Two Utahns honored at the Guatemala’s Celebration of Independence

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Daniel Wilson and Malcolm Botto were honored on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Guatemala’s Celebration of Independence.

Both were presented with a plaque by the president of the Chapin Association of Utah, Luis Gonzalez and by Miss Guatemala Utah. According to Gonzalez, Wilson’s first visit to Guatemala was in 1968 through his employment with Pan American World Airways. Wilson traveled to Guatemala on a weekly basis for more than six years and interacted often with the locals. He worked with organizations like CEMAT, which creates herbal products under the name Farmaya to aid natives in Guatemala and also produces organic products for the United States. Wilson also contributed humanitarian projects, and for six consecutive years served as the producer of cultural events for the Latin Community in Utah, which were aired on television throughout Latin America and Europe.

Malcolm Botto’s first visit to Guatemala was when he was only 16 years old. His family owned a business exporting traditional artifacts to the U.S. While spending time in Guatemala, Botto learned the native dialect Ke’chi, and to his surprise was later called to serve in the Guatemalan North LDS mission in 1993. Later he was asked to interpret during the LDS General Conference in Ke’chi.

According to Gonzalez, Botto has been in Guatemala repeatedly due to his studies, his employment at Brigham Young University and special projects he is currently undertaking, including research on Mayan “rock music” and the making of a dictionary from the Quiche dialect to Spanish.

Malcolm is enthusiast of different cultures, and especially that of Guatemala. He has choreographed the dances of two cultural productions: “Tesoros de las Americas” and “Luz de las Naciones.”

Both Wilson and Botto have shown tremendous support for the cultural activities and the people in Guatemala and in Utah, and were honored with a night of celebration with music, dancing and lots of food. “Those men are great examples to the rest of us of taking the opportunities that are given to us and making them into something that benefits those we hold dear to our hearts because of our appreciation and understanding of their culture, ethnicity, nationality or circumstances,” said Suany Riveiro, Political Science student.

If you are interested to know more about this or any other culture, stop by the Multicultural Center in room WB 146s or call 801-863-8357.