Fanny Martinez was selected as a GOJoven Fellow at age 23. As a Community Nurse’s Aide at the Bella Vista Health Center, Fanny visited clients and prepared and implemented projects for youth groups in Bella Vista and surrounding villages. Given the high prevalence of HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections in the area, she has prioritized prevention in her outreach to youth and commercial sex workers, and urges both youth and adults to use condoms correctly in order to prevent HIV/STIs. She also has experience working with local schools and churches to ensure that young people become more knowledgeable about pregnancy prevention and sexual and reproductive health.
Pedro Witz was 19 years old when he became a GOJoven Fellow fromPunta Gorda,Belize. Pedro has worked at Earth Watch Institute and the Social Investment Fund, volunteered with the Belize Women’s Department and Toledo Mayan Woman’s Council, and has experience running programs for children and youth in theAdventistReformChurch. He has also worked with the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA) as Finance Officer/Accountant, and as Project Coordinator of the Mayan House of Cacao & Chocolate Museum, a project funded by the European Union through the TCGA and intended to generate more income and value added product to the cacao to then pay farmers more money for their cacao beans. Pedro holds an Associates’ Degree in Business Administration from theUniversity ofBelize.
Saira Gutierrez became a GOJoven Fellow at age 24 when she worked as a teacher and vice principal at a primary school in Bella Vista, a poor English-speaking village created to house Central American immigrants working on the banana plantations. Under Saira’s direction, school staff provided workshops on sexual and reproductive health to students for the first time ever. Saira also has experience as the principal of Fabian Cayetano Roman Catholic School, and has provided workshops on sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention with the Bella Vista Catholic youth group. She is a role model and informal counselor to the youth in her community, who face many health and development challenges.
Sharon Tillett Lucas became a GOJoven Fellow at age 24. She has taught at the St. Peter Cleaver Roman Catholic Primary School in Punta Gorda and has worked as a volunteer with the AIDS Task Force of the Ministry of Health. Sharon is dedicated to young people and is able to have a direct impact on children and the administration at the largest school in the Toledo District, as well as within her community. Sharon is passionate about working with children; her long-term goal is to work with children with special needs or those in especially difficult circumstances.