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29
Nov

SAN MILLÁN DE LA COGOLLA: SEMINAR ON CULTURAL AND LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY, MINORITIES AND IMMIGRATION

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On 25, 26 and 27 November, the Monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla (La Rioja) hosted the seminar "Cultural and linguistic diversity, minorities and immigration", organised by the IPCM and the Humanism and Democracy Foundation (founding member of the Platform), along with the collaboration of the San Millán de la Cogolla Foundation.

During the seminar, the importance of the Spanish language was emphasized as being an essential vehicle for the integration of immigrants in Spain. Knowing the Spanish language is fundamental when it comes to finding employment, being able to relate to one's environment and becoming integrated within the host society. In addition, knowledge of the Spanish language brings access to a cultural universe of the first magnitude, as Spanish is now spoken by 470 million people in the world.

sanmi05The meeting open to the public was attended by Raquel Fernández Tejerina (Mayor of San Millán de la Cogolla), Conrado Escobar (Counsellor for Social Policies, Family, Equality and Justice, Government of La Rioja), Emilio del Río (MP), Dionisio García Carnero (Spokesman for the Committee on Ibero-American Affairs in the Senate) and Rafael Rodríguez-Ponga (IPCM and H+D President).

Conrado Escobar explained the situation of immigration in the Autonomous Community of La Rioja, which has twenty percent population of foreign origin. A distinctive feature of immigration in the La Rioja area is the high percentage of Pakistanis. In the whole of Spain, after the province of Barcelona, La Rioja is home to the largest number of Pakistani citizens. There is also a high rate of Moroccan and sub-Saharan immigrants.

sanmi02The success of having hosted all these people was highlighted, without there arising any problems of any kind, and emphasis was placed on the effort being made to teach the Spanish language to the foreign population so that they are able to integrate socially and find work more easily.

Dionisio García Carnero highlighted the importance of the Protocol-Commitment of San Millán de la Cogolla, drafted by H + D and signed three years ago as an instrument to achieve the linguistic and cultural integration of the ethnic minorities of Peru.

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