Fulbright: 75 years opening cultural and educational exchanges

Fulbright: 75 years opening cultural and educational exchanges

October 18, 2021

The main international academic exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government; the prestigious Fulbright scholarship turns 75 years old. Since 1952, some 800 Salvadoran students have benefited from this scholarship.

The history of the Fulbright Program in El Salvador began in 1952, when Ana Olivia Medrano was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study a master’s degree in chemistry in the United States. According to the records, from 1952-1962, 28 Salvadoran professionals completed their master’s studies in different fields such as: Chemistry, Engineering, Educational Sciences, Psychology, Law, Medicine and Social Sciences.

Each year, an average of 6 Salvadoran students are selected by Fulbright to attend a master’s program in the United States in two modalities: The Foreign Student Program and the University Faculty Program. From 2010 to 2020 more than 100 professionals have been benefited in different areas, with an average investment of $24 million in university fees and living expenses in the United States.

“Education is one of the most powerful tools for the development of a nation and the Fulbright scholarship program has given hundreds of Salvadorans the opportunity to develop their talents and launch projects with the potential to benefit many, many more people,” said Chargé d’Affaires Jean Manes, on the occasion of this anniversary.

In 1946, after World War II, President Harry S. Truman signed into law the Fulbright Program, an international academic exchange program with an ambitious goal: to increase mutual understanding and support friendly and peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. 

Today, the Fulbright Program operates in 160 countries and has provided more than 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals from all backgrounds and in all fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to the search for solutions to complex global challenges.

In the framework of Fulbright’s 75th anniversary, we would like to highlight the contributions of all the professionals from El Salvador who have benefited from the program:

Raquel Guadalupe Estrada: Fulbright Scholar in Management (2018-2020). She is vice president of the Association of Scholars in Educational Programs in the United States (ABEU). She currently works as Senior Process Consultant at Unicomer. In addition to being a leading professional, she is a TEDx speaker at the University of Michigan and a member of the Hispanic Society of Professional Engineers.

Beatriz Anabell Rodriguez: Fulbright Scholar in Curriculum Design (2014). She is president of the Association of Scholars in Educational Programs in the United States (ABEU) and an education expert with over 18 years of experience.  Currently, she serves as an academic consultant for El Salvador and Panama at AMCO International Publishing House.

Jorge Ernesto Lemus: Fulbright Scholar in Linguistics (MA/1991 and PhD/1996).  Fulbright Visiting Scholar (2003). Coordinator of the Research Unit at Universidad Don Bosco.  In November 2010, Lemus received the National Culture Award from the Secretariat of Culture of El Salvador for his work in linguistics, especially in the indigenous Nahuat language.

Rodolfo Molina: Fulbright Scholar in Art History (1986).  He worked as president of the Museo de Arte Popular and Associate Curator of the Museo de Arte Moderno (MARTE). Molina was coordinator of the Banco Promerica project for Salvadoran Art and responsible for the facilities of the Museo Jayaque. He was coordinator of community art projects in the towns of Colón and Sacacoyo financed by the Ministry of Justice and the UNDP.