First they visited ITESM Campus Cd de Mexico where they met with Dr Juan José Plata from the School of Medicine, ITESM Campus Cd. de Mexico and several authorities from ITESM’s Life Sciences School. Later in the day, Darren, Arturo and Juan José went to CONACyT’s headquarters to meet with Dr Julia Tagüeña Parga, Directora Adjunta de Desarrollo Científico de CONACyT and Mr Salvador López Carbajal, Head of Science and Innovation, Newton Fund – Mexico, amongst others, where they had a very productive conversation regarding potential funding opportunities for research staff in Mexico and the UK.
The next day Darren, Arturo and Juan José travelled to the south of Mexico to the municipality of Solidaridad, in the southern Mexican state of Quintana Roo, where they met with state authorities of Mexico and Belize to discuss the challenges posed by emerging infectious diseases in the region, and to propose actions to support the fight against such diseases. Present in the discussions were the Municipal Mayor of Solidaridad, José Mauricio Góngora Escalante; the Health Minister of the State of Quintana Roo, Dr Juan Lorenzo Ortegón Pacheco; the Director of Health Services of Quintana Roo, Dr Tomás Contreras Castillo; and Solidaridad’s Director of Health, Dr Oscar Rodríguez Mendoza as well as the Minister of Health of Belize, Hon. Pablo Marín.
Finally, they rounded off their busy trip by travelling to Puebla to meet with high-level authorities of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), including Dr José Ramón Eguibar Cuenca, Director of Research, and Dr Rosa del Carmen Rocha Gracia and Dr Patricia Lozano Zarain, from the Sciences Institute, who kindly and joyfully gave them a tour through their impressive library and through their state-of-the-art Laboratory of Molecular Diagnostics. Included in the experience was of course a very special lunch of genuine Comida Poblana before Darren and Arturo finally boarded the plane on their way back to Oxford.