Manuel Torres Trujillo lived in Philadelphia since 1796, when he was forced into exile by the brutal Spanish colonial government of what is today the country of Colombia, and lived among us, here in Philadelphia, until his death, occurred at his West Philadelphia home on July 15th, 1822.
A Spanish-American publicist and diplomat, Torres became the first ambassador of present-day Colombia (then Nueva Granada) to the United States.
Born in Córdoba, Spain in November 1762, Torres grew up in present-day Colombia. At age 17, Torres began working for the secretariat of the Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada and for the Royal Treasury, where he received training in finance and observed some of the important political-social conflicts to take place during the time period.
In 1794, Torres fled Nueva Granada, as a result of a conspiracy against the Spanish monarchy.
He originally escaped to Curaçao, before settling in Philadelphia in 1796. While in Philly, Torres became an advocate for the independence of Spanish colonies in the Americas.
We are proud to present the 6th Annual Celebration of America’s Hispanic Heritage in the Mid-Atlantic Region, the 2021AL DÍA Archetypes: “Ambassador Manuel Torres Awards”.
We are grateful for the six-year partnership with the local Television station, 6abc, and we look forward to making this successful program available to every single household across the nation -- and the world -- through linear television, 6abc.com, and the family of apps on connected TV (Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast).
Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated in the United States since 1988, when President Ronald Reagan signed a law that officially recognized the presence of Latinos in the country and acknowledged the substantial contributions they have made to the U.S. society ever since the inception of the republic.
This year, we have rebranded the award ceremony as “Ambassador Manuel Torres Awards”. The late Ambassador Torres was the first ambassador of Nueva Granada, present-day Colombia, acknowledged by U.S. President James Monroe on June 19, 1822. This act represented the first U.S. recognition of a former Spanish colony’s independence. AL DÍA will celebrate Manuel Torres almost 200 years after his death, because his spirit, as well as his memory, give the celebration of Hispanic Heritage in the U.S. a new meaning.
The “Archetypes” in 2021 are the best reflections of excellence among Americans of Latino descent in the current century in the areas of Health, Education, Science, Public service, the Arts and the Entrepreneurial Spirit, among others. These are the AL DIA Archetypes., classes of 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016.
Lincoln Hall, Union League Philadelphia
Master of Ceremonies
Honored Guest and Author of Netflix hit "Latino History for Morons”
Grammy-nominated Afro Cuban Jazz Band based in Miami
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