Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2021. 10:12 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Every month, the United States embassy in Belize highlights outstanding Belizeans.
For the month of May, Valentine Rosado has been chosen for the Conservation Spotlight.
Valentine grew up in the coastal community of Corozal and has always been interested in the sea and nature.
Valentine began pursuing his interests by studying environmental science after high school but it wasn’t until he joined a group from The University of New Mexico – UNM that were learning about Belizean ecosystems that he had the chance to learn more about marine biology.
Rosado then went on to earn his first degree in biology followed by a master’s degree in biodiversity and sustainable development.
While completing his graduate studies, Valentine was working on a government project with the National Protected Areas Secretariat which allowed him to be on the forefront of the development and implementation of national and global policies relevant to the environment. This experience, in addition to his graduate work, gave him the confidence to return to his community to work on sustainable development projects.
Valentine established Grassroots Belize as a private company in order to work on projects related to the marine environment, trying to solve problems through science and research.
Some of these projects include mangrove reforestation in Florida, Aruba and Costa Rica, sustainable fishing, tourism management and sustainable development planning.
Rosado says that it is also important to do pro-bono work within the community.
Typically, 30% of funds goes towards pro-bono work but during COVID Grassroots Belize decided to put about 60% of their income towards supporting families in need.
Grassroots Belize has also implemented a Marine Apprentice Program to inspire and assist emerging leaders among the youth in the community.
The youth are provided with specialty training, career mentoring and experience in conservation management.
Rosado says that this helps educate and inspire a group of future leaders to go on and continue making a difference in whatever career path they pursue.
Valentine is determined to continue working towards sustainable development goals in order to leave the planet better than he found it for everyone including his daughter. He encourages others to keep a positive outlook, look after their personal and mental health, and be prepared to listen and learn when it comes to conservation.
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