Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has begun her official visit to South America.
President Grabar-Kitarovic arrived in the Buenos Aires province of Luján in Argentina on Sunday and joined the annual pilgrimage of the Croatian community and the Holy Mass.
The Holy Mass in the “Basilice de Luján” was led by Fr. Jozo Peranic in Croatian.
After meeting with representatives of the Croatian community in Luján, the Croatian President was in Cortinez where she met with part of the Croatian community, Franciscans from Argentina and Peru, and nuns from the old people’s home for the Croats.
“I hope that many of you will return to Croatia because Croatia needs life. Unfortunately, Croatia is demographically dying and we have to do a lot to revive it, and above all to introduce the spirit of optimism, faith into ourselves, our people, our homeland, and our future,” President Graba-Kitarovic told those who turned out.
The president will also visit Croatian communities in Chile and Brazil on her visit. She is the first president since Franjo Tudman to visit South America.
Apart from meeting with the representatives of Croatian, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic will also meet with the presidents of Argentina and Chile and the Governor of Sao Paulo in Brazil.
An estimated 250,000 people with Croatian heritage, mainly with origins from the Dalmatian coast, live in Chile, whilst around 200,000 are in Argentina. Around 35,00 live in Brazil.
The tour ends on 20 March.