Gustavo CisnerosOpinions

Last month in July, one of Peter Munk’s biggest dreams finally became a reality through a joint venture between Barrick and Newmont Goldcorp: the Nevada Gold Mines. Peter Munk founded the Barrick Gold Corporation and was its CEO and Chairman for several years. The Nevada Gold Mines project aims to position the state’s north as the world’s biggest gold mining complex.

As Barrick’s CEO, Mark Bristow, has said, Nevada distinguishes itself as being a very attractive region for mining investment, not just because of its geological characteristics but because of the way the state government focuses on creating responsible and safe industry bodies that really benefit communities.

Some years ago, when I would often enjoy long and productive discussions with Peter Munk, he was already talking about the potential of that area and his dream to create a land of opportunities and wellbeing for its inhabitants. Our desire to leave a positive mark on everything we did was undoubtedly something that Mark and I shared. Unfortunately, my esteemed Peter did not live long enough to see his dream become a reality, however the fact he passed on has not meant his dream did too.

Today, thanks to the leadership of what he called the mining sector’s “dream team” with Barrick’s Executive Chairman John Thornton and Mark Bristow, Nevada Gold Mines is now a reality. Together, these two mining giants are driving Barrick towards ambitious goals and huge achievements that are focused on making the gold extraction company a world leader.

Proof of this is that Nevada Gold Mines will be the world’s largest gold mining complex by far. In fact, this project is forecasted to offer production and synergies of up to US$500 million each year during the first five years. Similarly, it will provide long term benefits even beyond the useful life of the mine, employment opportunities, benefits for local communities and suppliers, which should lead to greater economic development for Nevada.

To officially share this great news, last August 7 we were fortunate to visit the project along with the Nevada State Governor, Steve Sisolak; Mark Bristow, Barrick’s CEO and the Members of the Board — Lead Director Brett Harvey, Brian Greenspun, Christopher Coleman, Andrew Quinn, and Loreto Silva, who was recently elected as Independent Director.

I would like to pause for a moment on this last point. For over 16 years I have been a member of Barrick’s Board of Directors, either as Chairman of the Corporate Governance and Nominations Committee or as a member of the International Advisory Board and today I am extremely proud of Loreto’s integration. Having a new Latin American director is very meaningful and her experience in the legal field, particularly the energy sector, and her work leading the Chilean Ministry of Public Works will definitely be of great value to Barrick.

During my time collaborating with Barrick, something I have most valued has been the opportunity to closely witness dreams becoming realities and projects improving the quality of life in communities.

I am sure I will soon be able to share the progress made at the Nevada Gold Mines with you.

CisnerosGustavo Cisneros

I’m pleased to announce that Babson College, my Alma Mater, recently honored me with a honoris causa degree in law at its centennial anniversary celebration. This recognition has not only brought me great pride and joy because the motive of the award was “for achievements in using business to serve society”, but also made me reflective of the key moments in my career.

Looking back, I believe I’ve been fortunate enough to have had most of my dreams come true throughout my career. I had the enormous privilege of leading the Cisneros group for the past 50 years, and now have the pleasure of watching my daughter, Adriana, take over the company with her unique vision and leadership.

Because my interaction with the business world has shifted, I now have more time to share my experiences with the next generation of young entrepreneurs through universities and institutions such as Endeavor. It is my goal to educate and share my ideas with entrepreneurs who will build companies that promote the development of society, transform lives, and contribute to creating increasingly prosperous and sustainable businesses in the future.

Whenever Cisneros conceives of a new business idea, helping society is one of the first variables we consider. Creating sustainable businesses also implies creating companies that are profitable and can stand the test of time, which is precisely the best advice I can give new generations: “he who is able to understand that the ultimate goal of an entrepreneur is to become a catalyst and act accordingly, is the true entrepreneur”


I recently had the opportunity to meet with business leaders, diplomats, and friends from across the world who share my love for the Dominican Republic at the “Local Relationships, Global Business” congress. The event, held in the Blue Mall’s Epic Center, was aimed at strengthening ties and promoting the creation of business opportunities.

