Pilar Méndez Jiménez *
All of us were touched by luck when Diego Cortizas del Valle, co-founder of Chula with his spouse Laura Fontán Pardo, crossed our path in life. We remain astonished by the human warmth that his art and personality irradiated.
A relentless entrepreneur, his example united cultures, communities and people, sewing suits, áo dài or friendships with an unbreakable thread made of honest and sincere affection that gave meaning to the lives of those whose voices couldn´t be heard.
No realm of the arts was unattainable to Diego, no human being was left untouched by his kindness. Vietnamese, Spaniards, Latin Americans, Europeans, citizens from the world, we all met at one point some morning, afternoon or evening in Chula, that magic place he turned into the Embassy of Friendship in Hà Nội.
Diego receiving the Official Cross of the Order of Civil Merit on November 30, 2020 at the Spanish Residence in Hà Nội.— Courtesy Photo of the embassy
His love for Laura, Carmen, Pablo and Yago was wrapped with the passion the whole family felt for Vietnam, for its people and its culture. The affection that his family receives today is multiplied by all of us, around the world, who remember him and his legacy. In Spain, there is a saying that goes: we do not belong to the country where we are born, but to the country where we give birth to our children. Diego and Laura took this piece of popular wisdom to its utmost expression, while kindly designing for our Embassy a logo under the motto “España te quiero, Tôi yêu Tây Ban Nha”.
Logo designed by Diego for the Embassy of Spain. — Courtesy Photo of the embassy
Time does not exist for geniuses who, like Diego, will accompany us forever through his artwork. In the case of Diego, his gentle wit will always whisper songs of eternal joy to our hearts. All of us in the big Chula family in Việt Nam have found in you, Diego, the closest example of humanity and art, of solidarity and determination. Always the right word pronounced from the purest of hearts. The wittiest of humans. The most human of geniuses. Spain loves you, Diego. VNS
* Ambassador of Spain to Việt Nam