Hugo’s family lives in Flora María, El Salvador.
After secondary school, Hugo joined the group A Roof For My Country, or TECHO (Un Techo Para Mi País in Spanish) a youth-led, non-profit organization in Latin America and the Caribbean that is working to end extreme poverty in slums.
In 2011, Hugo and his friends created an association that they named Enterprising Youth of Flora María, or JEFA (Juventud Emprendedora de Flora María in Spanish). The association has built two greenhouses and grows sweet peppers, sweet corn, and beans. Last year, JEFA appeared in a national newspaper as an example of a successful enterprise carried out by youth.
After graduation, Hugo plans to return to his community to work with the youth. Agriculture would provide a safe, drug-free environment to teach young people how to provide for themselves, their families, and their communities as well. Hugo strongly believes that if “we have faith in others, if we can positively influence others, we can bring an end to all the environmental damage.”