Graduations in Querétaro

As in the United States, June is the month for graduations in Mexico. Students graduate from “secundaria” or junior high school, “preparatoria” or high school, and the university.  Recently, Charlie and I witnessed two such graduations.

Dulce and Andrés, two of the young people who live at El Puente de Esperanza (the NGO where Charlie volunteers) graduated from preparatoria.  Dulce completed her high school studies and plans to continue at the university in accounting.  Andrés plans to study mechanical engineering at the university.  El Puente will continue to pay all of their tuition, books, etc. for the next four years of study.  In celebration of their graduation, Charlie and I were invited to a mass held in their honor and a very nice dinner where vegetarian food was served.  Their indigenous families from San Ildefonso and Sierra Gorda (located respectively in the southern and northern parts of Querétaro State) came to participate in these events.

David, who worked at CIATEQ (where Charlie and I volunteer) graduated from the local university, known as the UAQ (Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro).  David graduated as an automation engineer.  He will likely study abroad, perhaps in Australia, to get his master’s degree.  Charlie and I were invited to attend his “toma de protesta”, a ceremony in which the graduates take an oath related to their new profession, and later a party at his parent’s house in his honor.

The educational system in Mexico is improving with more indigenous students receiving bilingual education in their communities at the preschool and elementary levels.  There are now many public universities, with the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) in Mexico City being the most prestigious, as well as private universities, like the Tecnológico de Monterrey.  Mexico has been steadily building enrollment in four-year degree programs in engineering.  For example, over 450,000 Mexican students are currently enrolled in full-time undergraduate programs, vs. just over 370,000 in the United States.   Many of these engineers graduate knowing how to use the latest computer-assisted design (CAD) software and speaking fluent English.  David, for example, speaks English quite well, and is always eager to practice.

With dedicated students like Dulce, Andrés and David, Mexico will benefit from their dedication and will continue to draw investments from foreign companies, such as GE, Bombardier, General Motors and Honeywell, to take advantage of their knowledge and skills.

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One Response to “Graduations in Querétaro”

  1. Alan Says:

    Nice write-up.

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