The graduation ceremony of the Geothermal Diploma Course for Latin America was held in San Salvador on December 20th, 2016. The event marked the closing of the first edition of this academic programme carried out in cooperation between CEL/LaGeo, UNU-GTP and the University of El Salvador (UES), facilitated by the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs and funded by the Nordic Development Fund.
The programme had a duration of 18 weeks, having started on August 15th. Thirteen weeks were devoted to lectures, practical work and field trips. One week was dedicated to Short Course I on Sustainability and Environmental Management of Geothermal Resources Utilization and the Role of Geothermal in Combatting Climate Change, held jointly by UNU-GTP and LaGeo in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the final 4 weeks were used to carry out 13 different projects covering the spectrum of geothermal development, individually or in groups.
The curriculum was implemented by 38 Salvadorian experts from LaGeo, 8 Icelandic experts and 10 lecturers of UES, while the project work was wholly overseen by Salvadoran experts.
The 30 graduates of the programme came from Bolivia (1), Colombia (2), Ecuador (1), Mexico (2), Nicaragua (3), Peru (1), and the host country, El Salvador (20). All of the foreign students and 10 Salvadoran students received scholarships.
During the ceremony, speeches were made by Ing. Kevin Padilla (LaGeo), Ms. Mariné Hernández (representing the students), Ing. Francisco Alarcón (UES), Dir. Lúdvík S. Georgsson (UNU-GTP / video), and Dir. David Antonio López Villafuerte (Comisión Ejecutiva Hidroeléctrica del Río Lempa –CEL).
The Diploma Course will be repeated in 2017 in a similar format, although the duration may be extended. The programme will be advertised by UNU-GTP, LaGeo and UES in the early part of the year.
Director Lúdvík‘s speech can be found here.