PATU has honoured National Federation Presidents and Masters for contributing towards the development of sport in Central America and the Caribbean ©PATU

The Pan American Taekwondo Union (PATU) has honoured National Federation Presidents and Masters for contributing towards the development of sport in Central America and the Caribbean.

A ceremony was held at the Volleyball Pavilion of the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center, where taekwondo competitions took place for the San Salvador Central American and Caribbean Games.

It was conducted with support from the Pan American Martial Academy with PATU and senior officials from the Government of the Dominican Republic present.

Current and former Dominican Republic Presidents Luis Abinader and Hipólito Mejía was awarded the VII Honorary Black Belt by the Pan American Martial Academy, chaired by Mario Mandel.

The Caribbean nation's Sports Minister Francisco Camacho Rivas was also given an award for helping towards creating a legacy for taekwondo in the country.  

"The Pan American Martial Academy was born to vindicate the legacy of those who have dedicated their lives to taekwondo and who often or almost always go into oblivion after their successful career as leaders, teachers and others," said PATU secretary general Master Mandel

"This is a first step to recognize and value everyone's work. That the new generations know who their pioneers are and that a historical debt with Pan-American taekwondo continue to be settled."

"Sport is the center of development so that young people leave the streets and take the reins of their respective countries," said Joel Adrián Santos Echavarría, Minister of the Presidency of the Dominican Republic.

Arubans Moisés Fernández and Melvin Jacinto Rasmijin, Luis Forero and Oscar Posada of Colombia, Costa Ricans Wilmar Alvarado and Luis Carlos Aguilar, Cubans Iván Fernández and Victor Cuesta, Maria Lourdes Vides and Hector Cazali of Guatemala, Haiti representatives Joseph Frenel Hosting and Carlet Vicente and Armando Vinicio Valdez and Julio Jova of Honduras were honoured.

Other Presidents and National Federation representatives who were honoured were Mexican Raymundo Gonzalez, Salvador Zavala Girón and Carlos Delgado from Nicaragua, Martin Peterson and Giovanny Pérez of Panama, Puerto Rico's Elivin Landrau and Wilfredo Sellas, Romeo Rolador from Suriname, Anthony Ferguson of Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuelans Hung Ki Kim and José Ángel Mendoza, Rafael Martinez and Nassin Rodriguez of El Salvador and Miguel Camacho, Francisco Camacho and Adalberto Escoto from Dominican Republic.

"This will continue in Santiago 2023, because within the framework of the Pan American Games, the pioneers and presidents of the rest of the countries in the region will be honored, in an act similar to the one experienced in Santo Domingo," said PATU President Juan Manuel López Delgado.