SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

European RoyalsSpain

Queen Letizia puts spotlight on Spain’s relations with important South American partner

Queen Letizia of Spain has made a visit to Guatemala to spotlight relations between the two countries.. 

Queen Letizia arrived at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, where she was welcomed by the Guatemalan Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Spanish Ambassador in Guatemala, among other authorities. 

The first activity of the trip was carried out in the morning of Wednesday, 5th June , when Queen Letizia met with Guatemalan First Lady Lucrecia Peinado at the National Palace of Culture. After a working breakfast, the two women held a meeting about the challenges of tacking mental health issues in the country, including in places such as schools, through specific education programmes, and the workplace. 

Afterwards, the Queen of Spain and the First Lady went for a walk in Guatemala City’s Centennial Park, which is the object of renovation works carried out in collaboration with Cooperación Española (also known as AECID, Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo, or Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development in English). 

AECID has been collaborating with Guatemala City’s Municipality since 1998 to promote renovation projects that focus on accessibility and security, all the while maintaining the historic characteristics of the areas and aid the settling of new inhabitants. 

The next stop was the Spanish Cultural Centre in Guatemala City, where Queen Letizia listened to the projects that AECID carried out since 2021, and those that will be carried out in the future. As of 2023, a Royal Decree established that all Spanish Cultural Centres around the world are part of Cooperación Española, with the aim of showcasing Spanish culture both as a projection of the country’s values and as a tool of development, as well as implementing projects for cultural cooperation between Spain and the host country. 

As the last activity of the day, Queen Letizia, accompanied by AECID authorities, visited Escuela Taller Norte, an educational institution that aims to give students and young people the tools to start working, in order to better their life conditions, as most of them come from disadvantaged and insecure backgrounds. The tools they gain from their studies offer them the opportunity to find a more stable job, while also improving the general conditions of the area of Guatemala City in which the school is located.

Thursday, 6th June started bright an early with a move to San José Chacayá, where Cooperación Española has many projects. Amongst them, Queen Letizia visited a project giving classes on water safety precautions and sanitation procedures, with the aim of reducing the incidence of waterborne diseases. She also listened as experts held talks on possible solutions to implement in order to fight the systemic malnutrition that still grips parts of the population. 

It was then time for the most harrowing side of the trip, as the Spanish Queen first visited the colonial church, where she met with a group of indigenous women undergoing a programme for female empowerment and political participation, as well as meet a group of them teaching women how to be financially independent, in the hopes of giving them more opportunities to escape domestic violence. 

Queen Letizia then met with survivors of female violence in the Chimaltenango district; she sat in a roundtable discussion on how to improve their autonomy in sectors like finance, rights, and business management. 

The last stop of the trip was AECID’s La Antigua Guatemala Training Centre, where the Spanish and Guatemalan Governments can get together to exchange informations about the broadest spectrum of topics. Queen Letizia sat in a meeting focussed on possible strategies to take interventions for Non-Traditional Origin Kidney Diseases. 

Throughout the whole trip, Queen Letizia was dressed quite casually, and often sported the red vest that has become an icon of her cooperation trips. Since King Felipe’s proclamation in 2014, this has been her 9th trip of this kind. They started in 2015 with a visit to Honduras and El Salvador, followed by Senegal in 2017, Haiti and the Dominican Republic in 2018, Mozambique in 2019, Honduras again in 2020, Paraguay in 2021, Mauritania in 2022 and Colombia in 2023. 

Her casual outfits paired well with the sneakers she has been wearing for the past few weeks, following a domestic accident that resulted in a broken toe. Despite the accident occurring more than a month ago, the Queen was seen quite visibly limping as she was descending the plane in Guatemala City, with many journalists worrying about her being able to complete her agenda. As far as the public is aware, the Queen was able to carry out all the engagements she had scheduled – an encouraging sign indicating that she is on the rod to a full recovery.