Under the slogan "From the Darién Jungle to Europe under Carlos V's rule", the 2013 expedition commemorates the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean by the Spaniard Vasco Núñez de Balboa.
Each country is assigned a quota for the number of participants, based on its population. Panama's quota is 6, but since it is part of the route this year, a total of 9 youth (3 from indigenous groups) have been allowed to participate. They are: Carmen Espinoza (Coclé), María Alejandra Moreno (Veraguas), Javier Rodríguez (Herrera), Víctor García (Veraguas), Diego Castrellón (Veraguas) y María Fernanda Fernández (Coclé), Rodelis Nadyska Denis Roy (Guna comarca), Eduar Mejía Chamarra (Wuannan comarca), and Litzander Conde Piraza (Emberá comarca).
From 1987 to date, 97 Panamanians have had this experience.
As a requisite to participate this year, the youth had to submit a project that highlighted the role of Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the historical discovery of the South Sea, and the importance of the Panama Canal, which in 2014 will turn a century old as a global trade route.
The trekkers will be accompanied by 40 supervisors, who are academics, historians, anthropologists, and experts in subjects such as water and biodiversity in the Darién rain forest.
Besides being trained in social entrepreneurship, they will be taken to El Chorrillo to participate alongside BBVA staff in the Corporate Social Responsibility program the bank is running at the Barraza Center for Comprehensive Prevention, in conjunction with the New Generation Movement, which aims to boost youth's self-esteem, foster their cultural enrichment, and generate sustainability and socio-economic development in the community, as part of a crusade against violence, gangs, and drugs.