An alleyway at Elephant & Castle has been renamed in honour of the Ecuadorian scientist Pedro Vicente Maldonado.
"It's my great pleasure to be here today to unveil this plaque for a great man," said Mayor of Southwark Cllr Charlie Smith who performed the ceremony to mark the renaming of Eagle Yard as Maldonado Walk.
Pedro Vicente Maldonado – born in the city of Riobamba – was a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, topographer, and geographer who died unexpectedly in London in August 1748.
He is buried at the church of St James's Piccadilly where a plaque in his honour was unveiled in 1983.
Members of the Cruz family from Riobamba approached Cllr Maria Linforth-Hall – herself of Ecuadorian origin – and together then went to see the then Mayor of Southwark Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle to explore the idea of commemorating Maldonado somewhere in Southwark, home to one of London's largest Latin American communities.
Dr Israel Cruz, a member of Ecuador's national assembly, and his son Juan Pablo Cruz, a councillor in the city of Riobamba, attended the ceremony on Saturday morning.
Dr Cruz told the assembled guests that Southwark's decision to name a street after Pedro Vicente Maldonado would be a source of pride not just for Ecuadorians, but for Latin Americans all the way from Mexico to Patagonia.
Ecuadorean dancing at Elephant & Castle to celebrate renaming of Eagle Yard as Maldonado Walk pic.twitter.com/QnFmv4K1n2— London SE1 Community Website (@se1) February 10, 2018