Banner and heart of the Spanish presence in New York, the space "La Nacional" hosts from today until October 31, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the institution, a photographic exhibition organized by Iberia and the EFE Agency, in a sample more of your hospitality.
In his opening speech together with the presidents of Iberia and the EFE Agency, Luis Gallego and Fernando Garea, respectively, the director of "La Nacional", Antonio Morales, recalled the "close" relations of the institution with the airline, " from the difficult years of the Spanish emigration in New York ", as a means of transport for the reunion of separated families.
"La Nacional" is an institution that dates back to 1868 and that originally was the Spanish Association of Mutual Aid (Spanish Benevolent Association).
Its objective was always to promote, promote and spread the spirit of fraternity and solidarity between Spanish and Hispanic Americans living in the United States.
Today it has displayed its centuries-old hospitality and hosts for three weeks an exhibition with more than thirty photographs organized by Iberia and the EFE Agency, entitled "Spain in the USA: a great past, a bright present and a promising future", adding thus to the celebration of Columbus Day in New York.
The exhibition brings together the presence of Spain in the United States in areas such as culture, sports or diplomatic relations, signs of the strong ties that unite both countries.
"La Nacional", which on its 14th street façade sports a large Spanish flag next to another one of the United States, is in the New York neighborhood of Chelsea, in what until the early 70s was known as the "Little Spain" .
This was a place of concentration of Spanish emigrants – some 15,000 arrived to live in this area – and of services and restaurants run by families of Spanish origin, especially after 1939.
This entity to support the newcomers from Spain – there are still some of its old rooms – came to have about 7,000 members, mostly Spanish, but also Cubans of Spanish origin.
In "La Nacional", Spanish emigrants could look for work, get food, shelter or healthcare, because the building had two floors dedicated to hospital in a country with little medical coverage for newcomers.
It also offered funeral services.