Colombian singer Shakira will be in Barranquilla on Saturday, September 16th. On that day, she will inaugurate the Nuevo Bosque school, in collaboration with Mayor Jaime Pumarejo, which was funded by the city and Shakira’s Pies Descalzos Foundation.
“Barranquilla’s Mayor Jaime Pumarejo and local artist Shakira, representing the Pies Descalzos Foundation, will inaugurate and hand over the new infrastructure for the benefit of the educational community in El Bosque,” announced Bibiana Rincón, Barranquilla’s Secretary of Education.
The educational institution is located in the southwest part of the Atlántico capital, one of the most depressed, vulnerable, and violence-affected areas due to the presence of gangs and criminal bands. Construction of the school began in August 2019 and faced significant delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new mega-school
The educational center being launched this Saturday replaces the old Colegio El Bosque and covers an area of 6,072 square meters. It will have a total of 22 regular classrooms, 4 preschool classrooms, 2 laboratories, 1 art room, 1 technology room, and 1 multipurpose room. Additionally, it includes a cafeteria and kitchen, administrative area, 3 sports courts, and a bathroom block.
The school, which places a strong emphasis on bilingual education, will educate around 1,200 students and employ nearly 200 professionals in various roles, including teachers and other education professionals, administrative staff, caretakers, kitchen staff, and cleaning personnel, among others. The project has cost 16.1 billion Colombian pesos, with the Barranquilla City Council covering 10.5 billion, and 5.7 billion contributed by Shakira’s Pies Descalzos Foundation.
Among the donors making this project a reality are also the FC Barcelona Foundation and the La Caixa Foundation, the latter being part of the Spanish banking sector. Representatives from both entities will participate in the inaugural events alongside Barranquilla’s mayor and the Colombian artist.
Shakira in Barranquilla with her family
Following her commitments related to the inauguration of the new school, Shakira will spend some days with her family in her hometown. Shakira’s parents, William Mebarak and Nidia Ripoll, are based in Barranquilla, where her father is recovering from a complex head surgery he underwent last June.
William Mebarak, aged 92, had a specific procedure involving the placement of a Hakim valve, which is used to treat hydrocephalus by draining cerebrospinal fluid to maintain normal pressure in the brain.