The award recognizes young people who make a difference to promote sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean could be left to a leader from Barbados, Ecuador, Jamaica, Peru or Uruguay. The Prize will be awarded on October 30, 2023 in Panama City.
The Enrique García Leadership Award organized by CAF, Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean, reaches its final stretch with the definition of the 6 finalists among which will be chosen the young person between 18 and 30 years old who will win the first edition of this award that highlights leadership and commitment to integration and sustainable development.
The Award, which is a tribute to the extraordinary contribution of the former president of CAF, Enrique García, who during 25 years of management transformed the institution into a fundamental organization for the sustainable development of Latin America and the Caribbean, promotes young people who are leading initiatives that have a positive impact on ecosystem services and biodiversity.
The Pre-selection Committee, chaired by the Secretary General of CAF, Alejandra Claros Borda, made a first selection of 24 candidates, under the evaluation criteria of relevance, leadership, affinity, impact and innovation; and then reduce the list to the following 6 finalists:
BARBADOS: ASHLEY LASHLEY. 24 YEARS. DIRECTOR OF THE ASHLEY LASHLEY FOUNDATION
She founded The Ashley Lashley Foundation to raise awareness about global social, environmental and health issues, especially in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). He also established the HEY Global Climate Fund, which provides climate financing for impactful projects in climate and health, climate and gender, and climate entrepreneurship. The HEY Campaign has achieved significant reach, engaging approximately 600,000 people on its social media platforms from 45 countries, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean.
He expanded his efforts by initiating the Barbados Youth Climate Action Summit (BYCASE) to educate students on climate action, energy conservation, waste management, food security and marine spatial planning. The summit involved over 500 students from various schools and resulted in a Youth Call to Action letter to the Government of Barbados
ECUADOR: ANGELA ORTIZ. 25 YEARS OLD. DIRECTOR OF THE PARAYAKU PROJECT AND CEO OF MYCELIUM POP
In 2019 he founded the Microbiological Research Club “CDIM”, in which they impart knowledge in environmental microbiology, talks on scientific stays, leadership, and networking. In 2022-2023 it was the winner of the Galapagos Hub for Sustainability, Innovation and Resilience in the “Enchanted Waters 2022” category. With the “PARAYAKU” project that is currently underway for a drinking water treatment plant for the Galo Plaza Lasso School in Santa Cruz (900 students). This initiative seeks to help more Galapagos families who do not have access to fresh water by taking advantage of rainwater, this water will be used for both human consumption and irrigation or animal consumption.
In 2023, he founded his venture Micelium POP, which produces edible mushrooms and sells seeds so that more people can join in producing their own mushrooms at home. In the same year she was a scholarship recipient of “La Pre Camp y La Camp por Women in Bioinformatics and Data Science LA” (Buenos Aires, Argentina).
JAMAICA: ELEANOR TERRELONGE. 30 YEARS. DIRECTOR OF JAMAICA CLIMATE CHANGE YOUTH COUNCIL
She is an advocate for climate change and sustainability, founder of the Jamaica Climate Change Youth Council (JCCYC). Managed and led the implementation of the Albion Heights “Green Community Project”, which was funded by the Small Grants Program (SGP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and facilitated through the United Nations Environment Programme. Development (UNDP) from 2019 to 2021. The main objective of the project was to equip a rural community in St. Thomas with solar lighting, rainwater collection storage tanks and recycling infrastructure to impact 50 households.
PERÚ: MARYSOL GÓMEZ. 29 YEARS. GENERAL MANAGER OF SOCIAL LIFE OUT OF PLASTIC
She is General Manager of the social enterprise Life Out Of Plastic – L.O.O.P. Since 2017, she has led the national campaign HAZla por tu Playa, which seeks to raise citizen awareness, collecting data that serves to emphasize the problem of plastic in the oceans and the importance of reducing its excessive use, to achieve a transition to a world free of plastic pollution.
From his current position at L.O.O.P., as well as at HAZla, she has been responsible for the coordination and management of intergenerational work groups, execution of projects and services focused on research on the impact of marine litter, microplastics, circular economy, recycling and consumption responsible at national and regional level. She has been recognized as one of the 120 leaders with impact in Latin America by a study conducted by Llorente y Cuenca in 2020, as a young transformational leader who motivates and influences others to take positive actions.
URUGUAY: MATILDE ANTÍA. 24 YEARS. MAYOR OF THE CH MUNICIPALITY OF MONTEVIDEO
In 2019, he led an initiative where he brought together all political parties in days to remove electoral posters on public roads, once the elections were over. The collected materials were recycled, and were input to transform them into school folders, which were donated to public schools in the country.
In 2021, she became mayor of the CH Municipality of Montevideo, one of the most important in Uruguay, at only 22 years old. After a challenging first year, always thinking about innovative ideas that could be pioneers in the country, EcoPlaza Franzini emerged, which is about the general remodeling of the Luis Franzini public space using recyclable materials and creating a sustainable space.
URUGUAY. JOAQUÍN GÓMEZ. 23 YEARS. MAYOR OF DOLORES MUNICIPALITY
He served as deputy mayor of Dolores and 2 years ago took over as mayor at only 21 years of age, being the youngest mayor in Uruguay.
On April 15, 2016, the city of Dolores suffered one of the worst environmental catastrophes in the history of Uruguay, a category F4 tornado collapsed 40% of the city in just 30 minutes. Joaquín took office in the midst of this difficulty, and then, he promoted a transformation based on citizen listening and the transformation of the city with the recovery and redesign of small squares for children, the opening of the tourism office, various infrastructure works and the outstanding project “Let’s redesign Dolores.” It was a participatory process with design methodologies where more than 400 citizens were involved in the creation of a Strategic Plan for 2030. Within this framework, they formed 6 work commissions that represent the axes to align actions for the sustainable and participatory development of the city of Dolores.
On October 30, 2023 at the Biomuseo of Panama City, the award ceremony will be held for the winner, who will receive a statuette, among other recognitions, within the framework of a Seminar
on Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity, aligned with CAF’s strategy to consolidate itself as the Green Bank of the region.
The jury in charge of deciding the winner is made up of: Sergio Díaz-Granados, executive president of CAF; Andrés Rugeles, president of the jury; Luis Enrique García, former executive president of CAF; Enrique Iglesias, President of the Astur Foundation and former president of the Inter-American Development Bank; Epsy Campbell, president of the United Nations Permanent Forum on African Descent; and Ligia Castro, former Minister of the Environment of Panama.