Escuela Agricola Panamericana Zamorano Interns Report on Experiences in Laos [2008/01/30]
Students studying in Laos
The Escuela Agrícola Panamericana Zamorano was established in 1941 in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, to nurture agricultural leaders from 18 Latin American nations. In keeping with its interest in aiding in the food security of the developing world, in 2002 The Nippon Foundation established a financial need-based scholarship program at the university, and following graduation, a number of these scholars go to Laos and Ethiopia as interns. In December, three interns who had been in Laos since March visited the Nippon Foundation on their way home, meeting with Chairman Yohei Sasakawa, reporting on the results of their research, and speaking about their future goals.
After graduating from the Escuela Agrícola Panamericana Zamorano, the three interns—Ivan Garcia (25) from Panama, Cindy Irusta (24) from Bolivia, and Carlos Lynch (23) from Ecuador—took part in a project to promote the use of cassava at an agricultural school in Luang Prabang, northern Laos. This project, run by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), focuses on use of the cassava plant in such diverse capacities as a livestock feed to replace corn, as a natural adhesive, and as the base component of biodegradable plastics. All three reported to Chairman Sasakawa that their internships had been a great experience.(Photo:Three students visit the Nippon Foundation)
During their time in Laos, the interns worked in the planting of cassava and making feed for pigs, as well as cooperating with four university students to teach students skills such as the use of personal computers. (Photo:Caring for cassava)
When they met with Sasakawa, the students also spoke of their hopes for the future. Ms. Irusta hopes to earn a doctoral degree and work in the fields of urban development and energy generation from recycled resources. Mr. Garcia said he would like to study livestock nutrition at Massey University in New Zealand, and then work in Panama in the future, while Mr. Lynch said he would like to “work for two years to see how the things I have learned can be used in the real world. Then I would like to study drought at an American university.” Chairman Sasakawa replied that he was glad to have had the opportunity to meet the interns, and expressed his hopes that they will learn more about Japan and keep the Nippon Foundation posted on their future activities.