His Holiness the Dalai Lama Inaugurates Casa Tibet Mexico

The following article is from the Autumn, 1989 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

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Mexico City, July 2, 1989. During a very successful first trip to Latin America His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet opened Casa Tibet Mexico, a center dedicated to the study of Tibetan culturethe first of its kind in Latin America.

After visiting Costa Rica, His Holiness arrived in Mexico City where he attended a series of events which were very successful. His Holiness captivated the Mexican nation and the press in a way few could foresee: His Holiness was on the first page of all the Mexican newspapers for five consecutive days, and the extent of radio and television coverage was without precedent.

While in Mexico His Holiness attended an interfaith prayer for peace at the National Cathedral, and an International Conference on Global Priorities, and gave a public speech to over three thousand people. The public lecture was organized by Casa Tibet Mexico and sponsored by the Mexican Association of Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. His Holiness' speech was translated by Jose Ignacio Cabezon and Marco Antonio Karam. Much of the audience was visibly movedand many could be seen in tears. At the end of the lecture the whole crowd spontaneously stood up and sang His Holiness an old traditional Mexican song (Las Mananitas) wishing him peace and happiness for his coming Birthday. His Holiness was invited by the Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari to meet with him at the Official Residence of Los Pinos as a gesture of goodwill. Here they discussed matters of global interest and concern. His Holiness also visited the pyramids of Teotihuacan and the Basilica de Guadalupe, where the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, is revered.

On Sunday July 2nd, His Holiness inaugurated Casa Tibet Mexico during a very moving ceremony. The center is located in a beautiful 19th-century historical landmark in downtown Mexico City that was generously donated by Mr. Mauricio Karam and family. Behind the main house are several buildings, one of which has already been renovated and in which Casa Tibet Mexico now has its offices, a meditation hall, lecture halls and a library/bookstore. Renovation of the main building has already begun. It will house a large bookstore, a coffee shop, conference rooms, exhibition space, and offices and apartments for resident lamas and scholars as well as for visiting guests.

Casa Tibet Mexico is the first center dedicated to Tibet and its culture, and to a serious study of Tibetan Buddhism; not only in Mexico but in the whole of Latin America. The object is to create an outpost in Latin America for the preservation of Tibetan culture as well as to give people the opportunity to study and learn about this culture and the Dharma in Spanish. One of the major goals is the publication of books in Spanish, and several of the translation projects involve direct translations from Tibetan to Spanish.

A series of programs has been set up for this fall (general introductory courses on Buddhism and Tibetan culture). His Holiness has asked the center to invite his personal physician Tenzin Choedrak, whose visit we are tentatively planning for this November. Geshe Sopa will be spending part of the winter in Mexicg City, and Lati Rinpoche and the Ganden Shartze Choir have been invited to come to Mexico as the last stop on their American Tour (Feb. 8 to 15, 1990). Also being organized is the Tibet-Latin America Network, designed to keep all Latinos in touch and informed about political/human rights developments.

If anyone would like to contact Casa Tibet with ideas and suggestions or for more information, please write to: Marco Antonio Karam or Mary Sloane, Casa Tibet Mexico, Orizaba 93 A, Colonia Roma, C.P. 00670, Mexico D.F., 905-514-4290.tä_æ

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