Miguel de la Quadra-Salcedo had a close relationship with the Novia Salcedo Foundation in the latter years of his life. Although his death is a fact of life, it is nevertheless a great loss for all given his strong commitment to promoting values, such as ethics, social responsibility and tolerance among young people. His international cooperation work and the promotion of multiculturalism were also outstanding achievements.
In 2012, our foundation presented him with an award for opening up new horizons for young people from different classes and cultures by promoting the values of respect, entrepreneurship, leadership and social commitment.
However, his reputation reaches further afield and, aware of this, we visited him at his home in 2012 to propose an old Latin American ideal, thanks to which young people would be able to gain their first experience through a mobility programme of professional internships. There, surrounded by ancient maps, stories of Spanish expeditions that crossed the Atlantic centuries ago, we tried to devise a plan proposed by the NSF in which young people would have the chance of a position in Latin America where they could grow as people and professionals.
This reporter, adventurer and athlete had a life full of anecdotes that resulted from his travels around the world and from witnessing the events that took place in the second half of the twentieth century; from the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Vietnam and Latin America. It is precisely in Latin America where his achievements will never be forgotten for various reasons.
The Quetzal Route has taken more than 9,000 young people to Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries since 1992, enabling them to meet other cultures and learn from their diversity. This is without doubt one of his most widely acknowledged achievements which, in his own words, provided young people with the chance to discover themselves.
This walking knowledge base defined himself as being from the Basque Country and Navarre due to his childhood. He often said that the key reason why Basque people had been so successful in the New World was because rather than seeing the sea as a barrier, they saw it as a means for communicating with other places.
He agreed with that view. However, although that first voyage did not reach the goals expected and had to reduce sail, this highly respected figure in Latin America and Spain has not been forgotten by the NSF. Now, perhaps in light of the coming grants in the mind of the General Secretary for Latin America, it would be an excellent opportunity to reconsider this initiative that, at least for us, will always bear his name