Wilson Rigoberto Norales, selected at age 23 is an experienced Garifuna sexual and reproductive health educator and human rights advocate from Livingston. He has facilitated trainings in human rights, discrimination, racism, HIV and democracy for both local organizations and the Guatemalan government. Wilson has a high school diploma in computers and was a seminary student in Nicaragua in 2006. He plans study psychology at a local university.
Abigail Ortiz Dubon was selected at age 18 when she was still in high school. The Ladina woman is a member of a local Mayan cultural association, where she has participated in workshops on leadership, conflict resolution, self-esteem, the environment and HIV/AIDS. She is very interested in environmental protection and the importance of sexual and reproductive health in maintaining the balance between human population and nature. Abigail hopes to strengthen her knowledge of sexual and reproductive health, particularly HIV/AIDS prevention, family planning and adolescent pregnancy prevention, in order to influence youth in her community to practice healthy sexual behaviors.
Elder Eduardo Ventura was selected as a GOJoven Fellow when he was at age 19 years-old. He has worked professionally as a high school teacher at his family’s private school in Rio Dulce and has taught classes on SRH in the hope of reducing the high rates of adolescent pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, school desertion and single motherhood in the region. He worked as an intern at a local radio station in Rio Dulce, where he created a sex education radio program geared toward youth.
Edgar Anival de Leon was selected as a GOJoven Fellow when he was 19-years old. This Q’eqch’i’ Mayan leader has worked for Grupo de Jovenes Jesus to prevent teen pregnancy by encouraging abstinence and healthy sexual behavior. He has participated in the leadership training activities of a Mayan cultural association and has volunteered with the HIV prevention and anti-discrimination projects of the local Red Cross. He is a passionate advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention, and is eager to study sexual and reproductive health and share this information with other youth in his rural community.
Flor de Maria Cordón runs information, education and communication programs for youth at the government health center in Los Amates. Selected at age 26, Flor is a young Ladina woman, with significant experience working with children and youth, first as a primary school teacher and principal, then as an educator for the Department of Social Projects of the Office of the First Lady. She has trained health promoters and midwives in rural communities and will soon graduate with a BA in Social Work.
Dennis Castillo was selected to become a GOJoven Fellow when he was 20-years old. His professional experience includes being a member of the Board of Directors of the Livingston Garifuna Youth Group, which works to improve the lives of young people in the area. Since the age of 15, Dennis has participated in numerous groups working in the areas of HIV, human rights and political participation. He led, for example, a group that provided recreational activities for young people with the goal of reducing drug abuse and commercial sex work. Dennis plans to study law, after which he plans to become mayor of Livingston.