Sponsored by the Wells Fargo Bank, The Register newspaper and Kinder Caminata, and in association with the California-based bookstore Librería Martínez, in 2005 she wrote a biographical, bilingual coloring book series about successful contemporary Hispanics in the U.S. The first installment in the collection was about Reuben Martínez, recipient of the 2004 McArthur Fellows Award for his outstanding efforts in promoting Latin culture in California. Titled Reuben the Reading Barber, or A Tale of the Power of Reading (Reuben, el peluquero lector o una historia del poder de la lectura), the piece is available free through Librerías Martínez.
In 2005 the author developed a bilingual activity book called Learning is Fun with JUMEX, for Jumex-USA. Targeting 9-12 year-olds, the project is designed to encourage kids to develop their English and Spanish skills.
Project leader for the development of bi- and tri-lingual CD-ROMS promoting direct foreign investment for the state governments of Baja California, Baja California Sur, San Luis Potosí and Coahuila (1995-2000). Directing these projects required coordinating a group of multidisciplinary talents and skills, including systems engineering, graphic design, animation, translation of texts, voiceovers and audio design. Every project sought to maximize available multimedia resources (audio, video, interactivity, animation, etc.) within the given time frame for each production.
Wrote and illustrated Spanish-language children's books from 2004 – 2005 for Arizona-based IGUANA (www.iguanarevista.com) and the magazine CABRAS for Mexico City (2007).
Economic and Financial Culture Projects
In 2005 Verónica began collaborating with Mexico’s National Commission for the Defense and Protection of Financial Service Users ( CONDUSEF, Spanish initials), on a college-level economic culture course titled, What Do You Do With Your Money? (¿Qué haces con tu dinero?). The project is designed for implementation in three Mexico City colleges: Universidad La Salle, Universidad del Valle de México y Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. CONDUSEF has made the project available on its website to centers of higher education in Mexico as well as the approximately 25,000 visitors it registers daily to its portal that would benefit from this course material.
CONDUSEF is a decentralized government organization invested in implementing far-reaching economic culture programs in Mexico. The aforementioned project is that and more. So much so that Senator Rafael Alejandro Moreno Cárdenas has proposed legislation in Mexico’s Congress that would make economic education mandatory in primary schools. (see proposal in its original Spanish version at Ley General de Educación).
Also for CONDUSEF, Ms. Huacuja is putting the finishing touches on an educational project designed to encourage the use of information and communication technologies. In short, the project invites visitors to the agency’s website to develop WebQuests (providing links needed to complete the online quest) or economic/financial culture modules related to pensions, saving and credit, among other relevant themes. This educational project can be found on CONDUSEF’s website under the menu: El Universitario.www.parauntesoro.com. Aimed at Mexican youths in Mexico and the United States, the content deals with creating an economic culture and ultimately developing more effective decision making skills related to the use and management of one’s resources – monetary, time, etc.
Presented in both Spanish and English, the bilingual format of forAmigos is concordant with the philosophy of Mexico’s Secretary of Public Education in that a solid grasp of English is fundamental for getting ahead in any area of science, technology, business or services in today’s global, knowledge-based society.
Content in forAmigos is based on National Council of Economic Education standards for economic sciences.
During 2006 and 2007 she has been developing a non-scholastic economic culture project for 6 – 12 year olds for Grupo Financiero BBVA-Bancomer.
In 2008 she developed for the Asociación de Bancos de México (ABM), a children's story with the topic of the value of savings. This project was undertaken to join the Calendar of Values 2008-2009 that the Foundation Televisa, Grupo Bimbo, Scribe and the Foundation Alfredo Harp Helú sponsor annually. It is important to note the significance of this project given that the Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP) monitors it to ensure the relevance of its content and is distributed by the Comisión Nacional de Libros de Texto Gratuitos (CONALITEG) to all classrooms in primary schools in the Mexican Republic.
In 2008 she began a project on nutritional culture to improve the scholar visits of primary schools to the fabrics of Grupo Bimbo in the country.
In 2005, Ms. Huacuja wrote Little Souls (Pequeñas almas), a novel for 9-12 year-olds about how music enriches children’s lives. The story’s main characters, Paulina Morales, Daisy Flores and Juanito de los Santos, set free fantastic beings that live in the “Room of Lost Things” when they play music.
Amongst Ms. Huacuja’s other creative interests are painting and adult literature. As an artist she was a finalist in the Museum of Monterrey Biennial and Roche 2000 Painting Competition. As an adult writer her work is published in the Mexican newspaper Reforma’s online section: El Angel-Página Cero ( www.reforma.com).
Verónica Huacuja is the Executive Director of Desarrollo e Imagen Multimedia, a firm dedicated to the creation of educational projects.
Born in 1958 in Mexico City, Ms. Huacuja (wah-coo-ha) holds a Bachelor’s in Industrial Design, completed three years towards a degree in Philosophy, and recently received her Master's in Education with a specialty in Teaching (2004 – 2007). At the moment she is taking the Diploma Course, New Methods and Techniques for Teaching and Implementing Economics (Nuevos métodos y técnicas para la enseñanza y divulgación de la economía) at Mexico City’s Interactive Museum of Economics (MIDE).
Steps in the Development of an Educational Project
From 1983 to 1986 Ms. Huacuja developed the My Favorite Characters ( Mis personajes favoritos) series for Editorial Trillas publishing. In addition to this popular biographical collection of coloring books about celebrated characters in history, Verónica also developed the children’s project, Footlights (Candilejas), a cardboard pop-out theater concept that introduces children to classics such as Don Quijote, Beauty and the Beast and Robinson Crusoe, among others.
From 1986 – 1992 Ms. Huacuja compiled a collection of traditional stories along with her own original works for the House of Fuller-México.
For McGraw Hill Interamericana she has co-authored the reading/writing pre-school series Triz Trazos Plus (1996 – 2007), which is alre