When my father, Jesus Polanco, with his partner and friend Pancho Pérez González, thought to create a foundation, not only had the idea to give the name of Santillana and locate its headquarters in the villa in cantabria by this name, but that should have projection and american presence. And that was wrong, and happily so it came to pass, because a person committed to the same goals and values that the foundation wanted to grow out who to lead the project.

The former president of Colombia Belisario Betancur, next to the world of the book and the culture -a member of the Colombian Academy of the Language and of the Instituto Caro and Cuervo, and fine writer of poems whose editions distributed only among friends – took up with enthusiasm the project, under the expressive motto of the Fundación Santillana for Ibero-america. Joined its board of trustees personalities of colombian life -presidents of the Republic, as he, scientists, and creators of culture-and developed during more than Betsmove thirty years an extensive program of exhibitions, events and awards that came the main themes of the culture and the current education to a good number of people of Bogotá.

All the years he visited Spain, interested in the activities of our foundation, in Madrid or Santillana del Mar, as well as in the courses of the Menéndez Pelayo University in Santander, a city that brought with Dalita, his wife, an exhibition of the artistic activity that it develops in Barichara, where to spend their vacation. On two occasions his travels were to say goodbye to their friends; to my father, in his burial, placing the flowers that he brought from Colombia, and after a time, Pancho, in the hospital where she hugged him for the last time. Friends on this side of the Atlantic, as he liked to say, we not only said goodbye with affection, but he will be missed.

Ignacio Polanco is president of the Fundación Santillana.