Student Spotlight: Diego Eliseo Imul Calel

Diego Eliseo has been a huge presence around LHI over the past few months. After graduating from middle school, Eliseo was almost forced to drop out of school because his father decided that he was not concentrating enough on school and that Eliseo should work instead of going to high school. After working long hours in the city of Quetzaltenango, about 7 hours from Chajul, during his school vacation, Eliseo now realizes he does not want to do manual labor for little pay for the rest of his life and desperately wants to complete his education. After a number of conversations with LHI, and Eliseo begging for his father’s permission, with LHI support the family has decided to allow Eliseo to continue studying. Eliseo is in high school in Chajul, studying to become a teacher. As part of the Work to (L)earn and Sustainable Tourism programs, Eliseo has done outstanding work with LHI, helping with recent groups of visitors. He helped guide and support the group of Brown University students we hosted in January, as well as our partners from Philanthropiece in February, which were very positive experiences for both Eliseo and our visitors. Eliseo has been enjoying and learning from these experiences working with visitors; his charismatic and outgoing personality makes him a perfect tourist guide and cultural mediator in Chajul. Eliseo is a vibrant presence in the LHI community, and was recently elected by his peers to the LHI Student Council for 2010.