Juan is from a rural Mopan Maya community, called San José Village, in the south of Belize.
After secondary school, he spent two years working with the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA), a non-profit organization devoted to sustainable farming practices. His experience working with TCGA “gave me the passion and vision to know I could be a positive influence in helping people learn and understand the social and environmental impact of agriculture, and to help people understand how to make a profit while respecting the environment.”
Juan hopes to work with biochar (biomass that has been converted into charcoal.) Biochar is a soil additive that improves soil fertility. Juan sees the potential of biochar to help minimize deforestation in the Toledo district, brought about by slash and burn farming.