by John Pint
Six students from the
Monterrey Tec university in Guadalajara, Mexico have created an ingenious way
of tapping into the wealth of knowledge that senior citizens have
accrued throughout their lives.
Their brainchild is Sabius, an internet-based project in which seniors
can share their wisdom and experiences with the younger generation
either at their homes or other locations.
The idea came from a Tec program in which finance, marketing and
business students gathered over a long weekend to try and develop new
“We had Friday to Sunday to come up with something, but Saturday night
arrived and we still hadn’t found anything,” said Alonso Vargas, who
heads the student team.
The team then had a conversation with Dr. Carlos Marquinez, a senior
who runs Telemedicina, a service offering low-cost health assistance to
people in remote corners of San Luis Potosi via mobile units connected
to the internet. For a payment of only 25 pesos, campesinos can receive
an instantaneous diagnosis by specialists in Houston, Texas and then
learn about local herbs which might cure their illness.
“We were greatly impressed by his business savvy and knowledge of
technology. He completely turned around our concept of senior
citizens,” Vargas said.
Vargas and his team came to the realization that seniors are a
significant resource and that many are interested in sharing their
knowledge. They concluded that young people want to learn about the
many of same things that seniors have spent their entire lives doing.
“We thought why not create a platform that did this,” said Vargas. “We
simply decided to connect the dots.”
The students began by looking for seniors who had abilities, hobbies or
life experience they wanted to share, and then used their knowledge of
smartphone apps and social media to find young people interested in the
They set up experimental classes to see what would happen, offering
courses given by seniors in cooking, auto repair, pastry making and
“It worked,” Vargas said. “The gardening, for example, was taught by a
gentleman named Gualo at Terra Nostra Vivero (nursery) in Colonia
Seattle. He charged 50 pesos per person per class. We held three very
successful sessions and then paused for our fund-raising campaign.”
Convinced their concept was sound, the six entrepreneurs decided to
help finance Sabius through the crowd-funding website Fondeadora, where
they hope to raise 45,000 pesos.
If you would like to give them a hand financially, visit
The word Sabius suggests
the Spanish “sabios,” which means sages. Vargas is
confident Sabius will someday make it possible for people living
anywhere to sign up for classes with “sages” on any subject, via
nothing more than a few taps on their smartphone screen. “We want it to
be as easy as finding a room on Airbnb,” he said. (Airbnb is an app and
website for people to list, find and rent lodging with more than 1.5
million listings in 34,000 cities and 190 countries.)
If you are interested in participating, contact Alonso Vargas (who
speaks English) at Mexican cell phone 331 872-4318 or via their Sabius