The Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe hosts the “1st Ibero-American Seminar on Endemics and Epidemics: Five Centuries of Contagion” today, which has been organised by the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation aiming to analyse and reflect on the causes and the impact suffered in Ibero-America due to the different diseases that have plagued it over the last centuries. (28/11/2023)

During the opening, the director of Yuste Foundation, Juan Carlos Moreno, stated that, in his opinion, the only option to strengthen our health systems, promote scientific research and promote international cooperation is “the path marked by a future of solidarity and joint work”. In that sense, he added that “history teaches us that when we come together, we are able to overcome even the most difficult challenges”.

The director of Yuste Foundation claimed that although globalisation has brought many benefits that shouldn’t be rejected, it has also meant the arrival of different pandemic challenges, such as the Covid-19, which has not yet been overcome. “These global crises, —he said— have reminded Europe and Ibero-America of the importance of solidarity and international collaboration in the fight against diseases”.

Also participating in the opening of the event was the anthropologist and historian of the University of Seville and coordinator of the seminar, Rogelio Altez, who thanked the researchers for their commitment to continue the project for one and a half more years in force after it started, because, he affirmed, “it is not just an object of study that summons us, but also the sensitivity for that object of study, because in addition to the passion for research, it is also what the subject represents, which goes far beyond a research work and seeing it published”. The opening was also attended by the Guardian and Custodian of the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, friar Guillermo Cerrato, and the deputy mayor of the city council of Guadalupe, Francisca Villar.

Among the speakers are doctors in History, professors of Medicine, anthropologists, sociologists from different Spanish universities and other institutions in Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Colombia. To discuss the topic of the seminar, the speakers will present their conclusions on the major pandemics in Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Colombia; the prevention campaigns against polio in Mexico and Spain in the mid-20th century; yellow fever in the Caribbean; and vaccination instruments, among other aspects.

This activity is part of the School of Guadalupe, a centre for discussion and scientific studies created by Yuste Foundation in order to transfer knowledge to society and whose main purpose is to act as a bridge and hinge between Europe and Ibero-America from the Extremaduran town of Guadalupe, which was declared a World Heritage Site.

The event counts with the support of the History of America Department of the University of Seville, the College of Michoacán, the Centre for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology of Mexico, the University of Córdoba (Argentina), the University of the Andes (Chile), and the Bernardo O’Higgins University (Chile).

Those interested can follow the seminar live via Yuste Foundation’s Youtube channel.