Instituto Cervantes is a worldwide non-profit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991. It is named after Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616), the author of Don Quixote and perhaps the most important figure in the history of Spanish literature. The Cervantes Institute, a government agency, was modeled on the British Council and the German Goethe Institute, and is the largest organization in the world responsible for promoting the study and the teaching of Spanish language and culture.
This organization has branched out in over 20 different countries with 54 centres devoted to the Spanish and Hispanic American culture and Spanish Language. Article 3 of Law 7/1991, created by the Instituto Cervantes on March 21, explains that the ultimate goals of the Institute are to promote the education, the study and the use of Spanish universally as a second language, to support the methods and activities that would help the process of Spanish language education, and to contribute to the advancement of the Spanish and Hispanic American cultures throughout non-Spanish-speaking countries.