At the suggestion of His Majesty the King of Spain, Miguel de la Quadra-Salcedo in 1979 created the program with the aim of forging bonds between young people aged 16 and 17 in all Spanish-speaking countries, as well as Brazil and Portugal.
Ruta Quetzal BBVA is an "initiatory,” “enlightened" and “scientific” program in which culture and adventure come together. Thanks to this program, in the past 22 years nearly 8,000 young people from Europe, the Americas and countries such as Morocco, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines and China have had the opportunity to discover the human, geographic and historical dimensions of other cultures.
Cultures such as those of the Mediterranean or pre-Colombian civilizations, very distant from each other in geographic terms and in their approach to life, but which, at the same time, are merged in a fruitful mix which even today decisively shapes our world.
But the Ruta Quetzal BBVA is above all a
formative experience in which participants, in
addition to gaining knowledge, develop a spirit
of international cooperation, with the aim of
creating a new and more genuine set of values
going beyond wealth and poverty.
After a rigorous selection process, expedition members are chosen from the best students in each country. In Spain, participants must meet a series of requirements, which are listed in the Competition Rules for the annual contest. In other countries, education ministries and Spanish embassies, through their cultural and educational departments, manage the selection of expedition members.
Many countries have legally registered groups, with
members of previous expeditions holding annual
conferences and meetings featuring debates on
current events that affect the Ibero-American
Former students of this cultural program meet at these events, where attendees include everyone from diplomats to indigenous community leaders, as in the case of Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, etc.
BBVA is a global group with a presence in 31 countries. It offers a broad range of financial and non-financial services intended to improve people’s quality of life and that of the societies where the bank operates. BBVA has a leadership position in Spain and Latin America and a growing presence in the US and Asia. It employs 112,000 people at its 8,000 branches and has more than 47 million customers worldwide.
BBVA's Corporate Responsibility policy focuses primarily on culture, the environment, science, social action and, above all, education. In line with its motto, we work for a better future for everyone, the bank is committed to a model based on principles, innovation and people.
Ruta Quetzal BBVA cultural program has been deemed to be of “Universal Interest” by Unesco since 1990, and has carried out a range of activities in recent years. At the same time, the governments of the countries involved in the expeditions have declared it to be of "National Interest.”
Ruta Quetzal BBVA is a program under the auspices of Spain’s Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Ibero-America at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
In addition, it is backed by the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), and would not have been possible without the close cooperation of many Spanish and Ibero-American institutions and agencies, nor without BBVA's sponsorship.
We would like to highlight the excellent
support from the Canal de Isabel II in
Madrid, which has backed this program over
the years, and the Castilla-La Mancha and
Castilla y León regional governments, which,
with their support, make it possible for
young people from Europe and the Americas to
get to know eachother through this important
The academic study program provided during expeditions is coordinated by the Madrid Complutense University in conjunction with universities in the Ibero-American countries that host each expedition.
The sports program, coordinated by the National Sports Council, has allowed young participants on the expedition to practice a range of sports taught by Olympic athletes.
The Royal Spanish Mint has supported the Ruta Quetzal BBVA since 1990 by producing commemorative coins which are presented to the different people and institutions visited by young expedition members. It has minted more than 80 different coins.
We would also like to highlight the Panamá Jack company, which has worked with our expeditions every year since 1989, and the Hispasat company, which provides support in the area of new technologies.
Thanks to the latter, the literary world and the news media are present on the Ruta Quetzal BBVA, a journey of learning in which members deepen their historic knowledge and relive the period of great geographic discoveries.