Industry Notes: Hay Festival’s Cristina Fuentes La Roche Awarded the OBE in Peru

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The director of the Hay’s rapidly expanding international network of festival event and forums has been recognized particularly for her Latin American programming.

Cristina Fuentes La Roche receives the OBE

The British ambassador to Peru, Kate Harison, left, awards the OBE to Cristina Fuentes La Roche at the opening of Hay Festival Arequipa. Image: Hay Festival

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Fuentes La Roche Honored for Latin American Work
At the opening of Peru’s Hay Festival Arequipa on Thursday (November 7), the Hay Festival’s director of international events, Cristina Fuentes La Roche, has been made an officer of the Order of the British Empire, the OBE.

The honor, which is bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II, recognizes Fuentes La Roche’s work in developing educational and cultural programming and services in Latin American markets.

Appointed in 2005, Fuentes La Roche has overseen more than 100 events on five continents as the Hay Festival has steadily expanded its network of international editions.

Under her direction, the international reach of the program has grown to include festival editions at Arequipa, Medellín, Cartegena, Abu Dhabi, Rijeka, Querétaro, and Segovia, and associated forums in Moquegua, Ayacucho, Santiago de Chile, and Dallas.

Fuentes La Roche is also behind the development of the series of regional anthologies, most of them giving fresh exposure to the work of emerging authors. They include Bogota39 in 2007 and 2017/18, Beirut39 in 2010, Africa39 in 2014, Aarhus39 in 2017, and the upcoming Hay Festival Europa28 in 2020.

On the news of her OBE, Fuentes La Roche was quoted expressing surprise at the honor, and saying that such “recognition for the work we do here and around the world is wonderful. The conversations we have at our events have never felt more vital.”

As the Peruvian festival was getting underway, Fuentes La Roche was presented the honor in a ceremony by the British ambassador to Peru, Kate Harison.

Born in Madrid, Fuentes La Roche previously worked at Canning House in London, which promotes cultural understanding between the Latin American region and the UK. She served as director of national events at Arts and Business for five years.

She has a bachelor’s degree in business and administration from Autónoma University of Madrid, and a master’s in cultural management from Birkbeck College in London.

The 2006 Turkish winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Orhan Pamuk—just seen in the United Arab Emirates’ Shrajah International Book Fair—is the headliner of the Arequipa festival, which runs through Sunday (November 10).

For those who may be in the UK at the right moment, the 20th Hay Festival Winter Weekend is also taking registration now for November 28 to December 1 at Hay-on-Wye in Wales. More details on that program are here.

Scheduled events in the Hay schedule are:

  • Arequipa, Peru (to November 10)
  • Hay Festival Wales Winter Weekend, Wales (November 28 to December 1)
  • Hay Festival Medellín, Colombia (January 29 to 31, 2020)
  • Hay Festival Cartagena de Indias, Colombia (January 30 to February 2)
  • Hay Festival Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (February 24 to 27)
  • Hay Festival Hay-on-Wye, Wales (May 21 to 31)
  • Hay Festival Europa28, Croatia (June 3 to 5)
  • Hay Festival Querétaro, Mexico (September)

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Hay Festival and its events is here. More from us on awards is here, and more of our Industry Notes series is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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