On Thursday, July 27, 2023, leaders across Mexico participated in ‘The Force of 100,000 Strong in the Americas’ (100K Strong) initiative, a hybrid (virtual/in-person) event to discuss the impact of 100K Strong. Representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, Fundación Banorte, and Fundación Gruma, as well as from higher education institutions were among the group, all of whom are dedicated to academic exchanges between Mexico and the United States.

The event highlighted the visionary leadership of Fundación Banorte and Fundación Gruma in joining the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, the Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and Partners of the Americas to work together to increase crucial access to innovative and inclusive student exchanges and training programs.

The collaboration between Fundación Banorte, Fundación Gruma, and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico resulted in eleven new 100K Strong partnerships between Mexican and American universities.  These partnerships enabled approximately 300 students and professors to acquire technical, linguistic, and intercultural skills in the areas of financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, agricultural sustainability, natural resource conservation, and business administration.

Mexico is a regional leader in the 100K Strong educational initiative, due to a decade of work in the public, private, and academic sectors of the US and Mexico. With over 130 partnerships between universities and colleges in 29 states across the U.S. and 23 states across Mexico, Mexico’s devotion to this important cause has impacted 2,100 students and professors.

Ambassador Ken Salazar highlighted, “The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund embodies what we can achieve when our nations work together and invest in the talent and potential of our people through educational exchanges.  I acknowledge the Banorte and Gruma Foundations for their commitment to this successful initiative that fosters the leadership and work of our students, professors, and academic institutions to transform our common challenges into shared opportunities.  We promote the #Bicentennial200EducationChallenge so students from both countries live the experience international education and continue building their future and the future of North America.”

Carlos Hank Gonzalez, President of Banorte, said, “Today, as we witness the culmination of three years of collaboration, research, and dedication on topics such as financial and economic inclusion, let’s celebrate the great achievements that have been possible thanks to the joint efforts of all of us. As part of the Bicentennial 200 Challenge for Education, we join this incredible program and are pleased to have contributed together to the commitment of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico to promote education.”

Juan Gonzalez Moreno, President of Gruma, emphasized, “At Gruma, we congratulate ourselves on the achievements of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund because it aligns with our company’s vision and commitment to drive research that improves sustainable agriculture and rural development globally, and particularly in the United States. It was also an opportunity to demonstrate that Mexico and the United States work together to create more and better opportunities for our countries, companies, and people.”