The full name of this study and adventure travel is Ruta Quetzal BBVA, or formerly Ruta Quetzal Argentaria.
In 1979, Miguel de la Quadra-Salcedo, Quetzal Route currently director since the beginning of the Ruta (as it's called by the routers), proposed to the king Juan Carlos I of Spain his idea to form a trip for teenagers from Spain, Latin America and other countries of Asia and Europe, one which would promote intercultural exchange between the youth of Spanish speaking countries, as well as youngsters from more than 50 countries. Half of the students come from the Iberian peninsula, around a quarter from Latin America, and the remainder from Europe and Asia. That same year, the expeditions began.
The expeditions are led by Miguel de la Quadra-Salcedo. Currently, the camp leader is Jesús Luna.
Each year, youths from more and more countries become eligible to participate. In 2008, 360 students from 56 countries participated, including the 2 newest countries China and Bulgaria.
Many different routes have been travelled through the years. Usually, the students chosen to take the trip are among the best in Spain, Portugal, and many of the countries that form Latin America. The selection process usually consists of an invitation to submit an original piece of historical, literary, artistic or musical work covering one of several pre-designated topics, followed by an interview.
1997 the Ruta Quetzal went to Spain and Mexico.
During the 2002 expedition the Ruta Quetzal was in Panama, Costa Rica and Spain.