Jose Hernandez Zapata
Jose was born in 1994 in the community of Carmelita, San Andrés, Peten, Guatemala, located in the Maya Biosphere Reserve. He graduated in General Mechanics in the municipality of San Francisco and right after graduating went back to his community where he started work as an assistant electrician in the Carmelita Cooperative, and became a member a few years later.
In 2013, he became a deputy in the managing board of the Forest Community Association of Peten (ACOFOP), where he became more involved in activities carried out by his organization. In 2015, ACOFOP decided to become part of a popular community communicators network, where different training programs were taught in fields such as: communication, the right of access to public information and environmental justice. Since then, he has taken part in several training programs related to the basic use of social media, video editing, photography, writing and community radio, as well as in different exchanges.
He has also been a representative of his organization (Carmelita) and ACOFOP. In the same year, Jose became one of the young leaders of his community, when he was elected as spokesman to the managing board of the Carmelita Cooperative.
In 2018, he took part in an audio-visual contest which took place in Panama, with the support of Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques and If Not Us Then Who? Jose also collaborated in 2020 in the making of several videos for the campaign Cero Incendios de Guardianes del Bosque, where he showcased the relevant contribution of forest concessions in the protection and preservation of the forest.