About 100 Puerto Ricans will travel next month to Equatorial Guinea to work on construction projects as a result of the need to hire professionals who speak Spanish, El Nuevo Dia newspaper said Tuesday.

The paper said that the professional workers - among whom are architects, engineers, draftsmen and bricklayers - were hired in Puerto Rico by the Ryan Executive Search and Outplacement agency for a Spanish company, the name of which was not revealed, which operates in the African nation.

An executive with the search firm said that Puerto Ricans were recruited due to the need to hire professionals who speak Spanish, the language spoken by an important portion of the population of Equatorial Guinea, which was a colony of Spain up until 1968.

The Puerto Ricans will work on building schools, bridges, roads, hospitals and homes.

Ryan Executive Search said that the 12-month contracts are renewable and carry salaries ranging from $60,000 to $70,000, with airline tickets and lodging included.

The company operating in Equatorial Guinea decided to seek personnel in Puerto Rico because they have U.S. passports and also speak Spanish. EFE