Guatemala Honors LIU Brooklyn Professor
Foreign Minister Pays Tribute to Professor Raúl Molina-Mejía for Service to Guatemalan Immigrants
Alka Gupta,Assistant Director of Public Relations
Long Island University
Brooklyn, N.Y. – LIU Brooklyn history and political science Professor Raúl Molina-Mejía earned a special honor this week from the Guatemalan government for his work with Guatemalan immigrant communities in the United States.
At a Jan. 11 ceremony held at the Consulate General of Guatemala in New York, Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs Haroldo Rodas-Melgar awarded Professor Molina the Guatemalan Order of National Recognition for the Help, Assistance, Care and Protection of Migrants (National Decoration with Medal and Diploma).
An executive order from Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom praised the professor for playing “a very valuable and committed role in favor of the Guatemalan immigrant communities in the United States, contributing to their well-being, both by participating in different Guatemalan organizations and by carrying on his daily duties.”
“The honor is an homage to the human face of migration,” said Professor Molina, who earned a graduate engineering degree from San Carlos de Guatemala National University and has taught at LIU Brooklyn since 2003. He directs the campus’ Model UN Program.
Professor Molina has served on the board of directors of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission and was founding member of Representación Unitaria de la Oposición Guatemalteca (RUOG), a political and diplomatic group that presented the case of Guatemala at international forums on human rights. Professor Molina’s numerous honors include serving as Grand Marshall of the Central American Day parade in Long Island and awards from the city of Houston, Casa Guatemala in Chicago and the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights in Central America for his dedication to the Guatemalan community.
Professor Molina said he is part of a “constructive opposition…which has praised good deeds and accomplishments by the State while firmly criticizing its missteps and shortcomings.”
“I am delighted to receive this honor from the government of Guatemala because it is a highly visible recognition of the efforts of Guatemalans abroad,” he said. “The Guatemalan diaspora — 12 % of the national population, with 1.5 million people in the United States — has been invisible to the eyes of state and society, despite the fact that we have significantly contributed to the search for peace and development in the country.”
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