TIWANAKU, Bolivia – Spain’s Queen Sofia expressed on Wednesday her admiration for the work Spanish aid workers are doing in Bolivia to help improve the lives of some 500,000 families.
On the second day of her official visit to Bolivia, the queen visited Tiwanaku, 71 kilometers (44 miles) west of La Paz, to see the archaeological work being undertaken in the ruins of the pre-Columbian city.
The queen was here 30 years ago to witness the laying of the cornerstone for the Tiwanaku museum.
The day’s agenda began at a hotel in the capital, where Sofia held a working meeting with around 30 people employed in Bolivia on behalf of Spain’s AECID foreign aid agency and various Spanish NGOs.
After receiving reports of their efforts, the queen expressed her great admiration for the aid workers’ efforts, adding, “You are doing a marvelous job, very difficult, but very fruitful.”
To see some of the results of Spanish aid, she then went to the gritty industrial city of El Alto to visit the España school, where some 2,000 students from kindergarten through high school have seen their school improved with 12 new classrooms thanks to joint financing provided by Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Denmark and the United Nations.
Queen Sofia received a warm welcome there from the teachers, parents and students, who waved little flags of both countries and upon her arrival presented her with a necklace of flowers prepared for the occasion.
The queen, who was also presented with a handcrafted figure, a poncho and a multicolored Indian handbag, responded to the display of affection with a symbolic gift for the school: a jersey of the Spanish national soccer team that two students received on behalf of the school amid the applause of the children and teachers.
From El Alto, the queen went to the central part of Bolivia’s high plateau region to support indigenous culture in the town of Tiwanaku, where she was honored at a colorful and solemn ceremony. EFE