Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Zapotec student from Oaxaca wins Harvard scholarship

A 23-year-old Zapotec student from a village of 400 inhabitants in Oaxaca has won a scholarship to study at Harvard University.

Ramiro González Cruz, from San Isidro El Costoche in Oaxaca’s Sierra Sur, will study entrepreneurship in emerging economies at one of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions.

González, whose mother is a housewife and his father a farmer, has plans to help local entrepreneurs export their products.

The 23-year-old left home in his largely Zapotec speaking community at 16 to complete middle and high school in the state capital, 133 kilometers away.

Despite dreams of higher education, economic necessity took him to Sinaloa to work in tomato and chile fields.

He returned to Oaxaca to study at the Technological University of the Central Valleys, earning a vocational qualification in business development and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business innovation and marketing. He then spent time in Peru as a volunteer in the Faculty of Business Engineering at the Continental University of Peru.

González has acted as a translator of Zapotec in state public defender’s office to assist non-Spanish speakers and was a promoter for the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The young Zapotec announced his triumph on social media. “I am pleased to share I have been accepted into the Harvard University Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program … this program has transformed the lives of first-in-family university students worldwide by identifying and fostering talent to train leaders from those communities,” he said.

The Technological University of the Central Valleys also extended its congratulations. The Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program began in 2017 and aims to discover otherwise “lost Einsteins” by providing opportunities to first-in-family college students.

Sources: Quadratín Chiapas (sp), El Universal Oaxaca (sp), Diario Presente (sp)

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