Professor María Vallet, among the nine women to leave their legacy to the Cervantes Institute’s Caja de las Letras (Letters Box)
On 8 March 2022, the Cervantes Institute celebrated International Women’s Day by inviting nine prominent women from Hispanic culture to leave a legacy to the Caja de las Letras, an initiative that has been running since 2007 and in which different personalities (including men) have been depositing “symbolic legacies as a living memory of the culture of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries”.
Among the nine women selected this year are artist and sculptor Cristina Iglesias, who was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by Complutense University, and chemist María Vallet Regí of Complutense University.
Carmen Noguero, Secretary General of the Cervantes Institute, pointed out that almost two thirds of the world’s illiterate people are still women, and it is also women who have the least access to basic services, who suffer gender violence, etc. However, she acknowledged that “a lot has been achieved in a very short time, as demonstrated by the nine women who have joined us today to leave their legacy in the Caja de las Letras”. A language is much more than a grammar and a dictionary, it is also a memory, which, like all languages, chooses what it remembers, and this Box of Letters is memory, and reminds us that the true wealth of a society is its culture.
To put in the Box of Letters, Vallet has chosen three books written in Spanish and three scientific articles written in English, works that have had a special meaning for her.