Vasco Nuñez de Balboa
  • Vasco Nuñez de Balboa
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  • Letter to Editor
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Why does Balboa Park carry his name?

Re: “Balboa statue – no way,” News Ticker.

What is really sad is that this reporter Dorian Hargrove would not contact me and get my side of the story. Fake news and bad reporting is what has been going on for years, and Dorian is an example of this. The Reader should have better standards and not publish one-sided stories.

Most of the board members in the Balboa Park Committee are not interested in listening and not doing their duty as board members. The BPC is divisive, irresponsible, has its own agenda, and is not following due process.

For the past three years, House of Spain has been working with the City of San Diego, Parks and Rec, BPC, Kumeyaay and other groups to find out what the opposition wants. Come to the table and talk. Where are the concerned citizens that should be here to discuss this subject as civilized people? Don’t we all want a better community? Too much history to write in a few lines.

Most people do not know who Balboa was, his life, his support for the indigenous people (what today we call a human-rights advocate), his letters to the King of Spain….

What did he discover? How did he die? Who named Balboa Park? Why does Balboa Park carry his name? No, Balboa was never in San Diego. Balboa was dead 23 years before Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, another Spaniard, discovered what today we call San Diego Bay.

  • Jesus Benayas, President of the House of Spain
  • Lemon Grove

Dorian Hargrove responds:

Hello Mr. Benayas, thanks for the letter. I tried to contact you through the House of Spain website. I’m sorry that we weren’t able to connect for the article.

As to your other concerns, the meeting was a public meeting. I wrote that you had tried to get the statue erected for three years. I also included the following:

On November 2, Benayas once again pitched the idea of a Balboa statue. According to a record from the meeting, Benayas said that many Latin countries still celebrate the explorer.

Proponents of the new statue include University of San Diego professor Iris Engstrand, who wrote that Balboa “had humanitarian concerns for indigenous people of Panama.”

I then went on to include comments from the public and from board members.

The article was not meant to chronicle the life of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa — it focused on the committee’s reluctance on placing his statue in Balboa Park.

Thanks for the comment. Please feel free to contact me anytime.

  • Dorian Hargrove
  • Letter to Editor
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