The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program
Zully Sánchez / Colombia

Province: Huila
City: Pitalito
Age: 20

Class of 2014-2017

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Scholar: Yinari Alexandra Montero Gómez Scholar: Abigael Pertet

Zully grew up in Pitalito, Colombia and always enjoyed helping her father on the family’s farm.

During secondary school, she had the opportunity to work with the Yanacona, an indigenous group in Colombia, for a school project. She combined “my knowledge with the knowledge they’d gathered through the years in order to pair the right soil type with the right crop.”

Zully is interested in “species that influence agronomy. Birds are great indicators of crops. I want to look beyond soils and harvests at other factors and see what we can learn from them.” She would like to return to Colombia after graduation to address deforestation. “Agriculturists want to have the most abundant harvests. They want quantity, not quality.” As a result, large areas of forest are burned down and cleared to make more room for planting crops. Zully wants to teach them “to think about a more sustainable development.”