PORT-AU-PRINCE – Spain’s Queen Letizia visited on Wednesday a religious school that receives support from Spanish foreign aid located in Cite Soleil, considered to be Haiti’s poorest shantytown.
Accompanied by Haitian first lady Martine Moise, Letizia visited the Sainte Louise de Marillac school, which is run by the Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.
The school is located in the sprawling slum of Cite Soleil, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, where thousands of people live in overcrowded, squalid and destitute conditions.
Just as Queen Sofia had done in 2009, Letizia wanted to visit the “Oasis of Cite Soleil,” as she described the school run by Pilar Pascual, a Spanish nun who has lived in Haiti for 38 years, nearly half her life, helping those that have nearly nothing to their name.
When the Queen arrived at the school, she was greeted by a sign reading “Welcome, Queen Letizia.”
One of the nuns accompanied the queen and the first lady on a tour of the school, where close to one thousand children aged 3-12 receive a free education.
The school also has a health clinic, where some 250 mothers and their babies are attended each day to receive prenatal care and vaccines.
Letizia talked to several of the women and warmly embraced several children.
The queen also visited the dining hall, where mothers are provided nutrition advice, as well as the school’s courtyard, where a group of 25 children, dressed in school uniforms, dedicated a song in Spanish to her.
The culmination of her visit was a show performed by the children, who then handed the queen a Haitian flag, a bouquet of flowers and a table linen with embroidered palm trees.