Welcome to the City of Intellect: Santo Roa, Las Huastecas University
Today, we face devastating problems of violence, drug addition, lack of education, corruption, and a lack of good values.
Globalization has become a powerful force arising from high-speed communications and transportation networks that have lowered barriers to the exchange of people, goods, and ideas around the world. At the same time, the emergence of robust economic and ideological competition has made globalization more challenging than benign. It is a defining characteristic of the early 21st century, and it provides a new lens for our views of topics like commerce, resource distribution, arts and aesthetics, intercultural relations, academic and literary discourse, and relationships among nations.
The worldwide demand for energy and our ability to alter the environment mean that, in effect, we must manage the planet’s resources and viability. One of the most vexing sets of challenges facing modern society is how we will succeed in this management. Issues related to energy supply, delivery, economies, and consumption are more visible and crucial than ever. These issues also have serious national security implications. The Las Huastecas University (UDLH) will be in a position to address the challenges in globalizations, energy and environment in areas that are linked to fundamental needs in national infrastructures.
In the other hand, care of the entire community is a cultural tradition in pre-Columbian cultures that inspires our distinct style of education. One in which intellect is only one part of an individual’s full development.
The path to a brighter future means the creation of a communal style of living through cooperatives and small farms own by individuals along with cutting-edge technologies and ideas to give people alternatives.
Our communities need a restoration of spiritual, intellectual and entrepreneurship values guided by a cadre of highly knowledgeable men and women, professors, young and wise people. People of incredible love for humanity and the environment, people who give themselves wholly to the highest ideals and seek to create a world in which all people have the opportunity to actualize their potential in every domain of life, from the most mundane to the most transcendent.
Las Huastecas University, a City of Intellect, will be a prominent institution of higher learning, a reservoir of new ideas and entrepreneurial spirit. It will create brilliant students; it will be a center of ideas and new industries. It will be an institution with programs in science, business, literature, art, agriculture and languages.
Today, innovation is about much more than new products and services. It is about reinventing the way we think we build educational ventures, business processes and entirely new industries and regions that meet untapped people’s needs.
The knowledge economy can be the center of economic growth, and push for a greater dynamism of industries employing large numbers of educated workers.
The City of Intellect, Las Huastecas University will be a very busy place of knowledge, wisdom, and virtue. It will be built one brick at the time because knowledge takes time, patience, and vision.
At the beginning of the 21st Century, such a university and incubator of intellect was almost unthinkable, especially in such a beautiful and forgotten region. But, because of the vision of its founders and funders, it will be a center of ideas, creativity and entrepreneurship in the remote lands of the Sierra Madre Oriental.
The People of the City of Intellect
The individuals running the university are chosen because of their nobility in spirit, ideals and feelings, so society becomes good and strong. They are completely truth-loving and trustworthy and in support of truth everywhere, always ready to help when necessary having no attachment to the worldly things, comforts and luxury, only knowledge.
At the same time, the Las Huastecas University model will provide quality at low cost education for students who are being priced out of public and private nonprofit colleges, students and individuals looking for an alternative to the traditional educational offerings.
As we emerge from an era of great innovation and discovery that has produced tremendous advances in communications, medicine, and information technology, we look at new sets of needs and problems facing the world-grand challenges of the 21st century.
To provide students with access to a world-class, cultural-relevant, affordable, and comprehensive education that enables them to develop their general knowledge and abilities through academic programs, participation in organizations and bilingual services.
To share our intellectual and specialized capabilities with individuals, organizations and communities around the world in a way that is responsive to the needs of the people of those societies.
To foster academic, cultural and entrepreneurship activities of faculty, students and staff related to teaching, research, intellectual, cultural promotion, artistic and economic development.
Our vision is to be an educational model that serves the world and the Huasteca region.
Teaching excellence that is characterized by diversity, historical perspective, language acquisition, discovery, engagement, innovation, dialogue and dissemination.
Global leadership that emphasizes intellectual, civic participation, ethical, collective and personal development for students, faculty, staff and the communities we serve.
Academic achievement that furthers new knowledge through diverse methods of inquiry and is applicable to multiple communities.
UDLH Core Values
- This pre-Columbian cultural tradition that views faith and reason as complementary resources in the search for truth and authentic human development, and that welcomes persons of all walks of life and beliefs as fully contributing partners to this institution.
- The freedom and the responsibility to pursue truth and follow evidence to its conclusion.
- Learning as a humanizing, social activity rather than a competitive exercise.
- A common good that transcends the interests of particular individuals or groups and reasoned discourse rather than coercion as the norm for decision-making.
- Diversity of perspectives, experiences and traditions as essential components of a quality education in our global context.
- Excellence as the standard for teaching, scholarship, creative expression and service to the University community and beyond.
- Social responsibility in fulfilling the University’s mission to create, communicate and apply knowledge to a world shared by all people and held in trust for future generations.
- The full, integral development of each person and all persons, with the belief that no individual or group may rightfully prosper at the expense of others.
- A culture of service that respects and promotes the dignity of every person.
The Story Behind Santo Roa and the City of Intellect
In the 1500’s the New Spain as Mexico was called then, the friars and missionaries were roaming the colony and trying to establish their different religious missions. First came the Franciscans, the Dominicans and thee Jesuits, then came the Augustinians and tried to make a place for themselves in the regions that had not being occupied by other missions.
In 1538, Fray Antonio de Roa, an Augustinian friar of great size and strength known to his peers as the Monster of Penitence, bodily lifted the massive stone statue of the god Mola and hurled it down the mountainside at Molango (Place of Mola). The monolithic idol shattered into a thousand pieces, convincing the local Indians of the superior power of the Christian god.
Fray Antonio, a passionate man much given to self-mortification, had had a checkered career. A native of Roa, near Burgos in Spain, he came to Mexico in 1535 where he joined Fray Alonso de Veracruz, the noted humanist and missionary, in evangelizing the mountainous Sierra Alta region, north of Mexico City – then an active focus of Augustinian missionary activity.
The legendary “Apostle of the Sierra,” as he was later known, lived out his life in this rugged region as a hermit and holy man, enjoying the regard of the Indians he had labored so hard to convert to Christianity.
Fray Antonio de Roa built a church on the top of a mountain above Molango, a precipitous site that seems suspended between the often misty sky and the green chasm of the valley below. Only a few signs remain of what it was a church in a place now known as Santo Roa. There is a wooden cross on top of the highest boulder, a plaque and foundations of rock and cement, and a beautiful view on both sides of the mountain range.
This is the place chosen to build the City of Intellect, Las Huastecas University.