Contact: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 202-456-2580
Hyatt Regency Mérida
8:43 A.M. (Local)
THE PRESIDENT: I'd like to thank you all for joining us. One of the best things
I'm so happy that you all have joined me to share with me your experiences from one of our most effective programs, which is a program all aimed at improving the human condition. I'm proud of the citizens of the
Victor, would you like to start? I mentioned you in un discurso en los Estados Unidos about the benefits of this program. I understand you went to
MR. LÓPEZ RUIZ: I want to express my deepest appreciation for this opportunity. Thank you, Mr. President, for sharing the story in your speech last week. Your words fill me so happy. And I have the encouragement to keep working in my community. I want to express my gratitude, as well, to Becas Cas (phonetic) and USAID for selecting me for this scholarship in 2004. I received also an associate degree in international business and trade at
And finally, I would like to thank everyone that supported me and helped me for this opportunity, my dreams come true -- especially my family. I had to face many challenges to get an education, but I learned that with the right attitude and a lot of effort and commitment, everything is possible.
At the age of 12 I had to leave my community to be able to study high school. I faced several obstacles, including the fact that I did not speak Spanish, because my language is Tzotzil. Now I speak three languages. I had to work to support my education. This is how I was able to study. I still continue fighting for my dream today, which makes me value them even more.
I really enjoyed my time in the
I did an internship in a coffee production company in Bentondorf, to use the skills that I was learning in commerce and administration. These same skills have helped me to start a small family-run Internet cafe and bakery in
I want to invite Mexican young people to come together and commit to their community and our country. Education is the only means to improve our quality of life and achieve peace, social peace in the entire world.
Once again, thank you for this scholarship program. I hope the
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Victor. What was the name of the family in Bentondorf?
MR. LÓPEZ RUIZ: Peter and Mary Shaffer (phontetic.)
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I thank them. I hope they feel good about the fact that they helped you. There's a lot of American families that have great compassion for people around the world. And thank you for sharing the story.
Marcela. You went to
MS. RUIZ: I went to
I have dedicated my life to helping businessmen and women in the state of
A key factor in the CEINNOVA SBDC success was having the opportunity to participate in a training program offered by the Unversidad Autonomous of Guadalajara and the
On behalf of the many businessmen and women that we have helped, I would like to thank you, Mr. President, and the American people for supporting us. I am very proud of the work of CEINNOVA SBBC and the Mexican Small Business Development Center Network are doing here in
Thank you very much.
THE PRESIDENT: Very good. Thank you all very much. Thanks. We'll eat a little breakfast now where we can continue our discussion.
END 8:52 A.M. (Local)