NEW CLASSROOM OPENED IN NEIRA
Over the previous few months we’ve published various times about the Leyenda 2018 CSR classroom building project, something that was inspired by the cash donation of amateur cyclists Coqui Ramallo and Mariana Benítez from Argentina at the end of Stage 4 2018 in Neira, who were incredibly touched when thousands of school children lined the final kilometres and kept them going to the finish in the main square. Consequently, after many planning meetings and six months of construction, on Thursday 27th June, we were privileged to finally attend the inauguration of this wonderful new classroom for Colegio Pio XII, just outside the town of Neira and where the 2019 route will also pass by.
The Governor of Caldas, Guido Echeverri, and Mayor of Neira, Marino Murillo, attended to officially open the classroom, together with students, teachers and parents from Colegio Pio XII. The construction was also supported by the Alcaldía of Neira, Centro Commercial Sancancio, Herragro and Toptec and the ‘maxi aula,’ designed by Natalia Pérez Valencia, can be expanded with additional floors if necessary in future years as the school grows. However, right now, the classroom provides a dedicated space for the school’s Grade 10 and 11 students to study, as previously they had to be taught in the playground or in the cafeteria, severely affecting the quality of class time primarily and also making it much harder for children to obtain the necessary hours to graduate on time in Grade 11. As a result, the new classroom will make a substantial improvement to their education at school. General Manager of La Leyenda, Diego Velasquéz, told us,
"We've always wanted to put children at the heart of our social responsibility programme and it fills us with pride to see so many smiling faces. We hope the students enjoy their new classroom and we want to see them cheering on the Leyenda 2019 racers when they pass the school on 1st August!”
There were also speeches from the Governor, Mayor, and school representatives, and Coqui, who’s coming back to race La Leyenda 2019, even sent a video message from San Luís Argentina, saying,
“You guys (the students) kept us going that day with all your energy and support, with your screams, flags and signs, which created an unbelievable experience for all us racers. I just wanted to give something back to show our appreciation and I hope with my small gesture towards your education, the most important aspect for all young people, you can understand how much it meant to us. Thank you very much!”
This whole project has been hugely gratifying for us at La Leyenda and we hope to work on similar initiatives over the coming years with more partners and sponsors to leave a lasting legacy for the young people along our race route. One of our goals when establishing La Leyenda in 2016 was to contribute to building a better Colombia, and we’re very proud to be fulfilling our goals three years later!