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Costa supports Shakira's new public school project in Cartagena

With the 'brick of happiness,' from left, Luca Casaura, SVP global & strategic marketing for Costa, Shakira and Neil Palomba
Senior Costa Cruises officials and singing superstar Shakira kicked off her Fundación Pies Descalzos' (Barefoot Foundation's) latest project, building a school in Cartagena, Colombia, during an event in Barcelona.

The school is designed to provide a public quality education to disadvantaged children and serve as a community center for their families.

At the event Costa president Neil Palomba presented Shakira the first brick—called the 'brick of happiness'—for the school.

Construction is to start in 2018 when the brick arrives in Cartagena aboard a Costa ship after its journey from Barcelona. During the cruise, crew and passengers will have the chance to add their donations and messages.

Scheduled to open June 2019, the school will serve 1,300 students agest 6 to 18. Following the public quality education model of Fundación Pies Descalzos, it will incorporate nutrition and health programs and special training activities for parents and the community at large.

The center will have more than 40 classrooms and halls including a library, auditorium, dining hall, sports areas, laboratories for professional development (scientific and technological) and areas dedicated to early childhood development.

Fundación Pies Descalzos is a non-governmental organization founded by Shakira in 1997 to promote quality public education for Colombian children in vulnerable situations.

The singer serves as Costa's brand ambassador and has led its 'Happiness Squared' campaign since 2015.

Costa supports the Fundación Pies Descalzos through the Costa Crociere Foundation, whose other initiatives include Mercy Ships, disadvantaged children in the Philippines and 21 community projects in Europe.

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