Presently, these congresses are held in eight Spanish cities, including Bilbao, Valencia, Seville, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Palma de Mallorca. Since 2012, they have also been held in Latin America, and we will soon be expanding our initiative to other European countries and the USA. Over the years, participants at the congresses have listened to the testimonies of people such as William Rodríguez, a survivor of the 9/11 attacks; Jaume Sanllorente, founder of “Bombay Smiles”, a NGO working in India; Bosco Gutiérrez, a Mexican architect kidnapped and held prisoner during 9 months; or Irene Villa, a journalist and skier, a victim of an ETA terrorist attack, among others. Other participants are Nando Parrado, one of the 16 survivors of the flight crash in the Andes, which inspired the film Alive; Toni Nadal, Rafa Nadal’s coach; Pablo Pineda, the first European affected with Down’s syndrome to achieve a University degree and protagonist of the film ‘Yo, también (Me Too)’; or Pedro García Aguado, world water polo champion, who overcame his addiction to drugs, and now conducts two programs in the Spanish TV, “Hermano Mayor” (Big Brother) and “El Campamento” (The Camp)”, respectively.
The Lo Que De Verdad Importa (What Really Matters) events in each city are presided by Rafa Nadal, who holds this post in Palma de Mallorca. Princess Nora of Liechtenstein is the honorary President in Madrid; and the Spanish economist Leopoldo Abadía, is honorary President in Barcelona. The Lo Que De Verdad Importa (What Really Matters) congresses started in 2007, with an event in Madrid, with the attendance of more than 3000 university and High School students. After this first event, many requested us to repeat it. This resulted in congresses that were held in eleven Spanish cities, including Bilbao, Valencia, Seville, Barcelona, Zaragoza and Palma de Mallorca.