What is UIMQROO? It stands for the Maya Intercultural University of Quintana Roo, an incredible Mexican school with which our company is now partnering. This public university was started in 2007 and, from the beginning, set out to be innovative. Its mission is to contribute to social and economic development in the region of Quintana Roo and the Yucatan. And it’s doing so by developing a cadre of professionals to bring their cultural heritage to bear and use their training to create positive changes there.
This past May, our company president Deborah Schimberg visited the campus of UIMQROO to guest-lecture a class on social entrepreneurship. She explained how her interest in the sustainable harvest of chicle, the tree sap used to make gum chewy, led to her development of Glee Gum. Many of the students in attendance had family members who harvested chicle. It was a rare and exciting opportunity to close the circle of production from tree to Glee!
UIMQROO is focused on multilingualism, so all students learn in Spanish, Maya, and English. The university is also focused on interculturalism. For example, each summer, students return to their homes to apply their studies to actual problems happening in their respective villages. Students can earn degrees in one of eight areas of study: Agro-ecology, Municipal Management, Language & Culture, Community Health, Alternative Tourism, Intercultural Education & Arts Management, Social Entrepreneurship, and Information and Communication Technology.
At the present time, there are about 550 students at UIMQROO— 97% of whom are on financial aid. Our company, Verve, is proud to contribute to the UIMQROO’s financial aid budget, helping to make it possible for students to attend and thrive in this truly unique school. We’ll keep you updated as we work to find more ways of supporting UIMQROO and its students!