Young co-operators making contributions to the movement were granted awards at the fifth Co-operative Summit of the Americas.
The awards were created in tribute to the late youth member of the board of the International Co-operative Alliance, José Antonio Chávez Villanueva, who died in a car accident in December 2014.
They recognise the contribution of individuals and organisations who help youth co-operation in the Americas region.
This year the award for individuals went to Amarilys Roldán Reyes from Puerto Rico who has been active in the movement for over 10 years. She presides over the country’s Co-operative Youth Committee.
In the category dedicated to organisations, the award was granted to CENECOOP (Centre for Co-operative Training and Education) from Costa Rica for its results in supporting the promotion, development and participation of youth in the region.
JOVENMEX from de México also received an award for helping young people develop co-operative businesses.
José Antonio Chávez Villanueva took over as president of the Youth Network of Co-operatives of the Americas (ICA Americas) in 2007, helping to convert it into a regional youth committee. He went on to become the youth representative on the board of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA).
He was an active campaigner for increasing young people’s involvement in the movement. In addition to this role, he was a marketing manager at Caja Populares Alliance Federation in Mexico.
In 2012 he authored the book The continuity of the co-operative model – in whose hands is it? to mark the International Year of Co-operatives. The book was presented at the Summit and is available online (in Spanish.)