The Sociedad Española, founded in 1974 as a cultural organization to promote Spanish culture, traditions and the language, presented the inaugural Maria Garcia Daly essay contest award Oct. 20. Daly was a founding member of the society.
According to society president Vivian Deschapelles Coutin, assistant principal of Cabrini High School, the contest was open to high school students to honor deceased founding member Daly. Seth Cordova, a Ben Franklin ninth grader, won the contest and was awarded $500 for his winning essay on “Why Spain Matters to Louisiana.” Schools invited to participate were De La Salle High School, St. Mary’s Dominican High School, Cabrini High School, Jesuit High School, Isidore Newman, St. Augustine High School, Metairie Park Country Day, Ben Franklin, Chalmette and McGehee high schools.
Before the award presentation, Tulane University Professor Javier Olondo gave a lecture and demonstration of the origins and history of the Spanish guitar. Examples of Baroque, Classical, Romantic and modern day Spanish guitar musical compositions were presented by Olondo, culminating in a moving rendition of Malagueña.
Cordova read his winning essay and was presented with a certificate and cash award from Coutin. Guests also enjoyed a typical Spanish “merienda” consisting of Tortilla Española, bocadillos, mousse de cangrejo, smoked salmon and ,tocinillo del cielo, flancocho and bizcocho.
The society will present a Christmas banquet where a person who has contributed to the promotion of the love of Spain, traditions and language in New Orleans will be honored. Contact the society at email@example.com.