Mario Nufio, a graduate of the class of 1955, joined Zamorano’s Board of Trustees in 1972. He was recruited by Trustee Catherine Lastavica and Rector Simon Malo. In 2010, he was invited to become an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees. In the 10 years he has served as an emeritus member of the Board, he has attended all but one graduation, and been present at every single Trustee meeting.
Mario’s love for Zamorano is deep-rooted. He was a close friend of Doris Zemurray Stone, who helped build the school. Founding rector Wilson Popenoe was a close family friend and a constant presence throughout his life. As a child, he would visit Zamorano, and thus a fondness and admiration for the institution developed. To this day, when he drives by Zamorano, he makes it a point to visit the campus, or even have a chat with the rector or make some necessary purchases.
After graduation from Zamorano, Mario received his bachelor’s degree in the U.S. at the University of Florida. Upon his return to Honduras, he founded Fundación COVELO, a nonprofit organization that helps finance small scale producers. He is also the President of the Association of Farmers and Ranchers (Asociacion de Ganaderos y Agricultores) in his hometown of Danli. The Danli Association of Farmers and Ranchers is one of 34 member organizations of the National Federation of Farmers and Ranchers (Federation Nacional de Agricultores y Ganaderos).
Mario served four years as the Honduras Secretary of Agriculture. Among his duties was travel to Cuba to make necessary livestock purchases for Honduras. He served at the Banco Nacional de Formento (1961-1971) as liaison to the International Development Bank, and as a project leader with the World Bank. He was named Honduras’ Minister of Agriculture by Rafael Leonardo Collejas in 1990. Upon his retirement, he returned to Danli, 60 kilometers away from Zamorano, where he focuses on milk production.
Mario married Ana Dolores Pratz Gomez in 1963. Together they had four children and now have 3 grandchildren, graduates of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and a future PhD candidate at Northeastern University.
Mario is worried about the consequences Zamorano will deal with due to COVID-19. He is proud to serve his alma mater, and hopes Zamorano can continue to be the safe haven and vessel for the success of others as it was for him.