WASHINGTON--First Lady Michelle Obama will travel with President Obama to Latin America next week, taking on a few solo stops in Brazil, Chile and El Salvador. Her only solo international trip was last April, when she traveled to Mexico with a quick stop in Haiti en route. This will be a family trip: daughters Malia and Sasha will be on Spring Break and will be traveling with their folks. First Lady Chief of Staff Tina Tchen--who joined the East Wing a few weeks ago--is also going, her first international trip with Mrs. Obama.
The White House said in a statement about Mrs. Obama's Latin American travel: "In a series of solo events, the First Lady will continue her efforts to engage young people around the world - especially from disadvantaged and marginalized communities. She will encourage young people to excel academically, serve their communities, and take an active role in building stronger and enduring ties between their countries and the American people."
From the White House:
Brasilia, Brasil - Saturday, March 19th - Late Morning
Continuing her interest in local culture and arts programs, the First Lady will attend a cultural performance with young Brazilians, many from disadvantaged backgrounds who have participated in a range of U.S. sponsored exchange and leadership development programs.
Background from the White House: "In January 2010, the First Lady met with more than 30 Brazilian youth participating in the State Department's Youth Ambassador Program at the White House. One of the Youth Ambassadors she met then will attend the event in Brasilia."
Santiago, Chile - Monday, March 21st - Mid-afternoon
The First Lady will join Chilean First Lady Cecilia Morel for a tour of the Museo Interactivo Mirador that will include performances by Chilean youth.
Following this visit, the First Lady will address students at the Liceo Bicentario Instituto Cumbre de Condores de Rence, a public school built in 2010 that will graduate its first class of high school-age students this year. Mrs. Obama will deliver personal remarks about her own upbringing and education pursuit. She will share the Obama administration's view that that education is key to a strong economy and nothing is more important than preparing young people for a changing world and changing workforce. The school is located in a low income area of Santiago and its graduates may be the first in their family to attend higher education.
San Salvador, El Salvador - Tuesday, March 22nd - Late Afternoon
In San Salvador, El Salvador, the First Lady will meet with young people from Superate, an education and skills development program for disadvantaged young people. Young people in the program are required to participate in community service activities. Ninety-five percent of graduates go on to higher education. Youth under the age of 14 make up approximately 35 percent of El Salvador's population.