Queen Sofia of Spain begins a three-day visit to Colombia to support various projects to improve education, health care and quality of life for the most disadvantaged groups, Spanish news agency EFE reported Monday.
Spain has declared Colombia, and Ecuador which the queen plans to visit next, to be priorities for international cooperation. The European nation aims to create travel destinations linked to international development. Colombia and Spain hope to finish a framework for bilateral cooperation by the end of the year.
The Queen of Spain was received by the First Lady of Colombia Maria Clemencia Rodriguez de Santos upon her arrival in Bogota Monday.
On Tuesday Queen Sofia will visit the workshop school Spain launched five years ago in the center of Colombia’s capital. Following a meeting with donors and Spanish officials, she will enjoy a lunch with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos before traveling to Cartagena de las Indias on Colombia’s Caribbean coast.
On Wednesday the Spanish queen will visit the Nelson Mandela neighborhood on the outskirts of the wealthy resort city of Cartagena. Sofia will visit the 70,000-person community founded 15 years ago by displaced victims of Colombia’s violent conflict, in order to observe first-hand the needs of its people and check on a Spanish-backed project to give its citizens a sewage system.
Her last stop will be to visit a training center opened by Spain in the cloister of the Santo Domingo Church in Cartagena to learn more about the various initiatives in place to include Colombia’s marginalized populations.
On Thursday the Queen of Spain will travel to Ecuador to check on Spain’s various humanitarian projects in the country before returning to Madrid on Friday.