About Benjamin Alexander Meletz Roquet

“My goal is to graduate and fulfill my dream of becoming an Agroforestry Engineer,” says Benjamin. It hasn’t been an easy journey.”

Benjamin began studying civil engineering in Quetzaltenango but had to stop after 4 semesters. His father, a retired teacher, lost his job at a Christian bookstore and could no longer help pay for his son’s studies. Benjamin worked for a while, then began a five year program in Agroforestry studies at the Universidad del Valle, at their Highlands campus. Two years later he graduated as an Agroforestry technician, but at the same time his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The whole family joined together to help pay for her treatment. By then Covid-19 further disrupted the family’s economic stability. Benjamin worked for an NGO: MAIZA Guatemala, (Movimiento de Acción e Intercambio de la zona Centroamericana) for 9 months but it didn’t lead to a fulltime job. At the end of his contract, he got a job in a local butcher shop. The family’s economic pressures lessened a bit with his mother’s recovery. Benjamin was able to continue his university studies at the Highland campus as well as get a job working as a butcher in the Solola Shopping Center. “I still want to be an Agroforestry Engineer. And I want to be able to help my family and my country.”