MEXICO CITY – Spain’s Queen Letizia visited the Mexican Red Cross this Monday and expressed her admiration for the way the government, civil organizations and citizens all worked together to help those harmed by last September’s earthquakes, which left 471 dead in this Latin American country.
“It was a gesture of solidarity... very important. She came to tell us ‘Here I am, I’m with you and we’re sad about what happened, but admire the work you’ve done,’” the national president of the Mexican Red Cross, Fernando Suinaga, told the media.
After the event, Suinaga said the queen was “very pleased” with her visit to the national headquarters of the organization and noted how the federal, state and local governments and civil society all joined forces to deal with the disastrous effects of the temblors.
“What makes us happiest of all is her recognition of the Red Cross and of the work done by our more than 43,500 volunteers,” he said.
Right on time, the queen, clad in a discreet jacket-and-pants outfit, arrived at 10:30 am and greeted the press at the Mexican Red Cross installations.
Accompanied by Spanish Health Minister Dolores Montserrat, Mexican Health Secretary Jose Narro, national emergency services coordinator Luis Felipe Puente, and the Spanish ambassador to Mexico, Luis Fernandez-Cid, she made a brief tour of the area where food supplies and cases of basic products were being prepared for the homeless and those otherwise affected by the quakes.
On this assembly line, against a backdrop of hundreds of boxes bearing the Red Cross emblem, some 15 volunteers of the organization explained their process for preparing, packing and distributing these supplies.
The meeting with the Red Cross, which came as part of a three-day visit to Mexico to take part in the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit (UICC), also provided an anecdote.
Before entering the organization’s headquarters, Queen Letizia greeted a dozen children of the Mexican Red Cross Youth.
Overcome with excitement, Azul, Romina and Carolina told EFE that, though they didn’t know the queen of Spain, they “loved” talking a few seconds with her, because she was so very, very nice and agreeable.