Karina de la Torre Garcia was 28-years old when she was selected as a GOJoven Fellow. Karina holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from La Salle University, Mexico City. She holds certification in Institutional Strengthening and Fundraising, as well as Leadership and Management for Civil Society Organizations. Currently, she works as GOJoven’s Country Representative for Mexico. Karina has worked with environmental non-profit organizations such as Greenpeace Mexico; Flora, Fauna, and Culture of Mexico; and Amigos de Sian Ka’an. In 2009, Karina was part of the Sierra Club Tour in 6 cities in the U.S., presenting on “Environment and Population, the case in Quintana Roo.” Karina also has worked in the area of sexual and reproductive rights organizations APIS and Foundation for Equality, where she addressed issues around domestic violence, gender equity, human rights, and feminism.
Maria Beatriz Chimal May was 25-years old when she selected as a GOJoven Fellow. Her professional experience includes working as a librarian in her native Mayan village of Coba. Beatriz speaks Spanish and Mayan and is committed to improving the lives of the children and youth in Coba. Beatriz wants to help children and youth overcome their fears and speak freely about sexuality, even though it is taboo in her culture. She would like to study law in the future, becoming Coba’s first lawyer and continuing to fight for the rights of her community.
Alberto Lopez Castro was 24 when he was selected for the program. He is an environmental activist living in Playa del Carmen who and is actively involved in local work to protect the mangroves of the Sian Kaan Reserve. Alberto became interested in HIV, STI and adolescent pregnancy prevention while working as a medical assistant and administering pregnancy and HIV tests and counseling. He is interested in becoming a physician and protecting the human rights of youth and families.
Iris Borraz Magdaleno, selected at age 23, has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Valladolidad, Yucatán, and holds Diplomas in Sales Management, Marketing, and Neurolinguistic Programming from the Technological University of Monterrey. Her professional experience includes working in eco-tourism in the Mayan Riviera. She worked as Assistant for the University of Valladolid upper management, creating Marketing Plans. Her main areas of expertise are program planning, leadership, financial planning, media, and statistics. These are areas which she has worked in to create studies and projects for electoral candidates and businesses to address issues around youth and women in abusive situations. Iris is passionate about gender equality and works to contribute to the elimination of abuse and exploitation of children.
Fernando Camin Medina was selected as a GOJoven Fellow when he was 24-years old. His professional experience includes working as the Deputy Director of Tourism for the Municipal Government of the Solidaridad District, in Playa del Carmen. He implemented district-wide programs with numerous associations and institutions. Fernando hopes to become the Director of the municipal government’s Youth Institute. He has a BA in Systems and Information Engineering and owns an Information Technology business and teaches IT at a local university. Bilingual in English and Spanish, Fernando sees himself as a future political and business leader in Playa del Carmen.
Jacinta Chan Pech was 29 when she was selected to participate in GOJoven. Jacinta is an Industrial Engineer in Business Development and a Mayan leader who is bilingual in Spanish and Maya. She works for the National Comission for the Development of Indigenous Communities (CDI) as the Quintana Roo State Coordinator for the Indigenous Women’s Organization (POMI). She supervises women-led projects and co-facilitates national workshops to train female promoters in Equity and Gender, Culture, SRH, Sustainability, and Rights. Jacinta has participated in the Digital Storytelling Project, recording her digital story, which she uses to educate indigenous health promoters in different regions of Mexico. She has collaborated in various volunteer environmental projects to create a recycling collection center. Jacinta’s short term goal is to direct her own organization that provides workshops to strengthen the capacity of indigenous youth in SSR and link the work of GOJoven alumni to her current organization.
Gabriela Maria Guzman Fajardo, selected at age 26, is the founder and Director of Proyecto Jóven de Puerto Cortes, a youth center that works to prevent HIV and AIDS. Gaby has experience supervising four employees and over 25 volunteers working to prevent HIV among at-risk youth in the region’s rural and urban areas. Gaby’s dream is to turn Proyecto Jóven into a larger center that provides sexuality education, a virtual library and sports and education entertainment programs for youth. She also hopes to expand the humanitarian aid work that she does in Honduras’ remote Mosquitia region.
Wilson Paz Colindres, selected at age 27, has experience working as the sole teacher in a primary school in the mountainvillage ofLa Jolla. He has a technical degree in elementary education. He has volunteered as an environmental educator with the Conservation Corps of Omoa, an ecological organization that works to protect the Mesoamerican Reef, conserve mangroves and sustain the region’s marine biodiversity. He has also been involved with his local health committee and has served as a Red Cross volunteer.
Omar Guerrero Maximo , selected at age 26, is a Garifuna leader from Puerto Cortes. He has experience as director of a Garifuna adolescent theatre group that develops and presents shows on HIV prevention for youth and adults in the various Garifuna communities throughout the area, was an actor in a Garifuna sexual and reproductive health radio program and is also a music composer, writing songs in Garifuna and Spanish on HIV and violence prevention.
Milena Joselin Cacho Martinez, selected at age 22, is a leader of the Garifuna town ofMasca. She has worked as an HIV/AIDS prevention counselor for the U.S. Christian organization, Samaritan’s Purse. In this position, Milena has provided youth with information on sexuality and gender, sexual abuse, self-esteem and the prevention of HIV/AIDS through abstinence. She has been involved in Garifuna theater and radio programs for many years.