September 10, 2009 Former U.S. Ambassador to Honduras to Deliver Hispanic Heritage Month Keynote

Press Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Cresencio “Cris” Arcos, former United States ambassador to Honduras, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 1 p.m. in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required.

The theme of this year’s celebration, which runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, is “Embracing the Fierce Urgency of Now!”

Arcos served as U.S. Ambassador to Honduras from 1989 to 1993. In 1993, he also served on the Department of State’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Task Force. Currently Arcos is a government affairs counselor at Kirkpatrick Lockhart and Preston Gates LLP.

Before becoming ambassador, Arcos served as the White House coordinator for public diplomacy on Central America and was the deputy coordinator in the Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America at the Department of State. From 1985-1986, he served as the State Department’s deputy director of the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office. He was also assistant secretary and director of international affairs at U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2003-2006). His Foreign Service postings abroad included Belgium, Portugal, Brazil, the Soviet Union (Russia) and Honduras.

Among his many awards and honors, Arcos is the recipient of the Honduran government’s highest award, the Order of Morazan.

In addition to the Sept. 17 keynote address, the Library will present other events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month:

• A panel discussion on “Increasing Hispanic Representation in the Federal Government: Strategies and Results” on Friday, Sept. 18, at noon in the Mary Pickford Theater, third floor of the James Madison Building.

• A panel discussion on “Cross-Cultural Communications: U.S. Writers Translating Hispanic Authors” on Friday, Sept. 25, at noon in the Mary Pickford Theater.

• The film “389 Miles: Living the Border” will be screened on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 11:30 a.m. in the Mary Pickford Theater.

A special display from the Library’s collections highlighting the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the nation will be on view in the Madison Building foyer throughout the month. The Library will also launch an online resource page at to highlight its collections about Hispanic Americans and their contributions and accomplishments.

The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website at and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized website at

The Hispanic and Portuguese collections of the Library of Congress comprise more than 10 million items and are believed to be the most extensive such collections in the world. For more information about the Library’s Luso-Hispanic holdings, visit the Library’s Hispanic Reading Room in person or online at


PR 09-166
ISSN 0731-3527