The Dominican Republic has captivated the world with its culture, its people’s hospitality, its desire to succeed, and a host of other attributes that position the country well on its way to become a development hub.

Recognizing this, the congress focused on incentivizing intelligent investment in the Dominican Republic by betting on its comprehensive development. Event discussions centered on highlighting key initiatives to promote development in this incredible country, which I consider to be my second home, including strengthening local production, providing social and cultural support, and improving the quality of education, as well as addressing environmental issues.

I would be remiss if I failed to express my gratitude to everyone who participated in this dialogue, especially Robin S. Bernstein, United States ambassador; Alejandro Abellán, Spanish ambassador; Shauna Hemingway, Canadian ambassador; Chris Campbell, United Kingdom ambassador; Didier Lopinot, French ambassador; Donald Guerrero, Minister of Finance; Rafael Paz, Director of Competitiveness; and Maribel Villalona, Director of Planning and Projects of the Ministry of Tourism. I am sincerely grateful for your participation.



Nov. 30, I received one of the saddest pieces of news a person can get—the passing of a friend.

I will always remember George Herbert Walker Bush with joy, but, above all, with great admiration. I found in him not only a friend, but a partner who shared my dreams and visions regarding the need to create initiatives to strengthen and expand development in the region. He also believed in offering an education that would turn each young person into an agent of change, as well as in promoting prosperous—and propitious—environments for individual and collective development.

He was a statesman who, from my perspective, was one of the best presidents in the history of the United States, one who should be forever remembered for his ongoing search to improve living conditions in the region—not to mention what he did to support awareness of Latin America’s contributions to global culture.

He was a model citizen and an irreplaceable friend who broke the mold. People like him are only born once, and he will be sorely missed.



When Patty and I created the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) four decades ago with the goal of increasing global knowledge and appreciation of Latin America’s rich contributions to art, we could not have imagined all of the wonderful partnerships, milestones, and memories that would result. We are looking forward to the next chapters with great anticipation, as Patty describes in her text below. I hope you will take a moment to read her words about the exciting ventures in store for the CPPC.

I am very excited about the future of the CPPC. The collection’s mission to promote scholarship and appreciation of Latin American art hasn’t changed in the forty years since my husband Gustavo and I founded it, but as technology, circumstances, and opportunities have evolved and expanded, so have our approaches to fulfilling that mission. We have always dreamed big, but so many of the wonderful things that have happened, and are still in store—things that our daughter Adriana, President of the Fundación Cisneros, and her siblings, Carolina and Guillermo, will see unfold in their lifetimes—were unimaginable at the beginning of our journey.

Of course we haven’t accomplished our goals alone. We’ve been fortunate to have many collaborators, partners, and fellow-travelers along the way, and look forward to working with them well into the future. Other like-minded individuals and institutions have contributed much to the integration of Latin American art into the broader art discourse. The evidence of this can be seen in galleries, museums, art fairs, and auction houses across the globe. Sotheby’s, then Phillips both recently announced that due to the rising awareness of and demand for Latin American art they would no longer have separate sales for art from the region, but instead include those offerings in their contemporary and modern art catalogues.

We couldn’t have anticipated that our long-time association with MoMA would one day result in the formation of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America at that museum. Yet the Cisneros Institute is well into the planning stages, and MoMA has just announced that the Cisneros Institute’s Director will be Inés Katzenstein who will also be a Curator of Latin American Art. The Cisneros Institute will support colloquia, fellowships, publication, and scholarly conferences, with repercussions far beyond the museum’s walls.

Our website, undreamed-of in the early days, is a thought-provoking forum for art and ideas from Latin America, with new information, articles, opinions, and dispatches constantly appearing. We have a robust presence on social media, with a wide distribution of news and images concerning events and objects important to the collection and its counterparts (one of my favorites from our Instagram account may just be Orinoco Wednesdays, when objects from our collection of indigenous cultures are featured).

