Doha, 06 Dec. 2020 (Qatar Tribune)
By Ashraf Siddiqui
Doha-based Mexican expatriate Maria Cristina Cobos A, has been awarded the prestigious ‘Distinguished Mexican’ Medal for year 2020 by the government of Mexico.
The medal is awarded to seven expatriate Mexican nationals each year for their extra-ordinary services in promoting Mexican culture outside Mexico. Ambassador of Mexico to Qatar HE Graciela Gomez Garcia honoured Maria Cristina Cobos A with the award in the presence of embassy officials and a ballet group, at a ceremony held recently.
Consul at the embassy Luis Alberto Ancona Navarrete presented a ‘Certificate of Recognition’ , part with the medal to Cristina Cobos.
Ambassador Garcia expressed happiness that, since the establishment of the embassy in Qatar in 2014, Cristina Cobos is the first Qatar-based Mexican to be selected for the prestigious award. She said that Cristina Cobos has a deep passion for promoting Latin American culture, especially Mexican tradition and culture, through her colourful performances of traditional folk dances.
“She is a loving personality and well-known among Latin American communities. For her uninterrupted activities and consistency for almost two decades promoting the beautiful Mexican culture away from home, she was selected for the 2020 award among seven yearly recipients worldwide,” the envoy said.
The ambassador also commended the members of the group for their dedication and love for their national cultures and promoting them at various levels in Qatar.
Talking to Qatar Tribune, the award recipient Cristina Cobos thanked the ambassador and the government of Mexico for awarding the prestigious ‘Distinguished Mexican’ medal. She said that she had never thought of receiving such a great acknowledgement at that highest level from his country.
She said that her passion for dance started from at the age of three. Cristina Cobos had earlier established Mexico Lindo Ballet group in Singapore almost two decades where she lived with her family for eight years. When her husband moved to Qatar almost 11 years ago, she continued with her passion and, in collaboration with Colombian national Miss Yulyer Prada, formed ‘Ballet Folclorico Latinamericano en Catar group.
Cristina Cobos thanked her husband Carlos Velasquez for his support and encouragement and lauded Miss Yulyer Prada and all the team members for their efforts and love for their respective traditional folk dances.
Yulyer Prada, co-founder of ‘Ballet Folclorico Latinamericano en Catar group, said: “Performing our traditional dances keeps us in contact with our culture and helps us display and create awareness among local and other nationals about our respective Latin American countries’ cultures. Prada arrived in Qatar with her husband almost 11 years ago.
An Italian member of the group Miss Valeria Morandi said that she has deep passion for Italian dances, specially Tango since her college years, adding that she met Cristina Cobos at a ladies’ coffee morning gathering when Cristina Cobos was looking for someone who can dance Tango to perform in a school.
She said she offered herself and has been performing with the group for the last eight years.
Morandi praised Cristina Cobos’ passion and her performance, adding that the award from her country is well deserved.
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