Life has taught Marcos Andrés Antil to be a dreamer and a helper. During his keynote address at EARTH University’s Graduation Ceremony on December 6, he shared his story – inviting the more than 1,000 attendees to keep dreaming, advancing and serving others.
When Antil was 14 years old, he fled his native Guatemala to migrate by land to the USA. He and his family, like so many immigrants then and now, crossed entire countries to escape rampant hunger, violence and hopelessness. They abandoned their home in Central America to seek refuge and a dignified life elsewhere.
Regardless, he has never forgotten his roots. “I, Marcos Antil, am a Mayan, a Q’anjob’al speaker, a Guatemalan, a migrant, a son, a brother, a husband, a father and a tech entrepreneur.”
Through great effort, Antil graduated from a U.S. college and built his own business: XumaK – a firm providing digital marketing and e-commerce services to large companies in more than 25 countries. “XumaK means ‘florescence’ in Q’anjob’al, my native language, and represents the action of planting a seed, watering it and tending to it until it blooms.”
Antil underscored that whatever happens in life – obstacles, shortages, sacrifices, hard-hitting realities – we are full of achievable and beautiful ambitions. “What is your dream?” – he asked the 114 graduating EARTH students – “Like the flower that overwhelms everything with its presence, dreaming teaches you never to give up on yourself, never to lose yourself, never to resign yourself to defeat. When facing any fall, your dream becomes a clear vision, giving you the strength to try again and again, until you achieve it.”
As a teenager, the world seemed stacked against Antil. Yet, he continued dreaming and moving forward. He sowed seeds of change as he went along and, through perseverance, eventually saw them bloom. Now he harvests the fruit of his sacrifices with an eagerness to serve others. He invited EARTH’s graduating Class of 2019 to do the same: “In addition to your teachers, mentors, family and friends, Mother Earth looks at you today with pride. And hope. You – a group of young people educated in sustainable development, ethics, knowledge quest and biodiversity – are ready to change the world, ready to achieve goals, ready to change the rules of the game.”
Marcos Andrés Antil is a benchmark of success, an enlightened leader of humble origins, a creator of opportunities, a fighter for young people, a dreamer. Like EARTH students, he is a change agent who faces relentless obstacles, yet persists – to reach his goals, to extend his hand in service and to help others bloom.