Guatemala City Dedicates an Avenue to Dr. Ernesto Cofiño

During his lifetime, Dr. Ernesto Cofiño, pioneer of pediatrics in Guatemala, earned a place in the hearts of thousands of Guatemalans with his work for children and for the development of women and underprivileged families. Now he also has a well-deserved place in the urban fabric of Guatemala City.

On Thursday, September 1, the mayor of the Guatemalan capital, Ricardo Quiñonez, accompanied by Most Rev. Gonzalo de Villa, the metropolitan Archbishop, and Father Carlos Young Sarmiento, Opus Dei's regional vicar for Central America, inaugurated Doctor Ernesto Cofiño Avenue.

Doctor Ernesto Cofiño Avenue passes right in front of the headquarters of the Junkabal Foundation, an institution that was founded in 1963 as an educational project for the promotion of women in the area through technical training in various kinds of work. During the inaugural ceremony Pilar de Borrayo, general director of the Foundation, described how Junkabal was able to build its current headquarters thanks to the efforts of Dr. Cofiño. Through his friendship and prestige he involved several of his friends in the project, including Samuel Camhi, the main benefactor in the early days of the initiative.

The avenue dedicated to Dr. Cofiño is the sixth avenue in zone 3, from 26th to 40th streets. It was to the inhabitants of this kind of area that the numerous projects of promotion and social development promoted by Ernesto Cofiño were dedicated.

Dr. Cofiño (1899-1991) became a prestigious professional in the field of health and development in Guatemala. In 1953 he became acquainted with Opus Dei and its message. The idea that an ordinary citizen can find God in the midst of his daily duties, materializing in his profession and his other ordinary circumstances the commandment of love for God and neighbor, captivated him, and in 1956 he asked for admission to Opus Dei as a supernumerary member. He was the promoter of Junkabal and also of the Kinal Foundation and the University Center Ciudad Vieja, projects directed to the education of young Guatemalans. His beatification process is currently underway.

Romana, n. 75, July-December 2022, p. 226-227.

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