Merida, Yucatan, Mexico – Today concludes the Engineering Learning Community Introduction to Research Program (ELCIR)  which counted with the participation of 46 TAMU students in a two week stay in Yucatan, Mexico to complete a research course at Marista University. The course consisted of research workshops in various areas such as chemical engineering, renewable energy, biotechnology, food safety, climate change, and engineering solutions.

The research course was taught by Dr. Javier Espinosa Fáller, Research Director at Marista University, and their tutor was Dr. Zenon Medina-Cetina, Associate Professor and Researcher at TAMU, who is also Director of the Yucatan Initiative.

The main objective of this program is to expose students early on in their careers to research and global programs that at the same time, allows them to obtain a cultural experience so they can understand better the environment and generate proposals of solutions to problems that can benefit the region.

The rector of Marista University, Miguel Ángel Baquedano Pérez, said goodbye to the Texan students with the following message: “It was a great experience. As for us, and sure, for you. Know that at Marista University you have a second home, and we hope to receive you again.”

Dr. Medina-Cetina, also gave a message: “This experience will be assessed so that it can impact the students in a positve way». and he acknowledged the work performed, «from both the Yucatan State Goverment and Marista University to make this course possible.”

Representing the Secretary of Research, Innovation, and Higher Education (SIIES) was Ms. Alicia Navarrete Alonso, Coordinator for International Affairs; She described the challenges faced to organize the visit, and she expressed her satisfaction with the results obtained.

Dr. Francisco Espinosa Fáller, Director of the hosting university, emphasized on the students’ enthusiasm by completing the course presenting their research projects.

On the other hand, the Aggies (distinctive name given to TAMU students) showed their gratitude to all the institutions that made the academic experience possible, to the hosting families who cordially received them in their homes, TAMU faculty for organizing the program successfully, enriching, secure, and fun. Especially to Dr. Espinosa and Dr. Rodriguez, for taking the time to provide knowledge and culture with a research overview on how it can be utilized in daily life regardless of whether or not it is applied in a research laboratory.


Thank y´all so much for making these last two weeks some of the most memorable ones that I have had the honor of experiencing. -Lupe Mendez

I am grateful for the opportunity and the new friendships I have made over the two weeks that we stayed there. The experience is one that is unforgettable but most importantly the foot print we left behind. -Elizabeth Hernandez


Video by: Kyle Michka