The event was held at the Inegas congressional center attended by close to 70 individuals that represented a diverse group of professional men and women who represented the 600,000 strong Croatian diaspora communities of the countries of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru who brought their very unique experiences and needs of this South American continent. The common goal is to tighten and strengthen the relationships between our South American nations and our motherland Croatia.
This 3 day event is organized around 3 thematic areas which are: the socio-political problems of the South American Croatian diaspora, Croatian cultural experiences in the South American diaspora and strengthening our ties with the Croatian motherland through the learning of the Croatian language and culture, and the business roundtable which aims to develop more businesses between the South American countries and also with Croatia.
Mr. Robert Jakubek, honorary Consul of the Republic of Croatia in Santa Cruz, Bolivia gave the opening remarks recalling the over 100 year old start of the Croatian immigration to South America who came here to seek work and a better future for themselves and their families. He thanked Ambassador Nives Malenica, the State Office for Croats abroad and the Croatian Heritage Foundation for the support provided by the Government of Croatia and the Foundation to the diverse array of projects that have also contributed to the realization of this meeting.
Croatian Ambassador, Nives Malenica (concurrent for Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador) talked about the support given by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce to establish a commercial office in Chile that will identify businesses and common commercial projects in Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador to establish a bridge with Croatian businesses in Croatia and also Croatian owned businesses in the 4 countries that she oversees. There is also an initiative to increase information and promote South American tourism to Croatia.
Mrs. Branka Bezic, represting the Croatian Heritage Foundation (matica.hr) from the Split-Dalmatia County congratulated the Croatian community of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia for organizing the extraordinary event of the 2016 Meeting of the South American Croatian diaspora, and for all the long hours, work, sacrifice and love that the group of volunteers and organizers put into the meeting. She brought her book “Croatian Footprints in the World” which is a compilation of stories and photographs from Croatian communities around the world whose sale proceeds during this South American event will go towards a charitable donation to needy people and children in Bolivia.
Mr. Jorge Kuljis, Bolivian representative to the Croatian World Congress read the letter of Croatian World Congress President Stephen Asic, from Australia regarding the event. He emphasized that the objectives are to be able to invest in Croatia, with the presentation of success stories in Croatia, and to work on this groundbreaking idea of generating commercial opportunities between the South American diaspora and Croatia.
Mr. Josip Hrgetic and his wife, entrepeneurs who are from Venezuela and currently work and live in Zagreb and belong to the G2 meeting organization connected into the working session from Zagreb, Croatia via Skype and talked about the soon to be launched Business G2 portal aimed at Croatian investors from the diaspora around the world, that will have basic information about Croatia, it will also have professional business advice on how to set up a business in Croatia, as well as business legal in Croatia. The idea is to connect investors to the correct professionals, companies and organizations to troubleshoot and solve any problems with their future and current business investments in Croatia. He also mentioned that the 2nd G2 business meeting for Croatian diaspora investors around the world will take place on October 10-12, 2016 in Zagreb and invited South American business leaders and entrepeneurs to attend it.
From the Argentina delegation Mr. Kresimir Jerkovic expressed that the Argentinian Croatian Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated their 25th anniversary, and that the chamber is fully functioning and engaged in the activities and goals that they’ve set up to do as part of their businesses in Argentina and with Croatia.
Mr. Carlos Lonza, President of the Croatian Stadium in Santiago, Chile who led the delegation from Chile, expressed his interest in promoting cultural and sports events, to generate more participation from the younger generation and to strengthen the sporting links between our countries. He also stressed that it is important to ease the obstacles that prevent the participation of Croatian citizens living in the South American diaspora in Croatian parliamentary and presidential elections.
Mr. Alex Tudor also from the Chilean delegation mentioned the project to create a Chamber of Commerce that would unite Croatian diaspora businessmen from Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Ecuador, and said that currently the quantity of business activities is limited.
Dr. Pedro Marinov from Chile mentioned that the Croatian community in Antofagasta is totally integrated, he is also surprised at the quantity of Croatian descendants in his country where every single day he meets a new Croatian descendant, and the community has such an impact in Chilean political life that 10 members of the Chilean congress are Croatian descendants. He mentioned that in Chile, the Croatian community is highly respected in the country because the Croatian diaspora in Chile is perceived as having individuals that are: believable, responsible, serious, honest and hardworking.
