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Seventeen-year-old Immaculate Conception High School sixth form student, Charissa Stewart, is scheduled to leave the island on June 18 for Mexico, where she will participate in the six-week Ruta Quetzal adventure tour in that country and Spain.
Charissa, who will be Jamaica’s lone representative, will join over 300 other teenage participants from some 40 countries for the event, organised by Spain’s King Juan Carlos, and government.
This year’s renewal is being jointly sponsored by Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and one of the European nation’s major banks, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)

Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Jesus de Silva (right), congratulates sixth form student at the Immaculate Conception High School in St. Andrew, Charissa Stewart, on being selected as Jamaica’s representative to the Ruta Quetzal student cultural exchange and adventure tour, organized by the Spanish government. This entails trips to, and adventure tours in Mexico and Spain between June 13 and 30. Charissa, who will join some 300 other students from over 15 countries around the world, was presented with her travel package by Mr. de Silva, during the formal announcement of her selection, at the Spanish Embassy’s New Kingston offices, today (June 10).

The Ruta Quetzal was named in honour of Spanish explorer, Christopher Columbus’ voyages, ruta, and Mexico’s magnificent bird, the quetzal, worshipped by their Aztec and Maya Indian tribes as the god of air. The tour recreates the adventures of times past, when groups went on journeys of discovery to distant lands.
Participants will, this year, spend the first three weeks of their tour in Mexico and, thereafter, make the trans-Atlantic journey to Spain, where they will be hosted by King Juan Carlos for the remainder of the event. They will participate in a range of cultural, sporting and academic activities
Charissa was presented with her travel package by Spain’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Jesus de Silva, during a brief ceremony at the Spanish Embassy, St. Lucia Avenue, New Kingston, on June 10. She is scheduled to return to the island on July 31.
Since the Ruta Quetzal’s inception in 1979, more than 10,000 students from over 40 countries have participated in the adventure tour.