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Rutilio Martínez

University of Northern Colorado

Dr. Martínez is a native of Mexico City. His interest in travel began when he was almost six years old – the result of his first trip to the cattle ranch of his family. This ranch is located in a rural region of the eastern slope of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range. At that time, this region lacked modern infrastructure which meant that candles were used at night, and it was normal to ride horses for up to twelve hours per day on trails that dated back to colonial times. These trips to the ranch were like traveling to the past.

In college, to pursue his interests in traveling, he joined AIESEC, an international student organization through which he was able to obtain three summer internships. The first one was in Barcelona, where his coworkers at the Banco Ibérico showed him the meaning of joie de vivre. His second internship was in the subsidiary of Philips in Istanbul, where he observed very closely the social struggle between two segments of society, one pro-European and one that reflected nostalgia for the Ottoman past. His third internship was in Helsinki in the main offices of Nokia. Here, he experienced a society that was an example of functionality, respect for the environment, multilingualism, and excellence in public education. The positive experiences of these internships, combined with his curiosity about economic development, led him to complete a master’s in economics at Colorado State University and a Ph.D., also in economics, at Vanderbilt University.

After completing his Ph.D., he went to work for the University of Northern Colorado. While at UNC he taught numerous classes dealing with the economies of Latin America in Germany and in the Czech Republic, as well as, one MBA statistics class in Lithuania. A highlight of these teaching opportunities was the interaction with students and professors of many nationalities who had a wide variety of political, economic, and social convictions.

Rutilio met his wife Gayla while both were studying at CSU. They have three grown daughters who often accompany them on their journeys. Some of those journeys have been accomplished without using motorized transportation, such as gliding across a ballroom dance floor or pounding the pavement to complete four marathons. For them, the key to significant travel is not the mode of transportation nor the destination, but observation and engagement that enhances our understanding of the world.