Miss Liz Yakisich from Paraguay gave a brief description of the history of Croatian immigration to Paraguay which founded one of the earliest Croatian associations in the continent in 1889. The association was refounded last year under the name of “Paraguayan Croatians Association” with the active participation of 50 members. The hay Croatian language classes that have just began and have already been featured in articles and interviews in the Croatian Heritage Foundation magazine and HRT’s La Voz de Croacia (Croatian Voice). The main problems that they face is the lack of interest and attention that the Croatian Embassy in Argentina has given them, with Embassy staff being rude, disrespectful and inattentive with their paperwork and their requests for Croatian nationality.
Mr. Zdenko Teply Bagatelj from Peru thanked the proactive work of the Croatian Embassy in Chile under the leadership of Ambassador Nives Malenica for her efforts to unite the diasporas of the 4 countries that she oversees (Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru). He mentioned that his community is working on a project to create the Peruvian Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and that Croatian language classes have started in Lima, Peru under the leadership of Father Marko Yukic’ gathering about 50 students.
From Bolivia, Dani Nigoevic expressed that their century old Croatian Club infrastructure has been restored, and also that the Croatian cemetery in Oruro is being restored and preserved. A recent development has been that Bolivian National Archives through a project with a local university is working on preserving, organizing and cataloguing the Oruro Croatian diaspora archives, asking Dr. Gonzalo Nigoevic to become a member of the national program of memoirs for UNESCO.
Also from Bolivia, Mr. Tomislav Kuljis said that it is important to keep awake the interest of the younger generations in their Croatian heritage, and that we have to go beyond commerce and culture, through new initiatives like fostering Bolivian Croatian exchange programs, and work more efficiently through individual projects targeted to specific needs in order to expedite results and generate community engagement.
During the afternoon working sessions of the “Meeting of the South American Croatian Diaspora” participants from various countries, gathered in 3 different rooms to listen to short presentations from different countries regarding their experiences in the 3 thematic areas of the event. Participants exchanged opinions, expressed the successes as well as the obstacles that arise in their areas, as well as the lessons learned, and proposed conclusions with solutions to these problems. The 3 thematic areas were: a) Socio-political situation of the South American diaspora, b) Culture and learning of the Croatian language in the South American diaspora, c) Business round table and issues of regional trade integration between South American companies Croats and business opportunities and investments with Croatia. The next day the proposals of the 3 commissions, a consensus was reached and the joint declaration of the three commissions will be sent to Croatia, to the authorities in the motherland in the different spheres of government, the Chambers of Commerce in Croatia, institutions involved in the disputed areas.
The “Croatian Culture and Teaching of the Croatian Language” commission was the most attended session of the event. Ana Paola Parada Pavisich and Claudia De Ugarte presented the experiences of the activities of the Croatian language classes in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Miss Liz Yakisich of Paraguay gave a very interesting speech about the origins of the Croatian community in Paraguay through the experiences of the past as well as the new experiences of the recently created Paraguayan Croatian Association.
Mr. Gonzalo Pedreros of the Klapa Tri Sulara of Antofagasta Chile, who is not of Croatian origin talked about his personal experience of falling in love with Croatian klapa music and instruments after his marriage to a Chilean Croatian lady. His story was mesmerizing and an example the wonderful and interesting things that happen with the non-Croatian spouses around South America who are actively involved and collaborate in the Croatian communities in their countries.
Mrs. Branka Bezic of the Croatian Heritage Foundation (matica.hr) from Croatia spoke about current and future projects of the foundation that are specific to the South American Croatian diaspora.
Mr. Gonzalo Nigoevic of Oruro, Bolivia proposed the idea of creating a project to rescue the oral history of Croatian emigrants who have been told to their families so that those stories and traditions do not disappear when the Croatian emigrants die.
A representative of Argentina told the story of how her community has recorded Croatian stories through short articles in the local newspaper. These stories reflect the historie and contributions of the Croatian immigrants to Argentina.
Ambassador Nives Malenica spoke about existing projects and a proposal that is being worked on, creating an platform to have access online to Croatian classes online and free of charge that could be accessed by the members of the Croatian diaspora in South America.
Participants of the business roundtable and commercial exchange committee had individual business meetings, formulated strategies and next steps for the current chambers of commerce in Argentina and Chile, as well as the creation of the Croatian Chambers of Commerce in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.
