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.
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.”
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