We continue to donate works of art from our collections—over 400 pieces from the modern, colonial, and contemporary collections in the past few years alone have been given to nine international museums and educational institutions—but have also made images of works in the CPPC available online on ArtStor. In addition, we are taking advantage of another platform unimaginable in the collection’s early days, and are preparing to donate 100 high-resolution images from our holding of works by traveler artists working in Latin America to Wikimedia Commons so that they are even more widely accessible. Stay tuned for more details!

Ever-newer technologies and platforms will no doubt appear, each with their particular opportunities. As those are invented, we look forward to considering how best to use them to showcase the richness of Latin American art and culture. In the meantime, we’re not neglecting the old tried-and-true methods; we are still developing programs, organizing exhibitions in partnership with institutions throughout the world, and publishing dispatches from those at the forefront of Latin American art and culture, both on our website and in print.

The CPPC’s five major areas of concentration—16th-19th century landscape paintings from traveler artists to Latin America; material culture from indigenous cultures in the Amazonas region; Latin American Colonial art and furniture; modernist art of Latin America, and contemporary art of the region—continue to be showcased in exhibitions and subject to scholarly research and writing.

—Current and upcoming shows include:

In addition to the exhibitions above, our current and upcoming initiatives include:

—Our on-going and groundbreaking Seminario Fundación Cisneros will enjoy its seventh annual iteration, Disrupciones–Dilemas de la imagen en la contemporaneidad [Disruptions—Dilemmas regarding the image in contemporaneity], in Caracas this coming March, 2018.

—The next title in our bilingual Conversaciones/Conversations book series will be Alfredo Jaar in conversation with Luis Enrique Pérez-Oramas, with other titles in production.

—As mentioned above, the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America at MoMA is being planned. It will be located on MoMA’s midtown campus, and MoMA will soon be announcing the Institute’s Director, who will lead the way in generating colloquia, fellowships, publication and scholarly conferences.

Through these and other means—some in such early stages of planning that we can’t yet share them, and others yet to be imagined—the CPPC will continue to build bridges, not walls, as we enter a new decade of fulfilling our mission of advocacy for the art of Latin America.  We have come a long way, but we have much more to do!

Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

CisnerosLatin AmericaVenezuela

After the death of my father, Diego Cisneros, I felt the need to follow through with his wish to learn the full story of our family. Thus, a group of well-known researchers and I began the lengthy process, which concluded with the publication of a book entitled Los Cisneros. Rostros y Rastros de una Familia (1570-2015) (The Cisneros: The Faces and Traces of a Family (1570-2015)).

One of the stories that came up during this process—one that made the family particularly proud—is that of my aunt, Mother Carmen Elena Rendiles Martinez. She founded the Servants of Jesus Congregation in Venezuela and devoted herself to making the living Jesus known through Eucharist, prayer and education. In recognition of this, she was given the title “Venerable” by His Holiness Pope Francis on July 2013.

The family is once again deeply proud and overjoyed, because we have been informed that the Supreme Pontiff has approved the beatification of Mother Carmen, who will become the third Blessed in the history of the Catholic Church in Venezuela, and the first from Caracas.

Mother Carmen was the third daughter of Ramiro Rendiles and Ana Antonia Martinez, and though she was born without her left arm, that never stopped her from reaching for her goals and helping her neighbors.

As a young woman she was inspired to choose a religious life, and Feb. 25, 1927, she was admitted into the Congregation of Servants of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In 1946, she was named mother superior of the whole order in Venezuela.

Later, disagreements with the French sisters, who wanted to turn the congregation into a secular institute, led to a separation, and Mother Carmen created a new religious congregation Nov. 23, 1965—the Servants of Jesus.

