The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program
José Fautino Chuj Matul / Guatemala

Province: Solola
City: Colonia Patricio Green
Age: 18

Class of 2013-2016

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Scholar: José David Araya Carvajal Scholar: Juan Manuel Zamora

When José was twelve-years old, he left his home in rural Colonia Patricio Green, Guatemala, to study agriculture. His early decision to study agriculture led him to the National Central School of Agriculture, or ENCA (Escuela Nacional Central de Agricultura) for secondary school.

José wants to go home and help the small producers in his region. He wants to teach them how to conserve the environment and how to grow sustainably. “Producers at home produce for themselves and use a lot of chemicals. What they sell is sold at such a low price it doesn’t even begin to cover production costs. It’s a lack of knowledge.” He sees people with a lot of land producing very little because they do not know better methods to produce, so they end up planting and harvesting very little, and mostly for their family, not for profit. José hopes to start a banana plantation back home, a plan that formulated during his three-month work experience at a banana plantation while at ENCA.