Dominican Republic: Embracing Culture
By Dialogo October 01, 2012
Dominican students were curious when they entered the military pavilion at
the 2012 International Book Fair in Santo Domingo. What are the territorial limits
of your country? What is the population? How big is it? What is your typical food?
Colonel Francisco López Torres of the Salvadoran Army was ready to answer and
provide brochures to the inquisitive students.
“It has been a great experience for El Salvador, because we were able to
share experiences and cultural information with our colleagues of the armed forces,”
Col. López said. “But most importantly, we can interact with the civilian
For the first time, the Conference of Central American Armed Forces (CFAC,
for its Spanish acronym) was one of the exhibitors at the fair. Military
representatives from CFAC nations were stationed in the modern pavilion, which was
decorated with flags, photographs and large video monitors broadcasting messages
from each service.
“We invited the brethren of the Conference of Central American Armed Forces
to join us and show the visitors of the book fair what we do jointly,” said Major
Paris Goico López, supervisor of the exhibition on behalf of the Dominican National
CFAC was created in 1997 by El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
The Dominican Republic joined in 2007. In addition to combating security threats,
CFAC coordinates humanitarian and peacekeeping operations.
Beyond the militaries represented, 28 countries and more than 400 exhibitors
participated in the 15th edition of the Santo Domingo International Book Fair, an
important cultural event in the Caribbean and beyond. The fair, held from April 18
to May 6, 2012, focused on Central America and was dedicated to the late Dominican
poet, essayist, novelist and storyteller, Enriquillo Sánchez.
Maj. Goico told Diálogo that for the 2013 International Book Fair, the
Dominican Armed Forces will most likely honor the bicentennial of founding father
Juan Pablo Duarte. “We will work more on this, in making a tribute to the father of
the homeland,” he said.
Organizers of the book fair announced that Ecuador will be the guest of honor
in 2013. Diálogo