The first bilingual public school with classes in Spanish and Portuguese for students ages 15-17 was inaugurated in this metropolis, the result of an agreement between the southeastern Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro and the Spanish Embassy.

The Hispano-Brazilian institute has been christened the Joao Cabral de Melo Neto State School and is located in the middle-class Meier neighborhood.

Half of the classes are taught in Spanish and the other half in Portuguese, while English classes are also included.

Students at the institute will complete their last three years before entering college, which means the first graduating class will be in 2016, the year of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Since it is a public high school there is no tuition to pay, and according to the education secretary of Rio de Janeiro state, Wilson Risolia, "95 percent of the enrollment is reserved for students coming from public schools, so that youths from low-income familes can obtain a quality education."

In a statement to Efe, Risolia said that "the educational center plans to have teachers from Spain, which could also allow Brazilian professionals to teach in the Iberian nation. EFE