In late summer of 2020, Dole Food Company leaders in Honduras, Costa Rica and the U.S. were in deep conversation with Zamorano faculty and administrative leadership about new ways to partner in student education, agricultural and environmental research, and social service. At the same time both organizations – and their surrounding communities – were battling the health, economic and social pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dole team asked: “If we were to donate bananas for communities in need, could Zamorano help with distribution?” The answer was an unequivocal “yes!”
Soon thereafter, the first Dole truck arrived on campus. Students stepped up – carefully masked and socially distanced in the outdoor unloading zone – to transfer box upon box to the distribution area. Within the day, residents in the surrounding Yeguare Valley received much needed nutritious fresh fruit for their families.
These images from the most recent delivery in mid-October show the students again at work, delighted to be a part of service to the local community. It was especially meaningful that this partnership united Zamorano students on campus with Zamorano alumni on the Dole team: Nelson Montoya ‘89, Vice President of Logistics and Planning, Patricio Gutiérrez ‘87, Vice President for Research, and Héctor Ferrera ‘96, General Manager for Operations in Honduras and Guatemala. The Dole team also includes colleagues Rudy Amador, Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility, and Natalia Díaz, Director of Communications.
Héctor Ferrera expressed appreciation to his fellow Zamoranos: “Thank you for partnering for the benefit of those in need. Zamorano’s efforts to collect and distribute the fruit are greatly appreciated. I am sure that these efforts create student awareness of the needs faced in the rural areas throughout the entire region.”
Zamorano is grateful for the opportunity to partner with friends and alumni within Dole Food Company in support of surrounding communities.