Representatives from Chile seek to strengthen ties with UD, state
1 p.m., May 9, 2014--Representatives from Chile’s Region VI visited the University of Delaware on Wednesday, April 30, to sign a memorandum of understanding establishing a framework for ongoing dialogue between the state of Delaware, UD and the region.
Morin Edith Contreras Concha, the first female governor of the region and superintendent, signed the agreement with Nancy Guerra, UD associate provost for international programs and director of the Institute of Global Studies (IGS), to reinforce collaborative efforts among the two entities.
Making Delaware home
A major topic of discussion during the meeting was the University’s potential role as adviser to the Chilean representatives on the creation of the first public university in Region VI. In the next four years the group will plan and conduct research to decide what type of university best represents their people and region.
“Latin America represents one of the University’s strategic partners for global initiatives. We are honored that the representatives from Chile’s VI district have chosen the University of Delaware to advise them on the development of their new public university,” said Guerra.
Visiting delegates included: Gov. Contreras Concha; Alejandro García Huidobro Sanfuentes, senator of the Republic of Chile; Councilman Fernando Verdugo Valenzuela; Councilwoman Cecilia Villalobos Cartes; Councilman Mauricio Donoso Arellano; Councilman and vice president of Fedefruta (Chile’s Growers Association) Felipe Garcia Huidobro Sanfuentes; Cabinet Secretary Jorge San Martin Leyton; Juan Rodrigo Sotomayor Cabrera, regional director of agricultural service, Chilean Ministry of Agriculture; Benjamin Leavenworth, Chilean American Chamber of Commerce consul; Chancellor Gladys Gordon; and Ricardo Maldonado, executive director of the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia.
Chile’s Region VI
Formally known as the VI Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins Region, Region VI is located on the Pacific coast of Chile, north of Valparaiso and Santiago. It is well known for its agriculture and copper, containing the world’s largest underground copper mine, El Teniente, which has almost 1,500 miles of underground drifts.
This October marks the region’s 200th anniversary of the famous battle for independence, Desastre de Rancagua.
UD has sent numerous students to Chile for study abroad during Winter Session. This year a group of students traveled to Santiago to study foreign language and literatures.
The new partnership brings possibilities of future teaching, research, study abroad and exchange programs in the region.
Earlier in the day, the Chilean delegation met with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee to discuss trade agreements and to sign a memorandum of intention to continue trade.
“We are honored that such a large delegation has visited the state,” said Thomas Keefer, deputy executive director of the Port of Wilmington.
Delaware’s relationship with Chile dates back to 1978, when the first shipment of Chilean fruit arrived at the Port of Wilmington. Over 200,000 tons of fruit are shipped from Chile each year, supplying the region with fresh fruits even during the harshest winters.
The Institute for Global Studies (IGS) was created in 2009 to enhance the international dimensions of teaching, research and outreach at the University of Delaware.
IGS provides leadership and support for programs and experiences that contribute to the education of informed, skilled, open-minded citizens of the world.
Best known for coordinating the University’s study abroad program, IGS also awards scholarships and grants to faculty and students for global travel and research, administers internationally-recognized programs such as the MEPI (Middle East Partnership Initiative) Student Leaders Institute, and sponsors such signature events as International Education Week each fall and country-specific celebrations each spring.
IGS also partners with the Office for International Students and Scholars, the Confucius Institute and the Center for Global and Area Studies to advance the University’s global initiative.
Article by Elizabeth Adams