From the 17th to the 25th of September, a professor/student exchange team from the New Mexico State University –NMSU- took a short course at Universidad de la Salle. For one week the team, visited the La Salle campuses in Yopal and Bogotá. The main goal of this short course was to involve the team in in classes offered by professors from the faculty of Agricultural Science, School of Human Sciences & School of Basic and Applied Sciences, covering several topics regarding Colombian culture, history, biodiversity and agriculture trends. Furthermore, they also took a hands-on programme at Utopia campus, that is, visited the laboratories, crop production and research fields managed/cultivated by Utopía students.
According to Professor Blair Stringam, “Travelling to Colombia was a wonderful experience. There were more things to do than there was time to do them. The country is so beautiful and green. There are many different kinds of food dishes, fruits and vegetables to sample. I also have a new favourite drink, Colombian hot chocolate. I don’t think that any other hot chocolate comes close”. Furthermore, he also adds “The Utopia campus was an amazing experience. We enjoyed learning about the different areas of agricultural production. We are not familiar with coffee and cocoa production, and it was fascinating to learn about how these crops are grown and processed. Our experience was further enhanced when we were allowed to sample some of the products that were produced in the food processing facilities”.
On the other hand, the Student Maria G. Alvarez Zavala emphasizes that “The most impressive experience for me was the visit to the Utopia Campus in Casanare. there we could see first-hand the production, harvest and process towards a product that goes directly to the market. Specifically, we were able to see the production of vegetables not commonly known in the Southwest of USA as coffee, cocoa, rice and sacha inchi. Live with students who come from all over the country made me realize the wealth of biodiversity in regional culture that the country has”.