EARTH and W.K. Kellogg Foundation team up for future of Chiapas and Yucatán

Filed Under: EARTH News
Date: June 19th, 2017

Long-time collaborators EARTH University and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) have launched a new initiative – an effort to harness the power of education and mentorship to strengthen human development in the Mexican communities of Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula.

The program has two main components: 1) building relationships with academic institutions interested in EARTH’s educational model so they, through exchanges and collaborations, can be exposed to strategies and practices that would complement their existing programs, and 2) building a network of allies, such as area business owners and nonprofit leaders, interested in supporting young people in Chiapas and Yucatán by offering professional guidance through internships and meaningful work.

The WKKF visitors stand alongside members of the EARTH University Office of Development, in front of the W.K. Kellogg Library on EARTH’s campus in Guácimo, Costa Rica.

The WKKF visitors stand alongside members of the EARTH University Office of Development, in front of the W.K. Kellogg Library on EARTH’s campus in Guácimo, Costa Rica.

For this reason, EARTH organized a visit of 12 people, including members of the WKKF and professionals from Mexican organizations selected to be part of the collaboration. For four days, the group participated in many activities, including guided tours of the University’s campus, presentations about EARTH’s experiential education model, discussion groups on topics related to sustainable community development, and social hours with EARTH student entrepreneurs.

The visitors were:

  • Verónica Fernández de Castro and Alejandra Garduño, staff members from the WKKF in Mexico
  • César Martín Velásquez, legal representative of a rural sustainable development civil society (CONIDER) in Chiapas.
  • Rocío Marisol Castillo, department head overseeing laboratories and the library at a high school Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de Yucatán, in Yucatán.
  • María Cristina Reyes, executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Development in Mesoamerica (IDESMAC).
  • Enoch Gutiérrez, president of a Chiapas-based business development nonprofit (COPARMEX).
  • Jorge Francisco Hoil, relationship coordinator at Calakmul Technological University (UTCALAKMUL).
  • Aura Alejandra Tinoco, youth program operations manager of the Comitán Health Research Center (CISC), at the Intercultural University of Chiapas.
  • Patricia López, youth coach at the Comitán Health Research Center
  • Ileana Guzmán, relationship director at Poniente Technological University.
  • Margarita Zarco, head of the social projects unit at the Autonomous University of Yucatán.
  • Favio Francisco López, institutional relations and management director at an indigenous youth development nonprofit in Chiapas.

Currently, 21 young people from Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula attend EARTH University, thanks to scholarships from the WKKF.

Check out photos from the event in the gallery below.