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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) continues to benefit from collaborative efforts with the Government of Mexico through that country’s Maritime Education Trust Fund (FIDENA). For this year, one CARICOM student is about to graduate from the institution which has been ratified by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as reputable, while another has begun studies.

On 1st July 2000, Ms Cindy Patrick of Grenada will make history as the first female from CARICOM to graduate from a maritime academy in Mexico when she receives her degree certifying her as a Naval Pilot from the Escuela Nautica Mercante “Cap. De Alt. Fernando Siliceo y Torres” in Veracruz.

Ms Patrick, who began her studies in 1996, has followed in the footsteps of Sub-Lieutenant Norman Dindyal of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard who graduated from the same institution in 1999 as a Naval Pilot along with Lieutenant Llwelyn Lynch of the Guyana Defence Force who graduated from the Escuela Nautica Mercante de Tampico as a Naval Engineer.

For this year, the Government of Mexico has awarded a scholarship to Mr. Ike Blanchard of St. Lucia to pursue a course of studies leading to the degree in Naval Engineering at the Maritime Academy in Veracruz. Mr. Blanchard arrived in Mexico on 20th June and is currently enrolled in a Spanish Language upgrading course at the National Autonomous University of Mexico prior to commencing his studies in August. He joins Mr. Daniel Swasey of Belize who began his studies in 1999 to become a Naval Pilot at the Escuela Nautica Mercante “Cap De Alt. Antonio Gomez Maqueoo” in Mazatlan.

The CARICOM – Mexico relationship, in this regard, began in 1996 with the exchange of diplomatic notes which provided for the granting of two fellowships per year for CARICOM Member States.

One of the main purpose of FIDENA is the promotion and interchange of experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the encouragement of technology transfer and knowledge in countries of similar social, cultural, linguistic and technological development, in order to enhance the education of specialised human resources.

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