Macario Vásquez Reyes, Leadership Program Coordinator

Macario is passionate about youth empowerment, and believes strongly in the potential of leadership training to transform communities; from a young age he has participated in theater and youth groups. After receiving a Voces y Manos scholarship, he succeeded in obtaining a teaching credential as a Teacher of Primary, Bilingual and Intercultural Education. He returned to Voces y Manos in 2012 with a proposal to create a social justice-oriented youth leadership association to foster the development of young people in Rabinal. His proposal was whole-heartedly accepted, and his vision became a reality in 2013. Under this program structure, the “Association” of Voces y Manos scholarship recipients began executing research projects and advocacy efforts. He is especially proud of Voces y Manos’ youth-led political advocacy forums, where youth engaged directly with Rabinal’s mayoral candidates to discuss their proposed municipal plans. 

While working with Voces y Manos, Macario graduated university with a Bachelor's degree in Pedagogy and Educational Administration in 2018. The pedagogical training he received helped him reform his approach and strengthen the leadership program for new Voces y Manos scholarship recipients. Proactive and committed, the success of Macario’s efforts inspired him to begin developing a general curriculum guide for indigenous youth leadership. His personal philosophy is: "Young people are not the future, they are the present. The future is a place where their ideas must come to life, only then will sustainable community development and buen vivir (‘good living’) prevail".