Araí Guadalupe Chan Canul, 16 years old and originally from the community of Sinanché, Yucatán, received the National Youth Award 2013, the highest award Mexico delivers to youth, at the National Palace in Mexico City by the President of the Mexican Republic, Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto.
Araí has worked for 8 years in promoting care for the environment among children and young people and creating aquaculture craft products that are developed with snails in the region, the revenues that are generated go to needy communities.
Araí received a gold medal, a gold rosette and a cash stipend of 145,000 MXP to be applied to her ongoing work.
A very distinguished path
In 2006, Araí began participating in the HUNAB association’s Life Project, a group that won the "UVM Award for Social Development" among other awards. After participating in a workshop on environmental education in the community of San Crisanto in Mérida, she organized her own environmental group. It was in the backyard where Araí began playing with aquatic plants, fish and apple snail. With this experience, Arai designed snail shell handicrafts and generated extra income for her family.
Araí’s path is remarkable for its efforts to share experience and knowledge with families throughout the community, teaching children about environmental issues and encouraging families to find alternative ways for sustainable community development.
Araí has been invited by the United Nations Environment Program to present activities in international forums like the Tunza Conference on Environment in Nagoya, Japan 2010 and Bandung, Indonesia in 2011 and at the World Water Forum in 2009 Istanbul, Turkey.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.