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Fabiola Mallón, from Bolivia
Fabiola Mallón, from Bolivia, is pursuing a Master’s degree in Advanced Technology in the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) of Mexico City.
  • Through its scholarships programs and in partnership with its member and observer states, the OAS promotes educational opportunities for the citizens of the region.

  • In 2015, 537 students from 21 countries of the Hemisphere received scholarships from the CONACYT-OAS-AMEXCID program to pursue Doctorates and Masters’ degrees in science and technology in Mexico.

March 23, 2016

For the young Bolivian student Fabiola Mallón Mercado, the scholarship program of the Mexican National Science and Technology Council, the OAS, and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (CONACYT-OAS-AMEXCID) marked a “before” and “after” in her life.  “As a professional, to receive this kind of massive support brought about a total change in my life.  The will to improve was what led me to seek academic support.  Once I was accepted, I began the journey on which I currently find myself, supported by the technology I need for my research, highly qualified professors, and moral support - things I would have missed had I not taken this step,” she indicated.

Thanks to her scholarship, Mallón is studying for her Master’s degree in Advanced Technology in the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) – CICATA Unidad Legaría – in Mexico City, Mexico.  A food engineer who graduated from the U.A.G.R.M of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, Mallón emphasized that in the future when she returns to her country, “I will be able to bring with me all of this knowledge, develop new scientific research projects and thus promote the academic level in universities, since currently there are no graduate studies in Science and Applied Technology in Bolivia.”



Fabiola’s experience is far from unique.  In 2015, the CONACYT-OAS-AMEXCID Scholarships Program for graduate studies in Science and Engineering in Mexico awarded 537 scholarships to students from 21 countries of the region:  Argentina; Bolivia; Belize; Brazil; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Dominica; the Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; the United States; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Uruguay, and Venezuela.

One of the beneficiaries, Cinthya Valeska Castro Pérez, says that the CONACYT-OAS-AMEXCID scholarship was “a blessing” because it allowed her to finance her stay in Saltillo, Mexico, where she is pursuing a graduate degree in chemistry at the Centro de Investigación en Química Aplicada (CIQA).  The young Nicaraguan, who began her Master’s degree in Polymer Chemistry in August 2015, says that the scholarship has allowed her to focus entirely on her studies.

“The scholarship is an incentive to study on a full-time basis,” said Cynthia, who said that living in a foreign country at just 20 years old is not easy.  “You faced a lot of  things here, new customs, new cultures, different weather, a different way of life, and, in my case, living without my family,” she added.

However, for Cinthya, the experience is an investment that will pay off, both for her and for her country. “By creating new conditions for when you return, it allows you to work in the field you studied and to pass on the acquired knowledge to new generations, encouraging them to continue studying, because the path isn’t there and, as the saying goes, ‘Traveler, there is no set path to follow, you make the path as you go.’ I believe that life is a struggle, and you must set your own goals; one struggle arises, you overcome it and then you face another one.”

Cinthya Castro, from Nicaragua
Cinthya Castro, from Nicaragua, is pursuing a Master’s degree in Chemistry in the Centro de Investigación en Química Aplicada (CIQA), in Saltillo, Coahuila.


The Program

The partnership between OAS and the Government of Mexico resulted from a contribution from the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) in line with the implementation of the 2012-2016 Plan of Action of Panama adopted at the Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology in 2011, which included amongst its objectives to help “increase the number of female and male graduates in science, technology, engineering, and technical education” in the region in order to respond to “the changing needs of industry.”  This cooperation was organized through the OAS Department of Human Development, Education, and Employment.

Movilización Internacional de Estudiantes de las Américas a México


Scholarships in the Americas, Europe, and Asia

The CONACYT-OAS-AMEXCID Scholarships Program is one of several offered by the OAS.  The OAS Academic Scholarships Program (Regular Program) is the oldest, established in 1958, and grants scholarships every year for the pursuit of Master’s and Doctorate’s degrees or graduate research.  The OAS Special Caribbean Scholarships Program for the English-speaking Caribbean (SPECAF) was created in 1983 and grants scholarships for the last two years of undergraduate studies to citizens of OAS member states of the English-speaking Caribbean, as well as Suriname.

In addition, there is the Partnerships Program for Education and Training (PAEC), which includes the CONACYT program and the scholarships program of the Coimbra Group of Brazilian Universities (GCUB), which in 2015 granted more than 700 scholarships to citizens of OAS member states to undertake their graduate and postgraduate studies in Brazilian universities, among others.

Reference: E-033/16