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SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Keynote Speakers Marta Sahagún de Fox, wife of the President of Mexico, Mexico Secretary of Education Reyes Tamez Guerra, former Costa Rica President Rodrigo Carazo Odio, and U.S. Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez are scheduled to address the 5th International Conference of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) July 26-29 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Zapopan (Mexico) Mayor Macedonio Tamez Guajuardo will also address a conference that will invite an international roster of Hispanic higher education and public policy leaders to promote the globalization of diversity in education.

“United by our heritage, we also share a mission to develop international education partnerships to foster a new era of multicultural understanding, leadership and peaceful cooperation in this global economy,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores.

“We are honored that Marta Sahagún de Fox and Reyes Tamez Guerra will join our distinguished roster of speakers and participants at this extraordinary international gathering,” Flores said. “The advancement of knowledge, aided by the acceleration of new technologies that so easily transcend the barriers of our physical borders, can bring the promise of new prosperity and peace for every country that promotes international education.”

HACU represents 340 colleges and universities serving more than two-thirds of Hispanic higher education students in the United States, as well as an international membership of leading higher education institutions in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Spain.

HACU’s international conferences have attracted wide attention to global issues and trends in education, workforce development, public policy and cultural development. This year’s 5th International Conference, Hispanics: Reencounter and Vision – United by the Past, Working in the Present, and Looking Towards the Future, will feature interactive sessions designed to promote new cross-border education partnerships, foreign language acquisition, faculty and student exchanges, and public policy development.

The conference at the Hotel Presidente Inter-Continental in the capital city of the Mexican state of Jalisco will also feature leaders from corporate, community and research sectors addressing daily workshops and special sessions on topics ranging from new information technology tools to the pivotal role of higher education in economic development.

“With their inherently diverse student populations, our U.S. member higher education institutions have become especially adept at capitalizing on their multicultural strengths in a country where Hispanics have become the youngest and largest ethnic population. Our international member institutions have also contributed tremendous expertise and energy to our existing cross-border exchanges of academic programs and education technology,” Flores said. “We must keep education as a priority that unites every country as the common solution to our world’s economic, social and political divisions.”

Mexico Secretary of Education Reyes Tamez Guerra met last November with U.S. Secretary of Education Roderick Paige as the co-chairs of the education-working group of the United States-Mexico Binational Commission to promote joint initiatives as part of a formal U.S.-Mexico Memorandum of Understanding on Education. Secretary Paige addressed HACU’s 2003 Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education in Washington, D.C., in March.

Former Costa Rica President Rodrigo Carazo Odio established the Universidad para la Paz, dedicated to the promotion of world peace, during his presidency from 1978 to 1982. Carazo also is the former director of the Banco Central de Costa Rica and former President of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica.

Gaddi Vasquez is the first Hispanic American to be named Director of the Peace Corps. The former Southern California Edison Company executive and Hispanic Liaison to the California Governor’s Office was named six times by Hispanic Business magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States.

Prior to becoming Mayor of the Municipality of Zapopan, Macedonio Tamez Guajuardo helped found the Jalisco Institute of Forensic Sciences and served as its General Director until 2000.

For more information, contact HACU’s national headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, at (210) 692-3805. Ext. 3214. Or visit www.hacu.net.