Alonso Jr. Joseph Hodgson
Top 30 Under 30 2020
Alonso is a Miskito man working collaboratively with Change for Children on various community projects in his Indigenous home region in the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua. He is one of a few from the region to pursue higher education and is working hard to contribute to the sustainable development of his community.
Hometown: Alto Wangki Bocay (a Miskitu Indigenous territory), Nicaragu
Currently Residing In: Alto Wangki Bocay, Nicaragu
Projects and Organizations
2018–Present: Indigenous Territorial Government – Secretary of Board of Directors
I am currently working for the Indigenous territorial government, which is responsible for overseeing all projects in our Miskitu territory. I maintain records of the meetings and the decisions of the Indigenous government council and assist the elected president to carry out his duties in the seven communities of the region.
Some of the projects I am working on include a program to reduce emissions from the tropical forests of our territory, the construction of cell phone towers and health posts, citizen security strengthening, projects to protect Mother Earth, and a patrol program to prevent illegal logging.
2018–Present: Change for Children and World Possible – Supporter
I collaborate with Change for Children and World Possible to bring an education program on learning technology to the community. I also support Change for Children as a translator and classroom assistant.
Which of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals resonates most with you?
SDG 1: No poverty is the most important SDG for the Indigenous peoples of Alto Wangki. We need to promote the development of our community in many ways, including building awareness of the problems of early pregnancy, preventing physical abuse and child abuse, promoting education and sports, reducing social problems among youth, and introducing more technological innovation.
What change would you like to see in the world by 2030?
I want our Indigenous territory to gain full self-government and not be dependent on other regions. We want to manage our territory so that our people feel protected and not discriminated against. We want to be independent in our traditions and culture, since we are multicultural and multiethnic. I would also like to see a university established here that serves our Indigenous community.
I have always liked to work with Change for Children because the organization cares about supporting the needs of the people in our region and seeing them prosper, and so do I.
What current issue inspires you to take action?
I am most inspired by the need for more education, sports, and training for young people. Young people can make the most impact when given the opportunity to gain an education and practice a profession. Due to lack of resources, most young people here only finish high school in the local schools and do not have the chance to leave the community to study a profession such as medicine or engineering. I want to promote awareness about early pregnancy and get young people out of drug and alcohol abuse. Then I want to look for mechanisms and take necessary measures so that they have a future in our territory.
“Queremos ser independientes en nuestra tradición y cultura, sentirnos protegidos contra la discriminación y servir a nuestros pueblos originarios.”
“We want to be self-governing in our territory with our traditions and culture; we want to feel protected against discrimination, and to serve our indigenous peoples.”
-Alonso Jr. Joseph Hodgson