She was greeted by hundreds of people, cheering and dancing in her honor.
The A.R.C. Gloria docked at the Tampa Bay Convention Center Monday. People waved Colombian flags and moved their hips as the ship came into port. She is a Colombian Naval tall ship, travelling around the world to introduce people to the South American country.
Many local Colombians came out to get a slice of home without having to get on a plane.
“It was important for me to come and celebrate my roots with my family,” said Geoffery Loaiza. He was born in the United States, but his mother is native to Colombia.
Once on board, civilians were greeted by an in-house band. The band was made up of young cadets, doubling as musicians to welcome their guests.
“It’s a training vessel for the Colombian navy,” said Commander Hernando Garcia. “We have on board 80 cadets that are in a training period.”
Though there’s music and dancing when they dock in a new port, work doesn’t escape these sailors in training.
“They sail, they have class on board and navigation maneuvers,” Garcia said, adding these cadets must learn how to navigate with and without modern technology.
The three-mast sailing vessel boasts 23 sails and one of the largest Colombian flags in the world. The ship will be in Tampa until July 3rd and then will set sail to Miami.