Jill Biden left for Central America on Wednesday, having stops set in Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica, according to the statement provided by the press service of the White House.
On his portion of the business trip, the former vice president will be joined by his daughter, Ashley Biden. The tour will highlight the significance of the US partnership, the trio’s dedication to democracy in a region where democratic backsliding is increasingly common, says the press release.
At a conference in Ecuador, Biden is scheduled to meet with President Guillermo Lasso, and address movements in Latin American migration. The immigration challenges the Biden administration is facing has caused a harrowing debate over Title 42, a Donald Trump-era policy that denies certain migrants access to the USA due to the dangers of a pandemic.
Joe Biden will pay a visit to an Ecuadorian public school that is “hosting a U.S.-supported after-school program designed to foster the educational welfare of Venezuelan, Colombian, and Ecuadorian children who are exiting the education system for at least two years.”
The wife of President Leonel de Cortizo of Panama will visit a hospital in Panama supported by the United States’ PEPFAR program together with Vice President Joseph Biden, who will hold joint events in Panama City with her.
Joe Biden plans to meet one-on-one with Costa Rican President Rodrigo Castro, who was inaugurated in May of this year.
On Sunday, Joe Biden is scheduled to visit to the National Children’s Hospital of Costa Rica, which was visited by then-President John F. Kennedy during his March 1963 visit to that country. Biden will deliver remarks after her visit.
The first lady made a solo trip earlier this month to Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine, and for a second time in a row the trip to Ukraine addressed her directly. That was the last time, during the joint swing with Vice President Biden, that Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine, was able to meet with her in person.
The invitation from Vice President Biden to visit Latin America in June will point the way to the upcoming Summit of the Americas, which will be held in Los Angeles in June. The summit meets every three to five years and brings together senior leaders of North, South, and Central America, and also the Caribbean. 2018 will be the first time that the United States has hosted the summit since its inception in 1994.