Distinguished scientist Hugo Córdova Orellana, who will retire in May 2007, received a rousing tribute during the 53rd annual meeting of the Programa Cooperativo Centroamericano para el Mejoramiento de Cultivos y Animales (PCCMCA), a long-lasting network of agricultural researchers from Central America and the Caribbean. The event took place in Antigua, Guatemala, during 23-27 April and was dedicated to Cordova. Presiding over the inaugural ceremony with Córdova were Hector Centeno, Guatemala’s Presidential Commissioner for Science and Technology; Bernardo López, Guatemala’s Minister of Agriculture; Mario Moscoso, PCCMCA President and Director General of Guatemala’s Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología (ICTA); Octavio Menocal, Vice President of the PCCMCA; and the organization’s Executive Director, Mario Fuentes. As part of the ceremony, participants recalled Cordova’s life and work in global and Central American agricultural research and made humorous reference to the strong character and personal drive that have contributed to his success and marked his personal and professional relationships.
The Salvadoran native has worked 37 years in agricultural research, with achievements that include contributing to the development of improved maize varieties sown on 4 million hectares in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and, in latter years, the development and promotion of quality protein maize (QPM). He has indelibly marked the professional development of more than 60 undergrad and graduate students for whom he has served as advisor. During his keynote presentation for the event, Córdova commented that “…much remains to be done in Mesoamerica and I trust that international efforts will continue to address this.” Thanks and congratulations, Hugo!