CONCLUSSIONS, NEXT STEPS AND JOINT DECLARATION OF THE MEETING OF THE SOUTH AMERICAN CROATIAN DIASPORA
On Saturday, April 30, 2016 all the participants of the “Meeting of the South American Croatian Diaspora” gathered in the final plenary session to present the conclusions reached in their working groups after 2 days of work and discussion. The close to 70 participants representing the Croatian communities of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay helped to fine tune and signed both the official declaration and the conclussions reached in their individual working groups. Two delegates from each country will sign the declaration, and this declaration will be sent to the Croatian Parliament (Sabor), to key members of the Croatian government, Croatian leaders and Croatian organizations.
Business roundtable and commercial area
Croatian culture and Croatian language classes
A few weeks ago, I started a collaboration with the portal “Moja Hrvatska” with Croatia’s leading newspaper “Vecernji List” writing articles on topics related to the Croatian diaspora. Moja Hrvatska (My Croatia) is a new section of the newspaper, that publishes articles from almost 20 authors from around the world contribute articles on topics that are relevant to the Croatian diaspora. Below is my first article published in Croatian and translated into English.
“Croatian Bolivian.” Pavisich …Pavišić? You’re one of us”
Author: Alejandra Pavisich.
It all started in kindergarten when I realized that my surname sounded very different and strange. It was 1976, and being a little child I could then only write my nickname in Spanish because it was made up of five letters. I did not know what this name last name was all about, so I asked my father: “Where is our last name from?” I asked my father who answered:” It’s Yugoslavian, your grandfather Francisco (Frane) Pavisich was from that country, when he arrived in Bolivia.”
He showed me a black and white photograph of a strong, older man who had a mustache. Grandfather Francisco was looking at me from the picture with a gentle look to life, and he really looked like my father. However, Francisco grandfather had died in 1966 – five years before I was born.
Francisco Pavisich was born in 1887 in Nerezisce, Brac Island in Croatia when it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His mother and father had died during his teenage years, so at the age of 19 Francisco was already an orphan.
But life has it’s surprises, and my grandfather crossed the ocean to start a new life in South America, in Bolivia. In 1906 he came to the booming Bolivian city of Oruro, where his brother and many Dalmatian friends were working as managers of tin mining operations, at that time tin was the main export product of Bolivia.
Life went on and 81 years after the arrival of Francisco in Bolivia, my parents Dante and Olga visited Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. I remember vividly that after that 1987 trip I carefully examined the pictures that they brought back, and saw all the beautiful places and our relatives who were living in the motherland. That same year, I began to exchange letters with my cousin Marina Pavišić of Split. I could not believe how I looked so much like Marina’s brother, Marko Pavišić who was also my cousin.
When I left Bolivia to study at the university in the early 1990s in the United States, the war of independence of Croatia began. CNN and other international media, constantly showed the bombed ruins of those beautiful places that appeared in the images of the pictures of my parents. It was very difficult to go through those years seeing the havoc caused by war.
My knowledge of Croatian history until then was limited to brief articles about Croatia, which were published in the Encyclopaedia Britannica we had at home. But soon after that, I started looking for new information about the country of origin of my family.
The war had started in that fateful year of 1992. For the first time in my life I felt a passionate love for Croatia, and I wanted to know more about my roots.
A year later, due to a summer course in Austria I went to my first trip to Europe. I remember it as if it were today. From Venice I saw the Adriatic for the first time, and felt the smell of earth and water, it was the closest thing to imagine being in Croatia, and I could feel the motherland that was across the Adriatic Sea, my heart was aching to visit Croatia. But I couldn’t visit because of the homeland war in Croatia I could not still travel to visit our country!
Years passed, I graduated from college and my masters degree in the United States. In Bolivia and the United States I acquired work experience.
Meanwhile, my sister had already received her Croatian citizenship. However, in 2012 the law Croatian citizenship law changed and now stipulated that to apply for Croatian citizenship, the applicant must speak, read and write the Croatian language.
“Well, if I must speak Croatian, I will learn the language,” I said aloud to myself, before I fully realized that this statement would begin a life changing event in my life.
To learn Croatian, I learned that I could apply to a Croatian language course which was sponsored by the “State Office for Croats outside Croatia”, so I applied to that partial scholarship and got it.
So in 2013, exactly two decades after seeing for the first time the Adriatic from Venice, I went to live and study in Zagreb, Croatia for 5 months. It’s that precise moment that begins my passionate emotional connection with Croatia, when I finally begin to understand what it means to be an immigrant.
