Ecuadorian Minister of Agriculture visits EARTH as the country redoubles scholarship support

Filed Under: EARTH News
Date: April 30th, 2013

On April 24, the honorable Javier Ponce Cevallos, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries of Ecuador visited EARTH accompanied by advisors and staff.

Minister Ponce toured the Integrated Livestock Farm where students and professors explained the activities that form part of Work Experience, a keystone course in EARTH’s experiential curriculum.  He later met with EARTH president José Zaglul and had lunch with some 15 Ecuadorian students.

The visit, which formed part of an official mission to Costa Rica, comes following a renewed commitment from the Ecuadorian Government through the Instituto Ecuatoriano de Crédito Educativo y Becas (IECE) to provide $1.4 million in scholarship support for young Ecuadorians to attend EARTH in 2014.   The scholarships will be awarded to candidates selected by EARTH who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, particularly in rural areas (interested applicants should apply by June 1, 2013).

Ecuador strongly represented on EARTH’s campus

With 248 alumni and more than 70 students from Ecuador, this South American country is the nation with the second highest representation in EARTH’s community, second only to Costa Rica.

Thanks to the partnership with IECE, since 2012 some 27 Ecuadorian young leaders have received full scholarships to attend EARTH.  Among them is first year student Laura Eugenia Guatemal Túquerres, from the small village of San Clemente on the slope of Mount Imbabura in Ecuador.  Laura, who is only the second person in her community to go abroad and one of seven to study at the university level, says that coming to EARTH represents a huge opportunity for her, her family and her community to advance.

Mr. Javier Ponce Cevallos met with EARTH president Dr. José Zaglul

She is resolute in returning to Ecuador and San Clemente after her four years at EARTH, and hopes to help the community’s dairy farmers not only improve their production but also to start processing their milk by making cheese and other dairy products.

With her dream of helping Ecuadorian communities prosper, Laura was pleased to participate in Minister Ponce’s visit, and to learn about the projects being led by the Ministry of Agriculture in Ecuador.

Laura sends this message to young people like herself in Ecuador who are thinking of applying to EARTH, “Many times we think about things narrowly, and we don’t see opportunities in their full potential.  We must always move forward, leave fear behind and progress.”


Click here for more information about the admissions process; or here  to learn more about how you can help support the dreams of other young leaders like Laura.


  1. immargarita says:

    Good going Laura! Congratulations! Continue to make your country proud! Both of my parents are from Ecuador but I now live in Australia but it pleases me to NO end to hear of the progress of the Ecuadorian people and the beautiful country that is Ecuador! That is right Laura, “We must always move forward, leave fear behind and progress.’! Good luck in all your future endeavours!

  2. Alex Kyeyune says:

    BIG THANKS TO ECUADOR GOVERNMENT, it is something that i have always loved to see governments helping young people in sustainable farming and conservation of the environment i always admire the products (students) of EARTH UNIVERSITY in Uganda, they are really role models to me and to many people in the country and i hope one day i will make too. Agriculture is my way to go!

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