grantees » José Domingo Caal Caal

José Domingo Caal Caal, Guatemala

This grantee is still in the process of their leadership development with the JWH initiative. This profile will be completed once the grantee has finalised their activities.

José Domingo Caal Caal has proven himself as a skillful young leader in the area of environmental development in Guatemala. After finishing his studies in 2007 at Ak’Tenamit, a university for Maya students, José and other fellow students created the organization Maya Association for Rural Wellbeing in the Sarstun Area (APROSARSTUN). The goal of José’s NGO is “to improve livelihoods in the 16 predominantly Maya Q’eqchi communities within the federally-protected Sarstun River Multiple Use Area while simultaneously preserving the environment”. José proudly tells us how “last year, working with local communities, APROSARSTUN established 10.4 hectares of agroforestry plots, installed 59 fuel-efficient stoves and 16 composting latrines for families, and built two nurseries with the capacity to grow and reforest 7,000 native trees.” 

José has observed that APROSARSTUN’s potential as an NGO has been limited by an unfortunate language barrier. José plans to use his JWH Initiative grant to break this barrier by taking English courses at the Guatemalan American Institute. APROSARSTUN often works in a border region with Belize, the English-speaking communities of which face the same environmental challenges. Improving his English skills will allow José to cooperate more effectively with his Belizean colleagues. Furthermore, APROSARSTUN has needed much assistance from other NGOs such as EcoLogic in writing funding proposals to international organizations in English. José wishes to establish a higher level of independence for his NGO by taking the lead on soliciting financial support and improving APROSARSTUN’s network in collaboration with EcoLogic.  

Lastly, José has the personal goal of improving his leadership and project management skills in the fields of agroforestry and natural resource management.  José wishes to do this by someday following a higher education at an American or international institution. Fluency in English is all he needs to complement his leadership skills in accomplishing his goals. 

Nominated by

Barbara Vallarino EcoLogic Development Fund United States.