UNC Charlotte Alum Spotlight: Manuel Zapata

Date Published: 
September 22, 2016

Manuel Zapata photo
[Photo credit: UNC Charlotte Belk College]

Engineering Entrepreneur Turns Author

Manuel Zapata has close ties to our university. The native Chilean graduated from our Belk College of Business with an MBA in 1972 and serves on the CEE Department's advisory committee. In addition to the excellent guidance and support he provides our Department and University, Mr. Zapata also operates Zapata Engineering, a successful engineering firm based out of Charlotte. In August 2016, he fulfilled a lifelong dream by releasing his first novel, El Retorno.

El Retorno is a historical novel based in 1970s Chile. The 378-page paperback is written in Spanish and is available on Amazon. In English, the full title of the book is:The Return : A story of love, war, and adventures during times of exile. It is about a young idealist who escapes after being caught by the military forces of Chile following the coup in that country in 1973. His escape brings adventure, love, and suffering in different parts of the world as he tries to adapt to his new status of exile. His wife, who has suffered the rejection of her family for marrying a man of the left political party, has to give birth to her daughter alone and hide in the mountains until she is informed that her husband has been shot. Life, finally, creates opportunities to end this saga in a totally unexpected way.

Manuel Zapata--engineer, businessman, author--has a long history of civic leadership in Charlotte and North Carolina. You can read his biography here.