América Ixlem Chen Sam
América Ixlem Chen Sam is originally from Cantel Quetzaltenango, she is 18 years old, and is currently enrolled in the fifth semester of Administrative Engineering at Galileo University. She attended public institutions for elementary school.
When she was in the fourth grade, the academic year did not begin as established in the calendar, so she sent a letter to the Prensa Libre newspaper, addressed to the Minister of Education, demanding that the school year be started. This letter was published by the newspaper with the highest nationwide circulation. Since she was a child, she has shown great social sensitivity: when she saw the consequences of chronic malnutrition on children that began their formal schooling at the institution where she studied, she worked together with the health sector to provide nutritive cookies to newly-enrolled children. The cookies were distributed during a talk on the right to nutrition and unmet basic needs.
Ixlem has participated in volunteer groups focused on the subject areas of: ecology, sports, human rights, the right to health, and responsible sexual education. She has also volunteered to rescue stray dogs in order to provide them with a new chance at life in decent conditions.
In the city of San Lucas Sacatepéquez, where she attended high school, the Mayor gave her an award for academic excellence. In 2018, she participated in the Ella lidera [She Leads] forum, where Look Magazine identified and nominated her to be included in the book “Entre Chapinas” [Among Guatemalan Women]. In this book, 50 Guatemalan women are recognized for their efforts in different areas of action, making big and small changes, significant to the country and with social awareness.
She is motivated and driven by all of this training and these opportunities to make a difference in the approach to social inequality, taking into account the determining and conditioning social factors in populations in need. Her focus is on human rights, from the perspective of the right to education, through inclusion, belonging, and cultural diversity.
América was selected as a participant in the 2019 Voces Que Inspiran.