¡Bienvenidos! (Welcome to Madrid!)
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Héctor was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He obtained a B.A. in Architecture and Humanities and an M.S. in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, New York City, and in 1996 he studied at Rome’s International Centre for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. He returned to Puerto Rico to become Executive Director of Heritage Programs at the Institute of Culture, and then worked independently on research projects for historical and archaeological sites in the Caribbean. In 2003 he moved to Madrid, where he is currently working on his PhD thesis in Colonial Latin American History. Héctor has taught undergraduate courses in the History and Theory of Historic Preservation, Spanish and Latin American History, and Spanish Culture and Civilization at universities in Puerto Rico and Spain. He has a particular passion for Spanish cities and fortifications of the Middle and Early Modern ages. Héctor speaks Spanish and English fluently, and has an intermediate level of Italian.
Helena Vaello's passion for food has determined her career. After finishing her Audiovisual Communication studies at the age of 23, she changed course and started a successful catering business that was in operation for 5 years. Then, whilst pursuing a postgraduate course on gastronomic journalism, she began working as a freelance restaurant consultant and cooking instructor. Helena has written about food for several media outlets, including the Guía Repsol, covering a wide range of national events related to haute cuisine, food trips, conventions, and different presentation and specialized courses. She currently works on communication and PR for Arturo Sánchez, a brand of jamón Ibérico.
Paula Pagés earned her degree in Art History at Complutense University of Madrid, during which time she discovered her passion for Late-Antique and Medieval art. She also spent a year in Venice studying Italian art at Ca’Foscari University and a year in Edinburgh, where she got her masters in art of the Middle Ages at the University of Edinburgh with a dissertation on the Visigothic kingdom of Toledo. She is also very passionate about Madrid and its history, having lived in the city for more than a decade. She has worked in art galleries, Edinburgh’s Central Library and Madrid’s Tourist Office. Currently she is a Ph.D candidate working on tenth-century bible illustration at Complutense University of Madrid and combines her studies with teaching an online course on iconography.
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