Shamir Mateo Carrillo
Class of 2012-2015
Province: Orange Walk District
City/Town: San Lázaro
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program >>>
Shamir comes from a rural village with history dating back to Mayan times. His mother is a homemaker, and his father works as a farmer and sales associate. Shamir is a first-generation college student. He has an older brother who has
finished secondary school and dedicates himself to agriculture, and two younger sisters who are still in primary and secondary school.
As a young person, Shamir has participated actively in community work, constructing a welcome sign for his village, helping map out a soccer field, and cleaning a medical clinic. He also served his church for three years as acolyte and participates in a youth group. In addition, he has played a leadership role in his sports activities.
Shamir graduated third in his class from an agricultural high school in 2009. While there, he studied mestizo culture in addition to his fieldwork cultivating crops such tomatoes. In 2010, he enrolled in Centro Escolar México Junior College, where he obtained an associate’s degree in Agribusiness the next year. He almost did not finish due to financial reasons, but professors realized his potential and provided him with a scholarship. Although he appreciated the opportunity to study agribusiness, he wanted to learn more outside the classroom, and he still longed to obtain a four-year University degree. When his father’s friend, an EARTH graduate, told Shamir about EARTH University, it appealed to him immediately, and so he applied. In his free time, Shamir likes to play sports including soccer, basketball, and cricket. He speaks English and now Spanish.
Shamir has worked in agriculture for eight years. He has helped his parents grow beans, corn and cabbage, and he has dedicated weekends to working on his grandfather’s sugarcane farm. When Shamir worked at a local agricultural high school last summer, he took care of the greenhouse and the livestock. Such experiences have taught him about operating a tractor, fertilization programs (both conventional and organic), livestock care, and integrated pest management. As he studied for his associate’s degree, he implemented everything he learned into managing his personal one-acre garden on his family’s land. In addition, he and his brother have a small poultry business, selling broiler poultry bi-monthly and using the chicken waste to make bokashi fertilizer. Shamir is very excited about the opportunity to study at EARTH University. With his training, he envisions optimizing Belizean farmers’ productivity in a sustainable way—both to address the problem of food scarcity and to help the country prosper. He especially loves EARTH’s emphasis on ethical leadership, and he hopes to serve as “an asset to my country and to the world by putting my knowledge and skills into practice.”
Learn more about EARTH’s partnership with The MasterCard Foundation here