It was an experience that fed and nurtured my love to my Croatian roots, but at the same time I acquired a strong sense of self-knowledge and understanding of Croatian values. These were the values that had been taught to me by my parents, and they were originally brought to Bolivia by Grandfather Francisco these values were: a strong sense of duty, responsibility, hard work, the importance of education and to encourage the younger generation to be hard working, decent and fair citizens.
During my stay in Zagreb, I had to do the paperwork for health insurance and one of the officials of the Health Institute of Croatia gave me one of the best compliments of my life.
He took the passport, and said:
“Okay. Um … Bolivia … Alejandra … Pavisich …Pavišić? But if you’re one of us! What are you doing here?” I laughed and replied, “I am here to learn the Croatian language and thanks for your compliment, now I feel like a real Croat in Croatia, being here is like being at home.”
It was the most beautiful and meaningful compliment that I got during my stay of five months in Croatia.
My relationship with the motherland remains strong. Two years ago I received my Croatian citizenship and got my Croatian passport recently. I’m still learning about one of the most beautiful countries in the world, sharing important information about our culture, the problems and issues that arise to acquire Croatian citizenship, as well as information and articles on Croatian history, sports, culture, current events and cooking. More than 8,000 fans worldwide are currently subscribed to my Facebook page “Dobar Dan Santa Cruz”.
Having a document that says I’m Croatian is wonderful, but to feel at home in Croatia, that is priceless!
“You’re one of us” – remains the warmest welcome I have gotten anywhere.”Source: http://mojahrvatska.vecernji.hr/pavisich-pavisic-pa-ti-si-jedna-od-nas-1069272
Por Alejandra Pavisich
Recibimos informacion recientemente, sobre el tema de que el esposo o la esposa de un/a ciudadano/a croata puede aplicar a la ciudadania croata, si su pareja obtuvo la ciudadania croata segun el Articulo 11 de la Ley de la Ciudadania croata. El articulo 11 dice lo siguiente:
“Artículo 11. Un emigrante, sus descendientes hasta el tercer grado de parentesco lineal y sus cónyuges pueden adquirir la ciudadanía croata por naturalización, incluso si no se cumplen los requisitos del artículo 8, apartado 1, puntos 1, 2 y 3 de la presente Ley. Un emigrante en el apartado 1 del presente artículo es una persona que ha emigrado de la zona de la República de Croacia con la intención de vivir permanentemente en el extranjero. Una persona que ha emigrado de la zona de la República de Croacia sobre la base de un tratado internacional o ha renunciado a la ciudadanía croata, y una persona que ha cambiado su lugar de residencia a la de los otros países, que anteriormente formaban parte de la Unión de los Estados de los cuales la República de Croacia fue también una parte, no se considera que es un emigrante.”
Un funcionario de la Embajada de Croacia en Chile nos respondio lo siguiente sobre este asunto, “El art. 11 dice que los descendientes de los emigrantes de Croacia (hasta la 3ra generacion) y sus conyuges pueden obtener la ciudadanía croata si cumplen los siguientes requisitos. Para los cónyuges, los documentos requeridos son:
En ese sentido recomendamos a la personas interesadas en tomar clases de croatas dirigirse a su centro de clases de croata local o sino tomar clases de croata en internet.
En Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia recomendamos las clases en el Centro Kolping cuyo enlace figura a seguir:https://dobardansantacruz.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/clases-de-croata-en-santa-cruz-bolivia-inicio-14-de-marzo/
Para las clases por internet, recomendamos a las clases desde Zagreb que son elaboradas por la Fundacion para la Emigracion Croata y la Universidad de Zagreb. Puedes encontrar la informacion en el siguiente enlace: https://dobardansantacruz.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/curso-de-croata-en-internet-hit-1-costo-e500-del-7-de-marzo-a-29-mayo-2016-fecha-limite-de-inscripciones-22-de-febrero-2016/
Por Alejandra Pavisich
El dia domingo 6 de marzo tuvo lugar una misa en croata y español celebrada por el Padre Ivica Vrbic, sacerdote capuchino franciscano que se encuentra en Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
La misa celebrada en la Parroquia de la Virgen de Guadalupe fue una oportunidad unica de encuentro de la comunidad croata en Santa Cruz de la Sierra y conto con la participacion de muchas personas y familias de todas las edades que celebraron la misa con el Padre Ivica (se pronuncia Ivitsa en croata) con mucha devocion y con el espiritu de encuentro con Dios y con el projimo que es lo que caracteriza esta epoca de Cuaresma.
