• Home
  • News
  • A warm farewell for two GMP colleagues on a cold evening at El Batán

A warm farewell for two GMP colleagues on a cold evening at El Batán

July 19, 2013

Esperanza Esperanza Téllez, Global Maize Program (GMP) assistant, worked at CIMMYT for 34 years. Rodolfo Caballero, research assistant to the Highlands Maize program, began to work in what would become CIMMYT when he was 13 years old in 1961 as a temporary worker in a program funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Mexican government. On 10 July, their colleagues said their thank you and goodbye to both of them, as they are leaving CIMMYT after a lifetime of work dedicated to the Center.


In Rodolfo’s early years of working for CIMMYT, the first seed house was set up at the Chapingo Autonomous University and later at the Colegio de Postgraduados San Martin experimental station. When CIMMYT was founded in 1966, experimental stations in El Batán (highland maize), Tlaltizapan, Morelos (subtropical maize), and Lindero Poza Rica, Puebla (tropical maize) were established and soon after – in 1968 – Rodolfo was hired as permanent employee for the Highlands Maize Subprogram, where for years to follow he provided support to scientists, trained and organized employees, and helped with selection of new materials. “It is a great pleasure for me to see that after 45 years of hard and continuous work, maize inbred lines generated by the Highlands Maize Subprogram are involved in more than 30 commercial hybrids released by Mexican institutions as well as small seed companies, with the germplasm covering over 200,000 hectares,” said Rodolfo looking back at his years at CIMMYT.

Esperanza began her work at CIMMYT at the Administration Program and Visitor Services in 1974. In 1977, she joined the Visitor and Conference Services Department, and in 1979, she began her work at the Global Maize Program where she started as a secretary and later on became the program assistant. “During the time that I have worked at CIMMYT, I had more than 70 bosses. I had the privilege of working with Drs. Alejandro Ortega, Gregory Edmeades, Marianne Bänziger, David Bergvinson, John Mihm, Shivaji Pandey, Martha Willcox, Félix San Vicente, and the deceased Hugo Córdova to name just a few,” says Esperanza of her time at CIMMYT. “All of my bosses and colleagues have treated me kindly. I was lucky to work in such a friendly environment and I am happy to think that I had the opportunity to contribute to CIMMYT’s mission.”

Many were the positive words and good wishes coming from colleagues, former supervisors, and Félix San Vicente who gave a thank-you speech on behalf of program director B.M. Prasanna. The GMP presented both colleagues with a plaque, and Rodolfo received a special plaque from the Highlands Maize program.

We wish both Esperanza and Rodolfo all the best!