Washington, DC, March 10, 2008

The Mexican Embassy in Washington and the Mexican Foreign Ministry, announce today the nationwide launch of English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) courses throughout Mexico’s network of 48 consular offices in the United States of America.

The project is being developed in conjunction with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Fundación Azteca America and Grupo Salinas.

The first phase of the program includes courses offered by UNAM appointed ESL teachers with a proven “Survival English” 60-hour course plan, in the Mexican consular offices of Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Santa Ana.

The courses are designed to provide students with basic language needs to face common, everyday situations encountered by non-English speakers living in the United States, as well as with a strong socio-cultural insight into various aspects of the U.S, that will enable them to deal with different situations while living in this country.

 The first widespread stage of courses in the program will begin on March 15 and will expand ongoing UNAM/ Fundación Azteca America pilot courses in San Antonio and Austin.

 The second stage of the program will extend the courses to the entire network of Mexican Consulates in the United States. Each consular office will begin advertising them shortly. It is expected that the groups will be formed within the first half of the year.

 “This initiative is an important tool that will enhance the political, economic and social empowerment of Mexican Americans, and also enhance their civic engagement and successful integration into the fabric of the American mainstream”, said Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan.

 “The courses will engage students with authentic use of English through hands-on practice with native speakers, give students social-cultural insight into certain aspects of the U.S. and enable them to deal with situations encountered when living in the US,” said Mario Melgar, Director of the UNAM-San Antonio.

 “This is part of ongoing efforts of Fundación Azteca America to support the Latino community in the United States,” said Fundación Azteca America President Luis J. Echarte. “It’s in everyone’s interest to have a community that is better educated with access to higher-paying jobs.”

 The consular office classrooms program, builds on a previously announced agreement between UNAM, Fundación Azteca America and Grupo Salinas that will present televised ESL courses, scheduled to air before the second half of this year.

About the UNAM

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is the largest university in Latin America and the second-oldest in the Americas. It was also ranked as the top university of Latin America by the Times of London in a recent study. Distinguished UNAM alumni include three Nobel Laureates: Alfonso García Robles (Peace), Octavio Paz (Literature) and Mario Molina (Chemistry).

 About Fundación Azteca America

 Fundación Azteca America is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for members of the Hispanic community currently in the U.S.  Fundación Azteca America, Fundación Azteca, Azteca America and TV Azteca are companies of Mexican conglomerate Grupo Salinas