Chile awards Order of Merit Gabriela Mistral to board members

SANTIAGO – The Chilean government bestowed on Mrs. Garafulich-Grabois, Mr. Paredes, and Mr. Zegers the Order of Merit Gabriela Mistral in capital Santiago earlier this month.

The ceremony was hosted by Minister of Foreign Affairs Heraldo Muñoz, and was attended by authorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Nives Malenica, Ambassador of Croatia in Chile; Monsignor Fernando Chomali, Archbishop of Concepcion; members of various cultural organizations of Chile; members of the Board and Honorary Board of the Gabriela Mistral Foundation; collaborators as well as family members and friends.

The award was also presented to Mr. Jaime Quezada, a poet and a Mistral scholar.

Mrs. Maria Grasso, Vice President of the Gabriela Mistral Foundation, received a special recognition for her extensive humanitarian work in Chile.

Muñoz presented the medals in the “Degree of Dame” to Mrs. Garafulich-Grabois and in the “Degree of Knight” to Mr. Paredes and Mr. Zegers.

Also in attendance was Dr. Marjorie Agosin, Professor of Spanish at Wellesley College and a member of the Honorary Board of the Gabriela Mistral Foundation who received the award in 2000.

The Foundation says it is “honoured” to have four members to have received such distinction.

The Order of Merit Gabriela Mistral is a high distinction instituted in 1977 by the Government of Chile, which grants it to national and foreign personalities who have stood out for their “contribution to the benefit of education, culture and enhancement of the teaching function. Since its inception, it has been bestowed to very select individuals for their contribution to education and culture.