Jaltepec Graduates Eighteen Students
By Mike and Sally Myers
September 16, 2012, was not only a special day acknowledging Mexican Independence, but also a day of joy, pride, and celebration at Jaltepec, the Technicial University of Hotel and Hospitality Management for young women. Promptly at 1pm, the 42nd graduation ceremony began. Eighteen young women, wearing traditional caps and gowns, were awarded their Degree En Hoteleria, and are now prepared to enter the “real world” of the hospitality industry.
The names of this year’s distinguished graduates are:
Monica Elizabeth Becerra
Cynthia Yadira Navarro
Ana Flor Bravo
Sonia Lizette Nunez
Karla Patricia Gonzalez
Leslie Judith Higuera
Yesenia Carolina Hipolito
Maria del Carmen Rameno
Graciela Merced Luna
Bertha Alicia Rodriguez
Alicia Nataly Navarro
In order to earn their degrees, the young women had to complete 1750 hours of practical work time. Many local hotels and restaurants help support this program by providing actual work opportunities for the students. They also were required to write a thesis and submit it to the Secretariat of Public Education for approval. The purpose of this thesis is to make the students aware of future potential business opportunities, especially in the areas that they plan to be working.
During the two years the new graduates spent at Jaltepec, their classes included cooking, cleaning, laundering, hotel management, administrative skills, computer and word processing, accounting, English language, grammar, and social interaction. Now, before entering the work force, each student must do 450 hours of Social Service, a requirement for all university graduates in Mexico.
The majority of the graduates are from low to middle income families and have been graciously assisted by the community with scholarships. Eight of this year’s eighteen graduates were on scholarships, and many of their sponsors sat proudly and teary eyed to watch “their girls” successfully complete this challenging curriculum.
After the ceremony, held in the new multi-purpose room, refreshments were prepared and served by the younger students, professionally dressed in white chef jackets and black pants. The botanas were all Mexican, in honor of Independence Day. There were lots of picture taking and hugs by the proud families.
These young women will forever alter their living standard and that of their families in the years to come. Two students are already working as partners in Yahualica, Jalisco. They prepare fried potato chips in addition to catering. They have already successfully catered five parties. Another graduate will open her Birreria business in Sayula, and one student has already started, with the help of her family, a pizza business in Tlaquepaque.
Each student seems to have a bright future ahead, and, without Jaltepec, they probably would never have had a chance to further their education. Most are the only children in their families to receive higher education, and many of them want to use the money they will now be able to make to help their siblings. All graduations are moving and happy occasions, but the ones at Jaltepec are really dreams come true for the students and their families.