The idea for establishing the
Foundation was born in the mid – 1970s, when Captain P.N.Tsakos
was in Montevideo, Uruguay, for professional reasons. His
contacts with the Uruguayans revealed to him an exceptionally
cultivated people and, principally, a
people that revered and adored the ancient Hellenic spirit
and culture; a people eager to accept any element associated
with Hellenic culture and tradition.
This fact was the main reason
for the establishment of the “Tsakos Foundation”, in March
1978, which – in 2002 – was renamed to “Maria
Tsakos” Foundation, in memory of the founder’s respected
Captain P.N.Tsakos’ initiative
was very warmly received by the Uruguayans, and thus the Foundation
continues, with enormous success, up to the present day, its
work of teaching the Greek language and disseminating
elements of the ancient, as well as of the modern, Hellenic
culture. This work has contributed to consolidating the esteem
of Uruguay’s political and intellectual leadership, together
with the admiration of the Uruguayans for Greece. Moreover,
the presence of the Foundation strengthens the cultural ties
between Greece and the Spanish–speaking people of Latin America.
The devotion of the Tsakos family
to the foundation is inherited from generation to generation.
Thus, the founder’s daughter, Maria P. Tsakos, today plays
an essential role in its development in her capacity as the
Initially, the Foundation was
based in the classrooms of the “Erwy School” in Montevideo.
In those premises, Greek lessons and cultural activities took
place, from 1978 to 1984. From the early years, valuable contribution
was offered by Captain Walter Fernandez Illa, teacher Vassilis
Hahavias, Mrs. Lucila Romero, diplomat Alvaro Gallardo, Captain
Dimitris Linas, Mrs. Calliope Linas, and Mrs. Margarita Larriera,
the present director of the foundation.
In 1985, the Foundation moved
to a historic building which once housed the first Town Parliament
during Spanish rule, in Trienta y Tres Street. The same building
also accommodates the consulate of the Cypriot Republic, given
that Captain P. N. Tsakos is the Honorary
Consul General of Cyprus in Uruguay.
The Foundation has been officially
recognized by Uruguay’s Ministry of Education and Culture.
Since 1992, following the signing of the relative agreement,
Modern Greek languages courses are taught in the faculty of
Humanistic Studies, at Uruguay’s University of the Republic,
with the collaboration of the Foundation’s teachers. This
agreement is extremely important, because it gives the foundation
the opportunity – apart from its comprehensive cultural activities
– to also develop research and scientific
work on the Hellenic Culture, valuable for university
– level education.
In 1999 the Foundation was recognized
by the Greek Education Ministry as the official
Examination Centre for Greek Language Certification,
for students from Uruguay, as well as other Latin American
Protection of the environment
constitutes a parallel aim of the Foundation. Its sensitivity
in environmental issues has been practically demonstrated
through the initiative of setting up and hosting “URUMEPA”,
which was created along the lines of the Hellenic Marine Environment
Protection Association, “HELMEPA”.
The Foundation has a particularly
strong presence in the life of the Hellenic
community abroad, in cooperation with the Greek Orthodox
church in South America, and plays a vital role in solving
problems of the community in cooperation with the Council
for Hellenes Abroad, and other bodies of the diaspora.
In 1999, after the Foundation
had been functioning for 20 years, Captain P.N.Tsakos was
honoured by the Athens Prefecture with the title, “Ambassador
The presentation of the “Medal
of the City of Athens” to Captain P.N.Tsakos, by Athens
Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, in 2002, constitutes another
honour for the foundation.
In 2003, Captain P.N.Tsakos was
presented with the Aghios Stephanos
cross, by His Grace, the Bishop of Buenos Aires, Bishop
Tarasios, in recognition of his contribution to Hellenism
and the Orthodoxy.
In December 2003, the Foundation
was honored with the highest award by the Academy
of Athens, for its outstanding cultural and charitable
work, at a special ceremonial session, attended by the President
of the Hellenic Republic, Kostis Stephanopoulos.
"Maria Tsakos" Foundation
"MARIA TSAKOS" FOUNDATION
Treinta y Tres 1541, Montevideo - Uruguay
Tel.:+598 2 956680/598 2 956677, Fax:+598 2 951102, E-mail: email@example.com