Three talented Puerto Rican students will have the opportunity to live a once-in-a-lifetime experience as part of this year’s Ruta Quetzal BBVA cultural program, which will take them to Colombia and Spain this summer, BBVA President Rafael Varela announced Tuesday.
Angelisse González, Ashley Forde and Camille Rullán submitted the winning proposals for this year’s competition, and will join another 220 students from 54 countries to embark on the route that begins in Colombia and wraps up across the Atlantic.
“This is the twelfth time we send a delegation from Puerto Rico and we’re extremely proud of the students who have represented the island in this great expedition that will cross the lands of Colombia and Spain during the months of June and July,” Varela said during a news conference at BBVA’s Hato Rey headquarters.
This will be the 27th edition of the international expedition that will follow the path traced by José Celestino Mutis, who promoted the Royal Botanical Expedition of the New Kingdom of Granada, developed between 1783 and 1816, and led to advances in mining and significant progress in understanding the Colombian flora and fauna.
Upon arriving in Spain, the students will be received by the country’s King Juan Carlos and Lady Sofía in Madrid. The group will subsequently move to Cadiz, then hop on a Spanish navy ship bound for the Canary Islands, and return to Madrid for the closing ceremony.
“At BBVA we firmly believe that education is a key factor to achieve a better future. We’re pleased that more than 48 students from public and private schools submitted their literary works for consideration by the Consulate and our group in Spain,” said Varela, who was flanked by the Consul of Spain in Puerto Rico, Eduardo Garrigues.