Despite having economic challenges of its own, Venezuela remains committed to the overwhelming demand for Spanish classes in Barbados and will continue to offer those classes for free.
During the orientation ceremony for the first quarter of 2019, officials revealed that 90 new students would be enrolled in the cultural exchange programme, but added the demand was much greater.
Head of the Diplomatic Mission in Barbados, Alvaro Sanchez Cordero, revealed that the institute had hopes of increasing the programme to meet the growing demand, but was limited by economic constraints. In fact, due to Venezuela’s economic crisis, the country had to redouble efforts to keep important programmes alive, like the ones offered in Barbados.
“There may be retrenchment in certain areas of our diplomacy but normally any scheme or project that has to do with people, fostering education, bringing people together . . . has to be an absolute priority. Based on that, we anticipate that we will not have to cut it down,” he said.
Cordero indicated that the embassy was particularly committed to helping Barbadians acquire a foreign language. He added that it would significantly improve their chances of success in life.
“One in 16 people in the world speak Spanish, so by learning Spanish, you will be able to reach a lot of people in the world. That means you will have a lot more opportunities in relation to business, work, travel and other things,” said Cordero.
The classes will also give Venezuela and Barbados a much better understanding of each other’s cultures and bring the two countries – which are only 500 kilometres apart – closer together. As such, Alvaro renewed his commitment to the development of close ties “in spite of the fact that we are really facing major international obstacles to accomplish this.”
He said over the last 42 years, 10,000 Barbadians had benefited from the classes offered by the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation and said the Institute was committed to providing the same to thousands more.