Angie Grádiz, Anny Madrid, Carlos Mairena, Enrique Bográn, Francisco Alvarado, Francisco Osorio, Roberto Vargas, Ramón Díaz Lemus and Yermy Medina finished their studies in various specialities related to agriculture and the environment. Most of them did their internships in US and Mexican universities and companies.
With the commitment of contributing to agricultural and industrial development, as well as to the conservation of natural resources of San Pedro Sula and Honduras, Zamorano graduated the first generation of young scholarship recipients from San Pedro Sula´s municipality. Nine new professionals received their B.S. degrees in Environmental Science and Development, Agricultural Sciences and Food and Science Technology. They began working towards improving their communities through research focused on agricultural areas, livestock and beekeeping in the El Merendón mountain range, located in the Cortes department, Honduras.
Angie Grádiz, one of the recipients of this scholarship is well aware of the environmental problems in her country and in the city where she was born, and hopes her hometown becomes intelligent and sustainable, as “San Pedro Sula Smart City”, with the Mayor´s leadership. Inspired by this opportunity, she developed her research thesis: “Determination of potential zones to forest pasture systems at the Manchaguala sub river basin, Merendón Reserve, Cortés, and focused on improving the watershed management through the application of sustainable agricultural practices. She considers it her duty in collaboration with the municipality’s development, even more so following the challenges caused by the Eta and Iota hurricanes.
The experience at Zamorano allowed Angie to visit Mexico where she did her internship with the Sustainable Applied Biotechnology group (SAB), of the Biotechnology Center at their Monterrey Campus. During her internship, she collaborated on research looking at ways biotechnology can contribute to the reduction of industry’s carbon dioxide emissions.
For her contribution, Anny Madrid, shared that she is ready to be a change agent and a food industry leader in her city, committed to feeding Honduras and the world. Her commitment began with her thesis: “Good manufacturing practices for honey bee processing (Apis mellifera) manually produced in El Merendón, San Pedro Sula, Honduras”. The purpose of her research was to help beekeepers in the area to diagnose safety measures in current honey management practices.
To meet her educational requirements, Anny visited the United State where she did her internship at Texas Tech University, assisting in the area of meat science and muscular biology. She learned the process of improving beef tenderloins by injecting high sunflower emulsion contents – to amplify the degree of quality and improve the palatability of low fat intramuscular meats.
Enrique Bográn also finished his studies with a vision towards boosting his family’s business, targeting the growth and wide distribution of their products around the country. He wants to thank his city for its continuous support of the beekeeping project that already exists in El Merendón. “The area has a great deal of potential. I hope the work that we have established serves to contribute to valuable projects that will contribute to our communities and the country”, he expressed. Enrique´s research focused on “Good manufacturing practices for harvest and processing of pollen produced in the Merendón mountain range, San Pedro Sula, Honduras”.
As part of his preparation, Enrique did his internship in the area of food chemistry at Purdue University in the United States. He participated in the evaluation of different types of food and their impact on the development of inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease and colon cancer. He learned new techniques in the field of food science and technology.
Likewise, Francisco Alvarado expressed his gratitude to the Municipality for establishing the scholarship program. “I graduated from Zamorano thanks to this financial aid, but my journey does not end. here I will be eternally committed to return to the city all the knowledge I acquired”, he added. Francisco expects that his thesis “Necrophagous, coprophagous, and frugivore beetles in the Merendón mountain range, Honduras”, will be extremely beneficial. The purpose of his research was to characterize the community of beetles in the area and thereby promote their conservation for the services they offer to the ecosystems.
From January thru April 2020, Francisco did his internship as assistant in the virology area of the Phytopathology Laboratory of Louisiana State University, United States. During his internship, he was responsible for various activities related to specific crops of agricultural and biological interest.
Ramon Diaz Lemus´ thesis was entitled “Semi-detailed soil study of the Ferrari and Masicaran zones, EAP Zamorano, Honduras”. His research concerned the information describing soil profiles previously collected by other researchers. He did his internship with the livestock company specializing in milk production T & K Dairy Farm, in Snyder, Texas, United States. “Working with T&K helped me understand how a modern dairy company functions and that a good data management is likey to maintaining high quality milk”, he shared.
Yermy Medina proposes to contribute by solving the problems the country has due to natural disasters and pandemics that have hit the rural agricultural area. “It inspires me to begin my work supporting and training agricultural staff in sectors surrounding my city. I want to cooperate to my fullest potential in the development of trade and agricultural production”, he expressed.
Poinsettias are an ornamental crop with high economic import due to wide commercial interest during the Christmas season in Honduras, and so, Yermy developed his thesis “Feasibility study for production of poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. Ex Klotzsch) in the Merendón mountain range, San Pedro Sula, Honduras”.He did his internship in the Extensive Horticulture Unit at Zamorano, carefully monitoring the effectiveness of irrigation on different production plots, as well as supervising the handling and transplanting of lettuces and melons.
There are currently 31 students from San Pedro Sula´s municipality enrolled at Zamorano. Without the municipality’s support, these students would not have the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations of receiving an education in agricultural science. This program´s vision is to generate well prepared professionals to boost the sustainable development of the municipality´s territory and population. As more students finish their studies at Zamorano, better skilled young professionals will provide valuable resources for San Pedro Sula which will enable the city to contribute to the sustainable development of such an important trade and industry hub for Honduras.