Arnaldo Burgos is a Honduran national and world leader in the production of bovine milk. From Zamorano’s 1967 graduation class, he is one of the alumni who helped make the remodeling of the Popenoe house possible. During his visit to the reopening of the building, Arnaldo shared what it means for him to have donated to the Popenoe House and life after Zamorano.
What made you donate for the restoration of Popenoe House?
I moved to ZAMORANO with my parents in 1952, but remember it as if it were yesterday, when I was a little kid joking with Dr. Popenoe. I was very small, four years old. He treated me very well, he treated my father very well, who at that time was head chef of the student hall. I was walking through Popenoe House and the main building and I was always looking at the doctor. They are beautiful memories. And well, I told myself, what better thing to contribute to the renovation of his home to keep alive the memory of a man as big as him. Today, when I entered his house, I remembered everything. The house looks almost the same as it was before.
Tell us about your life
I am originally from Tegucigalpa where my father was in the Honduran Air Force. When we moved to ZAMORANO I did my elementary school at the Alison Bixby Stone School and my secondary school at the Central Institute of Tegucigalpa. I received a full scholarship to ZAMORANO and then other scholarships to finish my undergraduate degree at Southern Illinois University and my master’s degree at Purdue University. I continued my doctorate studies, but with a few credits to finish the program my scholarship was finished. I returned to Honduras and taught at CURLA. At the time I returned to the United States to work on a dairy cattle ranch for six months. Then a company hired me to work in the dairy cattle nutrition department where I eventually became director of that area.
In 1977 I decided to become independent and start consulting service in Arizona. Little by little my clientele grew until I came to serve the majority of farmers in that state. For several consecutive years beginning in 1982, Arizona became the number one state for milk production in the country (excluding Alaska and Hawaii).
One of our achievements has been to obtain one of the largest milk production in the world with a herd of 107,000 cattle producing 14,200 liters of milk per cow in Saudi Arabia. I’ve been working in that country for 34 years and travel there every six weeks.
How has ZAMORANO contributed to your success?
The character formation at ZAMORANO was enormous … here I was trained in the discipline of work, respect, cleanliness, hygiene, order … I was taught to prioritize, to choose between the good and the bad and to assume the consequences of both. Without this, I do not think it would have gone ahead.
What advice would you like to give to ZAMORANO students?
Never do something you do not enjoy. With only one life to life, one needs a passion. We need to dream and persevere in order to make them a reality. Never stop working for them.
There were moment when I did not want to continue due to rejection or a lack of clients, but I kept fighting.