“I cannot fail. There are no second chances”, said Miguel Cuj: Director of Research and Nutritionist for Mani+/Nutri Plus., Guatemala
Bright Star Grant Consultants Vice President, Janet Bourque, met Miguel in January 2011 when she volunteered to teach conversational English to Mayan university students in a program sponsored by the Maya Education Foundation in Antigua, Guatemala. Miguel is an exceptional scholar that has played a “game changing” role in relationship to hunger and malnutrition in Guatemala. As a professional colleague and friend, Miguel shares with Bright Star Philanthropy Partners our goal of shared value solutions in collective impact poverty alleviation through innovative solutions to hunger and malnutrition.
Miguel entered and graduated from University at a time when the percent of Mayans with this achievement was so small as to be hardly counted. He accomplished this through determination, passion for making a difference in the lives of his Mayan country men, and support from organizations and mentors who recognized his brilliance. His story is one of inspiration for Mayans and for those who support them. Here is Miguel Cuj’s story, in his own words:
“I was born during a civil war. Fear and hunger were the everyday experiences of my childhood. In my own personal and professional experience as a Maya person in Guatemala, I see that my country still suffers from violence, racism, social and economic inequality, although the conflict officially ended in 1996 with the Peace Accords. It is for this reason that my interest developed in the holistic, qualitative and quantitative social health of my country. I would like to further my research into the political, economic, and social causes that result in the high rates of malnutrition in Guatemala. “