Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2022. 5:47 pm CST.
Photo Credit: MAFSE
By Rubén Morales Iglesias
The third and final group of students left Belize for Colombia on Tuesday on a 90-day Agricultural Labor Technical Training Program scholarship sponsored by the Colombian Government through the Presidential Agency for International Cooperation (APC Colombia).
Sixteen scholarship beneficiaries left on Sunday, nine took flight on Monday, and the final five flew out on Tuesday from the Philip Goldson International Airport.
Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour, and Local Government Oscar Requena was on hand to bid farewell to the last group on Tuesday.
The scholarships were awarded to 30 applicants from Belize through the Mesoamerica Project for Agricultural Labor Technician for Small Farmers, said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE).
The 30 Belizeans joined 180 other participants from six other Mesoamerican countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Costa Rica from Central America and Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru from the Andean Community.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) said the Agricultural Technician Training Program for Rural Leaders is offered by APC Colombia, every five years to countries of South and Central America.
“This is the first time the program has been offered to Belizean participants; 75 from all over the country applied and 30 were chosen by the Colombian embassy personnel,” said MAFSE in a social media post.
“The final 30 participants that made it to Colombia come from the Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Toledo Districts of Belize and are especially young, Spanish speaking rural farmers, due to the Colombian selectivity criteria.”
MAFSE said it is noteworthy that 13 of the 30 total are women.
“The course seeks to foster an entrepreneurial spirit and inspire each participant to develop their own life project and, at the same time, become an inspiring and formative model among the peasants of their own environment, guided by principles of discipline, leadership, respect, cultural exchange and love for the countryside,” said MAFSE in a social media post.
Under the project, each of the countries received 30 full scholarships for the Agricultural Labor Technical Training Program that will be conducted by the Fundapanaca Foundation under the full immersion modality.
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