The work she did with the Servants of Jesus showed her dedication, humbleness, love for her neighbors and faith, every day. Her work encompassed several cities and regions in Venezuela, including Caracas, Miranda, Valencia, Margarita, San Cristobal and Merida, as well as other countries, like San Jose de Cucuta and Bogota in Colombia and Quito in Ecuador.

Thanks to her work, in 1995 the diocesan phase of the Cause for Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God Mother Carmen began, as her reputation for saintliness following her death was more than evident.

After Mother Carmen was decreed Venerable in 2013, an ecclesiastical tribunal was established in Caracas to study the alleged miracle attributed to her intercession. The case was that of a surgeon who lost all movement in her left arm as the result of a powerful electric shock, which no longer let her perform surgery. But, as the result of her prayers and the intercession of Mother Carmen, she recovered instantaneously.

In 2015, the Roman stage of the miracle began. Once the canonical requirements had been complied with and the case successfully passed the scientific commission, the theological commission and the General Meeting of Cardinals attributed the cure of Trinete Duran’s arm to no natural explanation.

For our family, the canonization of Aunt Carmen reminds us that we must help our neighbors and continue to pursue our vocation of improving education and well-being in the communities in our region, encouraging us to further honor her work as much as possible through our actions.

EmprendimientoGustavo CisnerosSpeeches

It is always a pleasure for me to talk to the youth of the region, who, with their ideas and innovative mind-set are giving new momentum to Latin America economy.  But it is even more fulfilling to be able to do it next to my daughter Adriana and in Miami.

In fact, I recently participated with Adriana in the conference “Entrepreneurship, Vision and Growth in Latin America” during e-Merge Americas, a space created to discuss about new trends in technology and startups.

With Aryeh Bourkoff, a great businessman and friend, as moderator during the conference, we were able to share with the participants the challenges we have faced for more than eight decades in Cisneros, our long-term vision as a company and how we have evolved throughout time – the beginning, along my father, the stage of internationalization, which was one of my priorities, and the new dimension of the company Adriana is aiming at for the next decades. Her previous role as Strategy Director and now as CEO has been pivotal to direct Cisneros towards innovation, at the forefront of technology and market diversification.

A great example of that is the transition we have made to social media, which today, through Cisneros Interactive, has become key for our business, as well as for our focus on Latin America. Aryeh asked us about it and our answer is that in Cisneros we are convinced of the need to continue betting and investing in Latin America, we are really optimistic about the future of the region and every day we see great examples of this potential – (just see how fast Brazilian companies have kept growing)

I am very excited to be part of this kind of events, to be close to young entrepreneurs and to contribute in any way so that they keep working to develop Latin companies in the United States. Latinos today have much to contribute not only in the technological field, but also in a wide range of fields that can foster job creation, generation of wealth and social wellbeing.

Gustavo CisnerosOpinions

I was recently informed about the passing away of my good friend, Jerry Perenchio, a successful and clever businessman who held innovative vision. I immediately began remembering with nostalgia the nice moments I spent with him and the challenges we faced to fulfill the dream to introduce ourselves in the Hispanic market of the US with a television channel that offered programs completely in Spanish. The idea was to create content that could completely satisfy the Hispanics’ need for information and entertainment, an emerging sector of the society, which at that time was not giving yet indications of becoming the first important minority of the country.

How could I forget the great adventure we began in 1992, Jerry Perenchio, Emilio Azcárraga (Milmo) and myself, with the purchase of Univision? At that moment, the project was a challenge of its own and few believed in it. Nevertheless, we kept moving on with great determination, convinced that the Hispanic market could turn into something much more forceful.

I recognize it was a risky purchase but together we created a new way to produce TV for Hispanics; a broadcasting chain with suitable contents for this great community that was rapidly growing; content which allowed them to remain connected with their origins and, at the same time create a sense of community and belonging to the U.S.

