Manta is the second largest port in Ecuador, in addition to being one of the country’s biggest cities. It is in the heart of the Manabí province, famous for its main economic activity: tuna fishing. “The port of Manta is Logos Hope’s first port in her journey to South America,” Captain Jon Helmsdal (Faroe Islands) announced at the ship’s official opening ceremony in the port.
After director Pil-Hun Park (South Korea) welcomed the special guests on board Logos Hope, the mayor of Manta, Jorge Zambrano, welcomed the ship and her crewmembers to his city. Mayor Zambrado told the audience, “I heard an economic analyst explain why Chile is the most financially developed country in South America. He explained that Chile tackled its problems by approaching the children’s malnourishment. When children are properly fed, their intellect will be more developed.”
“With your arrival, children [here in Ecuador] who are better fed acquire opportunities to access knowledge. Your visit is important because of the knowledge, the hope and the opportunity our community has to interact with the crewmembers who are from different parts of the world and cultures. Thank you for considering visiting our city, and for bringing the world’s largest floating library.”
The governor of the Manabí province, Governor Xavier Santos, also gave a speech welcoming Logos Hope. “We are very excited to receive you here. We are like children in a toy store!” he said with a smile. “We have a lot in common with your floating library. In the people you meet here, you will find the people of eternal hope. We feel grateful that you can contribute to giving us more hope. We congratulate you for being here and choosing Manta as your first place to visit in our country.”
As an expression of gratitude to the guests of honour, Pil-Hun presented them with gifts from the ship. He received a cultural artefact in return from the Mayor of Manta: a sculpture of the throne ancient kings used to sit on; something which the mayor explained is only given to important visitors. Mayor Zambrano also gifted a book, containing 96 stories from 96 towns affected by the earthquake that struck the country in 2016.
After the ribbon cutting to officially open the bookfair, Logos Hope’s leadership had the opportunity to give the mayor a tour of the Visitor Experience Deck.