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The AVA Management Committee and the Honorary Gala Committee of the III Panamerican Benefit Gala-Show are pleased to announce the recipients of the Inca Garcilaso Medal 2023:

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With a career spanning 50 years and countless awards, including a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Cuban American singer, composer and producer Willy Chirino has played stages all over the world. He is recognized as co-creator of the “Miami Sound,” a unique fusion of Caribbean beats with rock, pop, jazz and disco that was popularized by Chirino, Gloria Estefan, Carlos Oliva and others in the 1970’s and 80’s.

Chirino has recorded over 35 albums, several of which have attained platinum and gold status. In 2006, his album “Son del Alma”, won a Grammy for Best Salsa/Merengue Album. He is the composer of over 100 songs which have been recorded by over 60 artists including Celia Cruz, Raphael, Gipsy Kings, Dyango, Ricardo Montaner and Oscar D’Leon. As founder of the Willy Chirino Foundation, his philanthropic efforts have been recognized by UNICEF and the Department of State.




Nydia Quintero is a Colombian civic leader, founder of "Solidaridad por Colombia", a non-profit institution created in 1975 which seeks the integral development of the family as the nucleus of society, having as great pillars the formation in values and the development of leadership competencies. In 1976, the "Solidarity Walk" was institutionalized on the last Sunday of August, a multitudinous and colorful walk that became the annual event to demonstrate the spirit of solidarity of millions of Colombians.

Ms. Quintero was the first lady of Colombia between 1978 and 1982. After the election of her then-husband Julio César Turbay as president, she was very active in the social programs of the Colombian government. For her selfless dedication to improving the conditions of millions of low-income Colombians for almost 50 years, she has been awarded the Grand Cross of Boyacá and the Rafael García Herreros Order of Merit, among other recognitions.

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Vivi Barguil

Honorary Gala Committee Chair

Ana Teresa Rodríguez & Luis García

AVA Prime Benefactors

Patricia Janiot

AVA Ambassador

Members of the

Honorary Gala Committee


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gala co-chairs

Alexandra Stelling

(Friends of Children of Venezuela)

Management Committee Chair

Gladys Sanmiguel

(Fundación Colombianitos)

Antonella Romero

(The Nobis Foundation)

Rocío Devesa

(America Developing Smiles)

Lala Lovera

(Closing the Gap)

Mariella Mongiovi

(Show me your World)

Carolina Lizarraga

(New Land Theatricals)

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AVA bestows the Inca Garcilaso medal every year upon two exceptional individuals born in the Americas to celebrate their contribution in two fields: Art and Philanthropy.

The medal acknowledges their commitment to their beliefs and causes as well as their capacity to convoke, engage and commit others for the successful materialization of their artistic and philanthropic visions.


The medal is inspired by the 'mestizaje' of America as a continent where centuries ago Amerindians, Europeans and Africans intermingled, merging their destinies forever. It is a symbol of such diversity and its connection with solidarity.


Inca Garcilaso can be considered as the 'first mestizo' of the Americas, the quintessential global citizen of this continent. Son of an Inca princess and a Spanish conquistador, and born when there were still no borders in this hemisphere, both cultures merged in him enhancing his creative and humanistic capacities.


The sons of America that we honor today with the Inca Garcilaso medal reflect a wonderful and fortunate mestizaje of cultures that distinguishes us as a "New World" in continuous and promising rebirth from Alaska to Patagonia.

The two sides of the medal
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Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616), born Gómez Suárez de Figueroa and known as El Inca, was a chronicler and writer born in what today is Peru. He was the natural son of the Spanish conquistador Sebastián Garcilaso and the Inca noblewoman Palla Chimpu Ocllo.


Born in the early years of the conquest, he is known primarily for his chronicles of the Inca culture and the Spanish conquest. At the age of 21 he sailed to Spain where he lived and worked the rest of his life. His first major work called “La Florida del Inca” is an account of conquistador Hernando De Soto's expedition in Florida.


His work was widely read in Europe, influential and well received. It was the first literature by an author born in the Americas to enter the western canon.

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Martin Waldseemüller's 1507 world map is considered America's birth certificate and for good reason: it is the first document on which the name "America" appears. It is also the first map to depict a separate and full Western Hemisphere. The name America is placed on South America. 

The map included data gathered during Amerigo Vespucci’s voyages of 1501–1502 to the New World. Waldseemüller christened the new lands "America" (land of Amerigo) in recognition of Vespucci ’s understanding that a new continent had been uncovered as a result of the voyages of Columbus and other explorers in the late fifteenth century who still believed they had arrived in India.

In May 2003 the Library of Congress purchased the only surviving copy of the map from Prince Johannes Waldburg-Wolfegg of Germany.

La reflexión mas importante... ARTURO USLAR PIETRI
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