Choi Bang-Rak of Daewon Alumni Association. At far left is Managing Editor of The Seoul Times.

I just want to mention a couple of things about our countries. Central America was born united 187 years ago, until they decide to be independent one of each other a couple of years later.

We have always dreamed in a New Union and we are getting it. Actually we have different institutions based in each country; The Central American Parliament in Guatemala; the Central America Integration System in El Salvador; the Central American Bank of Economic Integration in Honduras (By the way he richest bank in the region); the Supreme Court of Justice in Nicaragua and the Superior Studies Council in Costa Rica.

We enjoy of a common market, a common passport, an united customs service, a common Central American visa and we have our own monetary unit, among others.

We always work in block with a free trade agreement with the United States and we are negotiating a trade association alliance with the European Union. We were united and we will be united.

Thank you for your attention.

For details or inquires please contact the Honduras Embassy in Seoul at 02-738-8402, the Guatemalan Embassy in Seoul at 02-771-7582/3, the Costa Rican Embassy in Seoul at 02-707-9249, the El Salvadoran Embassy in Seoul at 02-753-3432/3.

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Ted Gim serves as staff reporter of The Seoul Times. He studied tourism management at a S. Korean university. He spent three years in England and Ireland, studying and living there. He studied tourism at an English college for two years. He covers tourism industry as well as diplomatic community in Seoul.






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