After the success of the Camino de Santiago program, Julissa Reynoso (US Ambassador to Spain), who participated this year in the initiative, dedicated the following warm words to us.
“Good afternoon and thank you for being here to welcome this wonderful group of young people upon their arrival in Santiago de Compostela! First of all, I would like to congratulate you all for your dedication, endurance, and courage during the past six days, not only for walking the last 100 kilometers of the Camino de Santiago, but also for having cultivated the bonds of friendship with people who just a week ago were complete strangers to you. What a true inspiration.
I would like to thank my friend Maria Diaz de la Cebosa and her team at the International Studies Foundation for their work in organizing this beautiful program. I would also like to give special mention to the institutions whose support has made it possible: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, International Finance Bank, the Consulate General of Spain in Miami, CIS University and other sponsors.
I understand that Maria has been running this project for several years. It is wonderful to see the continued participation of these amazing students from Miami. As a New Yorker, I am glad to see that this year students from New York have also participated. And I also find it wonderful that one of the monitors, who is doing the Camino for the second time, is a displaced person from Ukraine, because this speaks volumes in terms of how Spain has opened its doors and its heart to the people of Ukraine, and is a true gesture of solidarity toward Europe and NATO partners.
Finally, I am very impressed with the students of “Go! American English”, the International Studies Foundation project that the US Embassy has supported for many years. We are helping to open doors to new opportunities for these students. I hope that you and many other young Spaniards will choose to visit, study, or participate in exchange programs in the United States in the future.
I have always wanted to walk the Camino, and to be able to do so with young people from the United States and Spaniards walking together seems like an excellent moment to make it so. The Camino is a great time to exchange impressions and ideas and a reminder of the importance of diversity and the value of building bridges between people. Thank you.”