Ambassador Laura Dogu Remarks on Fiesta Panamericana de Zamorano

Happy Sunday! 


It’s a perfect day to spend with family, as we come together in support of the Pan-American Festival, a source of pride for Zamorano. 

Dean, Sergio Rodríguez Royo; 

Under Secretary of State, Cindy Larissa Rodríguez Mendoza; 

Resident Coordinator of the United Nations, Alice Shackelford; 

Distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps in Honduras; 

Faculty, administrative staff, and students of Zamorano; 

And attendees of the 2023 Panamerican Festival. 

The United States has been a steadfast presence at Zamorano since its inception, and there is no doubt that we will continue to play an integral role. It was the initiative of an American entrepreneur, Samuel Zemurray (Zamarai), that gave birth to the institution’s vision and mission. Dr. Wilson Popenoe, a renowned American horticulturist and botanist, served as its founding director and chose this location to establish the university.

Under Dr. Popenoe’s leadership, the school  evolved into a premier  institution of higher education – a place that welcomes young minds from across Latin America to receive training in the fields of science, technology, and agricultural and natural resource management. Here, education is rooted on practical  experience and the teaching of values. 

Throughout its history, Zamorano has been led by eight American deans and dozens of American faculty members, including those present here today. The people of the United States have also invested in Zamorano’s infrastructure. USAID has donated over $30 million to equip classrooms, residences, laboratories, and other student spaces. These funds have enhanced the quality of education provided by the university. 

This year, we have donated an additional $900,000 to renovate and expand the biology, chemistry, and physics laboratories. We are co-investing $1.2 million with Zamorano to bolster the capabilities of biological product and soil analysis laboratories. This endeavor aims to provide modern services to Honduran and Central American farmers.

Zamorano is also a key partner in our environmental projects. The university assists us in the restoration of Lake Yojoa, the management of water sources, adaptation to climate change, and the preservation of biodiversity.  

The United States government has granted Fulbright scholarships benefiting students, graduates, and teachers. Through the Food for Progress scholarship program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture invested over $1.6 million in scholarships for Zamorano students. With the Borlaug Fellowship program,  USDA offers scientific exchange and research opportunities to faculty in fields such as agronomy, specialty crops, veterinary sciences, microbiology, and agricultural economics. 

I want to emphasize that Zamorano is an example of the significant contribution that can arise when private investment demonstrates a strong sense of social responsibility. Now, more than 80 years since its founding, Zamorano has graduated nearly 10,000 young leaders from 30 countries, who have contributed to the growth of their communities, family businesses, and nations. This is the outcome of visionary entrepreneurship.

The United States will remain committed to Zamorano due to the value and scope of its mission. I invite you today to visit the United States booth to learn about our history and culture. You can also gather information about studying in the U.S. and scholarship opportunities from the EducationUSA representative. 

Furthermore, I encorage you to visit the booths of our USAID project partners. They are creating economic opportunities for young entrepreneurs and producing bio-inputs for more competitive agricultural production. 

And of course, explore the other exhibits here today.
Thank you very much, and enjoy the cultural richness of the Pan-American Festival!