We bet and we won with Univision, which promptly turned  into a strong communicational force and a benchmark in the U.S broadcasting industry. It became a successful venture which peaked with the sale of the channel in $12 billion dollars in 2007, getting a place in history as one of the most successful moves in the history of television.

I always admired Jerry`s business vision, his knowledge of the media, the way he encouraged us to dream, and his philanthropy, which took him to make actions of great generosity being anonymous most of the times.

Thanks for the moments we shared, Jerry, we will always remember you!


I was pleased to receive an honorary doctorate in Humanities from the University of Miami, and to join the graduates of the Class of 2017, from the School of Business Administration and the College of Engineering.

I was humbled by the opportunity to address the students at their graduation ceremony and share some personal and professional experiences with them. It fills me with joy and pride to think that the lessons I learned over the past five decades can help inspire the next generation to work hard and create ideas and initiatives to benefit others.

Thanks to technology, I can also share these insights with you today.

My message was to keep an open mind and a positive attitude, to learn to make mistakes and see each mistake as a learning opportunity, to understand that you can make an impact on the world in many ways, but it is essential to challenge assumptions, take on professional challenges, and always seek to offer fresh ideas and hard work. I was thinking about my audience when I offered this advice, but it was based both on my own experiences and on what I think they will encounter as they step out into this ever-evolving world.

I was proud and grateful to receive this recognition from the university of one of my most beloved cities: Miami; but I was even more honored by the responsibility to share a message to hundreds of people, and now to you, regarding the value of education as a tool to fight poverty and promote social change.

Our futures are intertwined, and this is why we should always question what we can offer the world and how we can make a difference.

I’d like to once again express my deepest gratitude to the University of Miami for this amazing opportunity to share such a special moment with the next generation of graduates.

View complete speech in English

View photos from the event

CSRLatin America

The progressive increase in tourism across multiple areas around the world has become evident during the past few years. Something that might have been an unusual practice about 40 or 50 years ago is nowadays, particularly with the development of technology and communications, an everyday event. This is probably why Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that “tourism has become a powerful transformative force improving millions of lives”. This statement is backed by the World Tourism Organization, which states the international demand in this sector has maintained sustained growth for seven years, Asia-Pacific is ahead in this growth with 8%, followed by Africa with the same 8% increase, greater than America and Europe, and with an encouraging 4% growth in the Caribbean region.

The economic significance acquired by this activity in Latin American countries, and around the world, has scaled up to represent 10% of the global GDP, while one in eleven jobs are in the tourism sector. However, it remains unclear if companies, workers and tourists understand the challenges to overcome in order to turn tourism into a positive practice for everyone and our planet. This is probably why the United Nations declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. But what does sustainable tourism mean? According to the United Nations, sustainable tourism requires successful management not only from the wealth generation perspective, but also from social inclusion, employment and poverty reduction, effective use of resources and environmental protection, as well as the promotion of cultural values in every region; diversity and heritage, and the promotion of a culture of peace and safety.

In this context, where 2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, our selection last month as one of the recipients of the UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism gives me great pride, and it confirms our commitment show through Fundación Tropicalia, through which we include micro and small enterprises in the supply chain for our undertaking in the Dominican Republic: Tropicalia.

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Fundación Tropicalia was created in 2008 to design and implement programs for the Tropicalia project’s neighboring communities in the areas of education, environment, productivity, and wellbeing and culture.

Ever since we devised the Tropicalia project over a decade ago, we did it believing that it is possible to promote this activity with environmental responsibility, promoting the wellbeing of our workers, and being in harmony with communities surrounding the tourism project. In the link below you can read the review of the project undertaken by Fundación Tropicalia and the touching experience of the awards ceremony.

It’s up to every one of us to raise greater awareness and improve practices, from the tourist, entrepreneur, and worker perspectives. We must go beyond the physical and territorial aspects in tourism, transforming it into a more pleasurable and positive comprehensive activity for all stakeholders, with greater understanding of every new environment we set out to explore.