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In Memoriam, Octaciano Banegas Galeas

September 13, 2018

The Public Health Institute is sad to share the news of the death of PHI’s GOJoven colleague and alumni fellow Octaciano (Chano) Banegas Galeas. Chano passed away on June 30, 2018 in Texas, as he journeyed from Honduras in search of a better life for himself and his family.

Chano came from the small town of Tocoa, Colón, on the Atlantic coast of Honduras. In 2009 he became a Fellow of the Public Health Institute’s Youth Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (GOJoven International), joining alongside his peers from Belize, Mexico and Guatemala. In 2013, together with other Fellows from the GOJoven Program, Chano founded the GOJoven Honduras Association and was part of the organization’s first Board of Directors (2013-2015). After finishing his term, he remained an active member of the organization’s General Assembly until today.

Chano showed energy, dedication and commitment to the people of his community, including the Garifuna population, women, and young people and children. He was a talented young leader with a sense of curiosity and adventure; and wanted to do his part to transform his community, his society, his country and the region.

Persistent economic and social inequalities divide the United States and Central America, and U.S. economic and immigration laws and policies contribute to these types of tragedies, predominantly affecting youth and families who migrate in search of a better future. With the premature death of Chano, PHI and the GOJoven family has lost a wonderful colleague, friend and leader. We will continue to work in his name to improve living conditions and economic and leadership opportunities for Honduran youth, women, children and men.