surinenglish

Bernardo de Gálvez brings Macharaviaya and Galveston together

The official ceremony to start the twinning process took place in the Plaza de Bernardo de Gálvez.
The official ceremony to start the twinning process took place in the Plaza de Bernardo de Gálvez. / E. CABEZAS
  • The council has welcomed a delegation from the American city to start the twinning process and plan projects in tribute to the famous military officer

Only 500 residents compared with more than 50,000. The Axarquía village Macharaviaya has 100 times fewer inhabitants than Galveston, but it has a major claim to fame.

It can boast of being the birthplace of the founder of this American city, situated in the south of the state of Texas, at the end of the 18th century. Unsurprisingly, its name derives from 'Galveztown', in honour of the brave military officer Bernardo de Gálvez (1746-1786).

Although they are separated by more than 8,000 kilometres, the two places feel much closer now, thanks to the start of the process to twin them.

Period costume

José Andrés Gálvez, who comes from the family of soldiers and politicans and bears a strong resemblence to his forefathers, once again dressed, as he does on 4 July every year, in the suit of the most famous member of the family, Bernardo de Gálvez.

This was not the first twinning arranged for Macharaviaya in recent years: in 2012 it was officially linked to the town of Pensacola, in the neighbouring state of Florida. It was there that De Gálvez led the most famous battle in America's War of Independence against the British, and was later authorised to place the words 'I, Alone' on his coat of arms.

That was the message that Bill Adriance, representing Galveston council and responsible for presenting the documentation to Campos, proudly wore on the lapel of his jacket. He also presented the mayor with typical gifts from a city which is very popular with tourists, and which has suffered major devastation during its barely 200-year-old history.

Adriance explained that three projects are currently being planned to promote the figure of Bernardo de Gálvez in the city: a large statue, a film and an opera. "We hope to receive plenty of support so we can carry them out," he said. Macharaviaya council has donated a painting which will be auctioned to raise funds.

Another piece in the puzzle

Antonio Campos said he was "very proud" of this twinning with Galveston, "because it means a great deal to our small village and for the figure of Bernardo de Gálvez. It is one more piece in the puzzle we are putting together to gain recognition and fame for this local man who played such an important role in the history of Spain and the United States," he said.

The ceremony was also attended by the councillor for Culture, Víctor González, the president of the Mancomunidad de Municipios of the eastern Costa del Sol and mayor of La Viñuela, José Juan Jiménez and the USA consul on the Costa del Sol, among others.