Toño, Kelly and Tony are a team of three multilingual “happiness ambassadors” embarking on Expedition 206, a Coca-Cola sponsored trek around the world in search of happy things. Margarita Alvarez (pictured far left), president of the Coca-Cola Happiness Institute in Madrid, met with the team to share notes beforehand.
“The research we’ve done to study happy people and the causes of happiness will provide a good foundation for the ambassadors as they travel the world seeking out and documenting stories of joy and optimism,” Alvarez said. “These are three of the most energetic, uplifting people I’ve ever met, so it’ll be fun to watch them interact with so many different people from all corners of the earth.”
Expedition 206 has already begun — the three chosen ones, Kelly Ferris, 23, a university student from Brussels, Tony Martin, 30, a Washington DC native who teaches kindergarten in Munich and Antonio “Toño” Santiago, 24, a university student from Mexico City celebrated the beginning of their journey by eating the traditional “12 grapes of luck” (one for each stroke of the clock at midnight) on the stroke(s) of the new year in Madrid last weekend. Their next stop was Portugal, and they’re currently in Venezuela, heading next for Trinidad. The HAs will be attending the Shanghai World Expo in May, the Vancouver Olympics, and the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Luckies.
So what does being a “happiness ambassador” entail? The team will visit 206 countries total to deliver one-of-a-kind, commemorative Coca-Cola bottles and record every happy thing they see around the world with photos and blogs on their Expedition 206 website, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and Yahoo. You can also enter live chats with members of the team and other fans to talk about happiness, share tips about what to see and help build the happiness community — no Coca-Cola required.