SVG signs MOU with Ecuador
March 27, 2015
SVG signs MOU with Ecuador

The Minister of Foreign Affairs is hoping that the projected success of the English language learning project being embarked on with Ecuador will attract interest from other South American countries.

This was the sentiment of Camillo Gonsalves, as he spoke at the signing ceremony for the Memoran­dum of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries at Cabinet Room last Tuesday, March 24.{{more}}

Describing the event as “another milestone in the cooperation between the Republic of Ecuador and St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Gonsalves said: “We are on the beginning of a very big and potentially transformative phase in our education.”

He also said that he hopes there will be other opportunities outside of the infrastructural and educational spheres to “collaborate in areas of trade, science and technology, and agriculture.”

The project will be rolled out in two phases – namely, the learning and perfection of the English language for diplomats (for which the MOU was signed); and the Go Teacher programme, which will be done in collaboration with the SVG Community College and will cater to Ecuadorian teachers.

Gonsalves said that his Ministry has been signing several cooperation agreements over the past few months, but that, along with Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, they are working out the kinks on the Go Teacher programme.

“We are very close to culminating a formal understanding of when those students will be arriving,” he stated.

The Foreign Affairs Minister further pointed out that this project will also see Vincentian diplomats and public servants being sent to Ecuador to learn the Spanish language.

“We believe that people to people exchange is important,” he asserted. “We believe that learning the mechanics of language is important; but equally important is to understand each other’s cultures.”

Representing the Government of Ecuador at the signing ceremony was His Excellency Ambassador Galo Yepez Holguin, who first presented his credentials as Ecuador’s first ambassador to SVG three years ago.

Ambassador Holguin said that this project will not only facilitate the learning of the English and Spanish languages, but also facilitate a better understanding of the respective countries through cultural exchange.

Noting that he is looking forward to learning more about SVG, Holguin said that the two countries’ friendship is “growing” in such a manner that would benefit them both.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nathaniel Williams also gave brief remarks, pointing out that Ecuador was one of the first countries to come to the aid of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, following the devastation suffered during the December 2013 floods.

Also present was Sandy Peters-Phillips, director of Foreign Policy and Research; Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment Clayton Burgin, and representatives from the Ministry of Education and the SVG Community College. (JSV)