Elsia has made it her mission to ensure the cultural traditions of the Mayan people, comprising 11.3% of the population of Belize are not forgotten. After learning handicraft from elders in her village in Belize, Elsia now teaches her peers about the art, both in school and villages across the region.
As well as preserving her culture, Elsia is also breaking the cycle of poverty in her community, by encouraging young people to sell the products they make; contributing to their education and improving their life chances.
Whist Elsia believes wholeheartedly in the power of education, she also realises the stark reality her community is facing with many of her peers dropping out of school. She hopes that with these skills young people will have a means of empowering themselves and providing for their families.
With 56% of Belizeans under the age of 25 Elsia’s efforts and tenacity are crucial in ensuring the Mayans’ rich culture is not lost and that young people continue the legacy of their elders. She is an inspiration to all who know her, and a strong advocate for her heritage and culture.