HI Mexico Spotlight: Geovanni Beristain

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In the midst of the Himalayan Institute Mexico’s major humanitarian initiatives, the remarkable stories of those responsible often go unreported. This section of the blog seeks to showcase the diverse range of backgrounds, talents, obstacles, and triumphs represented in our local staff and contacts.

The Himalayan Institute Mexico is what it is today in large part due to the leadership and passion of General Manager Geovanni Beristain. Geovanni joined the HI Mexico staff in January of 2010, so has been involved with the development of the organization from its initial establishment.

Enjoying the view with U.S. team during an early visit to Jonotla.

Geovanni speaks to the town of Jonotla during the HI Mexico Grand Opening.

He says, “The main thing that attracted me to work with HI Mexico was and still is the humanitarian intention of the institution. As a Mexican I know that my country has a lot of problems, and surely one of the biggest problems is poverty. The work that the Himalayan Institute is doing in Mexico can bring change to a poor community in many ways, but most important is that it will empower the people to create sustainability for themselves. I’m happy to form part of this change.”

Celebrating graduation day, along with Energy Farming program leader Ariszandy Calderon Diaz (front row, in red). These students just completed the month-long intensive training in Sustainable Agriculture.

Raised in Puebla, the capital city of Puebla state, Geovanni has a bachelor’s degree in economics. He was employed by the state government of Guerrero as head of a microfinance program working with families in need before coming to work with the Himalayan Institute. His experience and training have helped him develop HI Mexico’s organizational sustainability, in addition to finding creative ways of reaching out to the local community.

“The best experiences have been with the people of Jonotla. I can say that working with the people there is very satisfying. Surely we are there to teach them something, but also I can say that I am learning from them. People in the town have a lot to teach and I have learned a lot of things about farming, culture, traditions, history.”

The General Manager is not above helping out on the farm!

Although an urbanite by birth, Geovanni has made a second home in the little town of Jonotla. In his free time, he can be found hanging out with Energy Farming Program Leader Ariszandy and his family, mountain biking, reading history books and spending time with his wife, Mariko.

Geovanni and Mariko were married in Japan in 2010 and now share a bicultural, trilingual home! Geovanni's appreciation of diverse cultures is part of what makes him perfect for the job.

“Geovas” is very popular with neighborhood children, who often ask him to play soccer or basketball with them after work. A couple times a week, Geovanni can be found in the town square giving English lessons.

HI Mexico is proud to have Geovanni at the helm! And he, in turn, is “very proud to form part of a great movement that will change the lives of many and that will change the way we see the world.”

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