Distintas personas de la comunidad ayudaron en la celebracion de la misa, con la participacion del Sr. Nicolas Pincetic que fue el traductor oficial de la lengua croata al castellano, asi como el Sr. Miguel Zabala que leyo la primera lectura y el salmo responsorial y Gisela Poquiviqui leyo la segunda lectura. De la misma manera, estudiantes de las clases de croata del año pasado leyeron las intenciones de la comunidad en croata despues del evangelio y el sermon.
Despues de la comunion, terminada la misa, todos los asistentes pasamos un momento muy agradable en el salon de la parroquia compartiendo deliciosas galletitas croatas hechas por la Sra. Visnja Domic de Pincetic que fue tambien la organizadora de la misa con la comunidad croata. Se agradece a todos las personas que voluntariamente trajeron comida, sodas y que participaron activamente en la misa. La misa tuvo la participacion del Consul Honorario de la Republica de Croacia en Santa Cruz el Sr. Robert Jakubek y de su esposa la Sra. Jasminka Marinkovic de Jakubek.
El Padre Ivica se encuentra en Santa Cruz de la Sierra, aprendiendo español hasta el fin de la Cuaresma cuando se mudara a la ciudad de Minero en la provincia del Departamento de Santa Cruz donde estara en una parroquia asignada.
De la misma manera el Padre Ivica comunico a los asistentes que se encuentra disponible el resto de la Cuaresma para hacer confesiones, con las personas que asi lo deseen. Lo pueden contactar via e-mail a: email@example.com o tambien lo pueden contactar via WhatsApp al +38-59-854-0130.
Como todos saben desde el 2012 es necesario saber croata y pasar el examen de ciudadania croata en croata para solicitar la ciudadania croata. El año pasado 2015 tuvimos un curso de croata organizado por el Consulado de Croacia que culmino con la graduacion de casi 20 estudiantes en diciembre y continuo con 7 estudiantes pasando con las notas maximas el examen de ciudadania croata. Gracias al apoyo de muchas personas y de donantes, este año tambien se dara como premio al mejor alumno un pasaje de ida y vuelta a Croacia. Asi que a pedido de la comunidad y atendiendo el interes y la necesidad de aprender la lengua croata es que este año se ofrecen una vez mas las clases de croata. “El Consulado de la República de Croacia con sede en Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, hace conocer a todas las personas interesadas que se llevara a cabo el curso de enseñanza del idioma croata para niños, jóvenes y adultos. Este curso esta cofinanciado con un aporte especial de la Oficina Estatal para los croatas fuera de Croacia que ha sido otorgado con este fin especifico. Las clases comenzaran el 14 de marzo 2016. Las clases serán dictadas por la profesora Snježana Dedić de Matković.
Para los nuevos alumnos (sin conocimiento del croata):
Grupo semanal: Lunes y miércoles de 7:00 – 8:30 pm (total de 3 horas semanales)
Grupo solo del sabado: Cada sábado de 9:30 a.m. a 12:30 p.m. (3 horas)
Para los alumnos que cursaron el curso de la gestión 2015:
Horarios y días pre establecidos con alumnos del 2015.
Año escolar 2016: Inicia el 14 de marzo y finaliza el 10 de diciembre 2016.
Lugar: CENTRO MULTIFUNCIONAL ADOLFO KOLPING. Calle Luis Lavadenz #11 entre Av. Bernabe Sosa y Av. Trinidad, al lado de la Clinica Kolping, Barrio el Paraiso, tel. 349-9946 (4001)
COSTO MENSUAL: Bs. 150 para los alumnos hasta 25 años y Bs. 180 para alumnos mayores de 25 años. El costo del curso se lo paga directamente en Kolping al inscribirse con su cedula de identidad.
MATERIAL ESCOLAR: Sin costo
BECAS: Beca al mejor alumno de cada clase y medias becas de estimulo
PREMIO AL MEJOR ALUMNO. El o la mejor alumno/a recibirá como premio un pasaje de ida y vuelta a Croacia al concluir el año escolar. El 2015 la alumna Ivana Mileta fue la que recibió el premio a la mejor alumna.
ACTIVIDADES EXTRA CURRICULARES: Habran actividades especiales para compartir temas culturales y recetas de cocina croata.
INSCRIPCIONES Y CONSULTAS: Con la profesora Snjezana Dedic de Matkovic firstname.lastname@example.org, cel. 760-68040