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Transcript: Mayor Eric Adams Delivers Remarks and Raises Peruvian Flag

July 28, 2022

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Commissioner Edward Mermelstein, Mayor's Office of International Affairs: So thank you again, Commissioner Castro. And thank you so much, Consul General Landaveri. I'd like to acknowledge all the other consuls general here and grateful to see all of you. Thank you so much. I'd also like to acknowledge our active duty military Peruvian friends. So thank you for joining us. The Peruvian Consulate has been an essential partner to our office, and we look forward to growing our relationship for the benefit of all New Yorkers. New York City's proud to be home to close to 100,000 Peruvians who contribute immensely to this city. Walking through New York City, especially in Jackson Heights, we can see and feel the beauty and strength of the Peruvian culture and community. I look forward to working with the consulate and the Peruvian community to achieve Mayor Adams's vision of all New York City for all of New York City. Thank you. And congratulations on your 201st year of Peruvian independence. Thank you.         

Commissioner Manuel Castro, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs: [Speaks in Spanish.] Well, thank you, Commissioner Mermelstein. Before I introduce Mayor Eric Adams, I'd like to introduce to you, Peruvian Ambassador Marita Landaveri. Thank you.

Marita Landaveri, Consul General of Peru: Good afternoon, Mr. Mayor. Thank you for being here. And Gladys thank you for being here. I know you had much to do with his presence here today. Thank you. Commissioners, Sandro, Arthur, all my dear friends here today, Peruvians and Americans. My speech will be first in Spanish and then in English, please.

Landaveri: [Speaks in Spanish.]

Landaveri: Dear authorities of New York. Dear mayor and friends of Peru and Peruvians, of course. It is for me, a great honor to be here representing my country in this moving flag raising ceremony, commemorating 201 years of Peruvian independence. Our country and New York are linked by a long history of political, economic, and cultural relations. For example, in the 19th century, William R. Grace, an Irish immigrant in Peru built a fortune trading Peruvian guano before moving to the U.S. and becoming New York's first Catholic mayor. It was Mayor Grace himself who received the gift of the Statue of Liberty in 1886.

Landaveri: Later in our relationship, a young and adventurous engineer from Brooklyn, Mr. Jacob Backus immigrated to Peru in the late 19th century and founded Backus and Johnston, the most important brewery in Peru and a household named for all Peruvians until this day. Pilsen, Cristal, Cusqueña. Okay, the names of the beers. Today, our relations continue to expand at a great pace and they are certainly more diversified. New York is a home of a large and vibrant Peruvian community. On this 201st anniversary of independence, we celebrate together with the Peruvian community and appreciate their commitment to a life of work and effort, to family values, the entrepreneurship and civic engagement. Likewise, in recent years, the city has become home to a new and exciting scene of Peruvian restaurants.

Landaveri: I want to assure you, although I do not have a crystal ball, that this is only the beginning. Peruvian food and high Peruvian cuisine have arrived in New York to stay and prosper with this great city. The Peruvian food wave is only beginning here and worldwide. I encourage our friends and hosts from New York to visit Peru. It is a fantastic and unique country with an extensive offer in terms of history, culture, gastronomy and natural beauty, but particularly because of its welcoming people. I must mention that visiting us is easy and convenient with daily flights departing from JFK. I assure you, it will be the experience of a lifetime. This July 28th is a happy day to celebrate our people and our culture, to remember those who fought for our hard won liberty and to honor everyone who, with dedication and hard work, made us proud to be Peruvian. ¡Viva el Perú!

Commissioner Castro: Thank you so much, ambassador. As was said earlier, we've heard from so many people about how great these events are and I've heard from so many immigrant groups about the importance of celebrating their communities, not just in their neighborhoods, but here in such an important space for New York. That is all thanks to Mayor Eric Adams and our administration. So it is my honor to now welcome our leader and champion for all immigrants, the mayor of the City of New York, Mayor Eric Adams. [Speaks in Spanish.]

Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. I recall years ago when I was in Lima and I saw how rich the community and the culture and how important you are here to New York City. I'm happy to see my Peruvian brothers and sisters celebrated, and I want my right hand to come forward. Gladys is from Peru. Gladys has been with me for so many years and she is my trusted confidant. She went back home to Peru last year, after many years being away. So I'm happy to be here with her. She wanted to make sure she was here for this flag raising.

Gladys Miranda, Director of Scheduling and Senior Advisor to the Mayor: Yes.

Mayor Adams: I want to thank our ambassador for her wonderful words and her kindness. For the first time in New York City's history, we're raising the Peruvian flag right here at Bowling Green. This is a significant moment. Today we celebrate the pride and the joy of the Peruvian people. We celebrate the dance, the music, the culture, ceviche, pisco sours, the hardworking, tight-knit community, and knows how to celebrate events like this. New York City is a city of immigrants and it's a city for everyone and we are proud of the diversity of our city. When we raise the Peruvian flag, we say, today and every day, that we stand with the Peruvian community, we are one. ¡Que viva el Perú!

Mayor Adams: So I want to present this proclamation to the ambassador, to the Peruvian Americans who have long strengthened the five boroughs, and they will continue to play a key role as we take bold steps to recover from COVID-19 pandemic, grow our economy and build a safer, fairer, more prosperous future for all. In today's ceremony in Manhattan's historic Bowling Green Park, Peruvian New Yorkers will commemorate — fiesta — their homeland's national independence day. This important day also provides a wonderful occasion to celebrate the rich heritage of the Peruvian people and community. This is your day, Peruvian Heritage Day. I, Eric Adams, mayor of the City of New York. Congratulations.

Landaveri: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Mayor Adams: Thank you.


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