Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos nominated 200 foreign students travelling as part of a cultural exchange to be ambassadors of the country.
“From this moment on, all of you are appointed to be ambassadors of Colombia to the world,” Santos told the students when they visited Colombia’s presidential palace, the Casa de Nariño.
The young travellers are part of multinational Spanish banking group BBVA’s Ruta Quetzal program that promotes cultural exchange between Spanish and Portuguese-speaking youth from Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia.
The president thanked them for getting to know Colombia, its people and culture. He hopes that the participants will carry a little bit of Colombia in their hearts for the rest of their lives.
“Colombia is a country of great diversity – the Coffee regions, the mountains, the deserts, valleys and forests. All this beautiful diversity has made Colombia what we are, a powerful and optimistic people that confronts difficulties with character,” said Santos.
According to student testimonies on the website of Ruta Quetzal, the participants enjoyed their visit to Colombia, describing it as “a wonderful country of contrasts and exotic rhythms … that has welcomed [them] from the first minute.”