Some of our hemisphere’s emerging leaders in politics, business, civil society, and the arts.
Dancing, as anyone from Barranquilla, Cali or Bogotá can attest, is in Colombians’ blood. Whether it’s cumbia, salsa or currulao—you name it, they dance it. Yet, lacking career opportunities and financial security, few Colombians ever go on to become professional dancers.
The rescue of the 33 miners trapped for more than two months deep beneath the Chilean earth drew unprecedented media attention to Chile. The near-flawless operation demonstrated the mining industry’s technological prowess, while the collapse itself shed light on the antiquated extraction methods that jeopardizes miners’ lives and the environment.
Enter Pamela Chávez Crooker, a 42-year-old marine biologist and microbiological engineer. As cofounder and director of research and development (R&D) for Aguamarina S.A.—a leading Chile-based biotechnology company—Chávez is applying the latest science in microbiology to the age-old process of mineral extraction to improve mine safety and address the industry’s environmental pitfalls.
As a child, Teca Cozetti Pontual found her grandmother’s stories about life under Brazil’s dictatorship riveting. They also taught her the value of service and dedication to an ideal even under the harshest conditions. Today, at the age of 29, Pontual is putting those lessons to work. As project manager for Ginásio Carioca at the Rio de Janeiro City Department of Education, she is responsible for improving the quality of education for 235,000 middle-school students.
Educating teenagers often means keeping them motivated to make it to graduation. With today’s bleak job market and wide wage differentials between the skilled and unskilled, the draw toward crime, violence and drug abuse is particularly strong for those who don’t complete their education. But getting at-risk students to the cap-and-gown ceremony isn’t easy.
As the founder and executive director of Fusion Jeunesse (Youth Fusion), a program that targets at-risk immigrant youth between the ages of 12 and 17, Gabriel Bran Lopez is doing his part to keep kids in school in the Canadian province of Québec.