Leaders of the Santa Elena Foundation traveled to Washington DC recently as guests of both the Spanish Embassy and World Bank to share the 16th century story of Spanish colonization. Joining the Santa Elena team are Dr. Michael Francis from University of North Florida in St. Augustine, Florida and Dr. David Moore from the Exploring Joara Foundation in Morganton, NC.
“What an honor to travel to our nation’s capital and be sponsored by the Spanish Embassy and World Bank. This is a great achievement for our team and helps further the mission to promote and preserve the story of Santa Elena,” says Dr. Andy Beall, Executive Director of the Santa Elena Foundation. “Additionally, sharing this opportunity with colleagues from Florida and North Carolina brightens the spotlight on the significance of this regional story of our heritage.”
At the World Bank on Friday, February 26, the group presented an overview of the Santa Elena, Joara, and St. Augustine stories. Then the focus transitioned to the “Heritage Tourism” research that brings further community benefit to an educational and cultural gem.
On Saturday, February 27 the group participated in “Designing America: Spain’s Imprint in the U.S.,” an exhibition organized by the Fundacion Consejo Espana-Estados Unidos in partnership with the Biblioteca Nacional de Espana (National Library of Spain). This will be an opportunity present the facts from research and archaeology that tell the complex story of Spanish colonization in the 16th century.
“This is a unique opportunity to merge our local efforts together and present a cohesive story,” says Dr. David Moore, Archaeologist for Exploring Joara Foundation. “There are great benefits educationally, culturally, and economically for the general public to have a better understanding of the historical events at Santa Elena, Joara, and St. Augustine.”
All of the organizations are focused on working collaboratively to bring attention to a significant chapter of American History. Many facts continue to emerge through present-day research and archaeology as each organization furthers its mission.