Maria Regina Heredia, our Zamorano graduate promoting ecological beekeeping and the preservation of bees in Bolivia
13 April, 2021

Carlos Torrebiarte, a life dedicated to investments and philanthropy

At ZAMORANO he learned that failure is a lesson that must be overcome with hard and honest work.

Carlos Torrebiarte, class of 1989, is a businessman born and based in Guatemala. He decided to study at the Panamerican School of Agriculture following the advice of his uncle Roberto Alvarado, class of 1968, advice that helped him make one of the best decisions of his life, he says. Currently, in addition to promoting his various agricultural and livestock enterprises, he runs and operates several businesses of national and foreign investors in his country. His entrepreneurial work is combined with philanthropy by supporting his Alma Mater Scholarship Fund, so that other young Latin Americans have the same opportunity that he had at ZAMORANO.

For this graduate, supporting scholarships is the least he can do so that young people who love the field can become successful professionals capable of contributing to the agricultural development of the region, and especially of Guatemala. “ZAMORANO is the best option that exists in Latin America. I hope that the young scholarship holders will take advantage of the opportunity that is given to them with the effort of the ZAMORANO community that supports them, since we are agricultural countries and we need them. The money from these scholarships is well invested and will result in the promotion of talented young people committed to the development of our countries,” he added.

From his experience, he recognizes that when he arrived at ZAMORANO his life changed forever. Learning by Doing and discipline was the basis that formed him, as well as teaching him to face adversities in business. “I learned that to get ahead there is no substitute for hard work, and that if something goes wrong, the remedy is to work harder. I consider this to be one of the most important teachings I received, Labor Omnia Vincit, a phrase that prepares us to conquer anything we set our minds to, and to conquer our destiny with honest work; it is a philosophy of life”, he pointed out.

In ZAMORANO, he also strengthened the ties of brotherhood with students from other countries and had the opportunity to learn about their cultures, since despite being of Latin American origin for the most part, it showed him that each country was very different. “As part of the educational experience, we built a unique culture in the School that still identifies us and that contributed to the partnership, friendship and fraternity of the group, which still lasts, consolidating a network of businesses and contacts throughout the world”, he said.

Betting on investments

At present time, Ing. Torrebiarte is dedicated to investments, something he began more than two decades ago, in 1996. His first business venture was in the field of coffee growing, protected by the 100-year legacy of his family in this area. Given the experience that his ancestors had with coffee, at the time that the civil war in Guatemala was ending, his parents offered him and his brothers a farm in the Lake Atitlán area for the production of the aromatic bean.

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Despite it being a time of great uncertainty, as a good Zamorano he took up the challenge. After several years and a combination of setbacks and achievements, that first business opened the doors to new investments and opportunities, including being able to operate and manage assets of other national and foreign investors.

His extensive experience has allowed him to work in various regions of Guatemala, handling a variety of businesses ranging from agricultural crops to livestock projects. “To get to where we are we have failed more than once, but this has not stopped us from continuing to search for new projects. We take failure as a teaching that must be overcome. No one who is successful has never failed in his life. As an entrepreneur, I know that I can fail in future projects and that I will have to correct my course as many times as necessary. That is also part of what I learned in ZAMORANO”, he indicated.

In ZAMORANO, Ing. Torrebiarte, also met the love of his life, Ing. Silvia Sotomayor, Ecuadorian, class of 89, who has been his right hand for many years. “Without a doubt, the best thing that happened to me at the School was meeting Silvia. I don’t see how I would have been able to do everything we have if we hadn’t gotten married. We have had a blessed life, living in the countryside for most of our marriage, educating our three children on a farm, and Silvia was the one in charge of their education. Today we are harvesting the fruits of this hard work. Our children are also dedicated to agriculture and work with us developing new projects and managing what we have worked for years. Silvia is my best friend, confidant, business partner, advisor, critic, and much more. As the 89 colleagues say, I won the lottery,” he said.

Without a doubt, Ing. Carlos Torrebiarte takes ZAMORANO as an intangible force in his actions and the way of building his life together with Ing. Sotomayor. That force has driven them to give back to society and to Latin America through support for education, thus giving back a little of what they have received. Acts of gratitude and commitment such as these are the reflection of the confidence towards Zamorano´s education and its potential to change lives.

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