Home Canadian Army CAF Member Recognized by the Government of Guatemala

CAF Member Recognized by the Government of Guatemala

From Left to Right: David Aguilar Carranza, President of Centre Culturel Ix Balam. Consul of Guatemala in Montreal Julissa Hengstenberg Delgado, Capitan Rey Garcia-Salas and Cinthia Solorzano, Canadian-Guatemalan Designer. In the background members of the Mayan Folkloric Centre Culturel Ix Balam. Photo Credit: Felix Rosario Rodriguez

At a distinguished Guatemala Heritage event organized by Centre Culturel Jaguar Ix Balam on June 10, 2023, in Montreal, Canada, Captain Rey Garcia-Salas was honored for his significant research work dedicated to shedding light on the remarkable contributions of Latin American soldiers in the Canadian Armed Forces during World War I and World War II.

The Consulate General of Guatemala in Montreal granted this recognition to Captain Garcia-Salas in gratitude for his efforts in raising awareness and fostering a stronger relationship between Canada and Guatemala. The event showcased the enduring bond between the two nations and celebrated the valor and sacrifices made by Latin American soldiers who voluntarily joined the Canadian Armed Forces to defend the principles of peace and justice. Captain Garcia-Salas, through his extensive research, has unearthed stories that have not only preserved the memory of these brave individuals but also deepened our understanding of their invaluable contributions to Canada’s growth and prosperity.

The plaque presented to Captain Garcia-Salas by Hon. Guatemalan Consul in Montreal Julissa Hengstenberg Delgado.
Photo Credit: Felix Rosario Rodriguez
The plaque includes text:
“Gobierno de Guatemala
The Consulate General of Guatemala in Montreal Canada
Grants This Recognition to
Captain Rey Garcia-Salas Vasquez
In gratitude of the research work he has done to raise awareness of the contributions made by Latin Americans including the Guatemalans in WWI and WWII in the Canadian Armed Forces building a stronger relationship between Canada and Guatemala.
Montréal, Canada
June 10th, 2023”

Captain Garcia-Salas’ dedication to honoring the sacrifices of Guatemalan soldiers is an inspiring testament to the importance of preserving history and recognizing the contributions of diverse communities. Through his research, he has uncovered the stories of courageous individuals such as Fireman Arnulfo Delcompare, Pilot Theodore Hempstead, Flight Officer Denis Koester, Flight Officer Gordon Smith, and Pilot Officer Mario Fernandez De Leon. These soldiers exemplified bravery, dedication, and sacrifice, serving as a source of inspiration for future generations.

Actively supporting Captain Garcia-Salas was Mr. David Aguilar Carranza, who was instrumental as the Guatemalan-Dominican cultural and heritage collaborator paying tribute to the Latin American Soldiers. During the event, Mr. Aguilar and his group, Centre Cultural Jaguar Ix Balam, were named Touristic Ambassadors of Guatemala in Canada by Alejandro De Leon, Vice Director of Instituto Guatemalteco de Turismo (INGUAT), for their exceptional contributions to promoting Guatemalan culture and heritage. As a token of appreciation, the group was presented with typical regional Indigenous costumes by the institute.

Captain Rey Garcia-Salas’ recognition, along with the naming of Mr. David Aguilar Carranza and Centre Cultural Jaguar Ix Balam as Touristic Ambassadors of Guatemala in Canada, serves as a powerful testament to the enduring legacy of Latin American soldiers and the rich cultural heritage of Guatemala. The event served as a re

minder of the importance of multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusivity in contemporary society. It reinforces the value of preserving and commemorating the sacrifices made by these courageous individuals and promoting the diverse traditions that contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Guatemalan culture. Through continued collaboration, Canada and Guatemala can strengthen their relationship and foster mutual understanding and appreciation.

By: Major Gavin Ellis, Communications and Electronics Branch