Download participant profile PDF

On February 18-28, 2019, seven young activist-scholars will participate in an experiential study program “Peace Education and the SDGs in South America,” during Peace Boat’s 100th Voyage, sailing from Ushuaia, Argentina to Valparaiso, Chile. This South American program will
empower the scholars to specifically delve into the SDG13 for Climate Action and SDG14 for Life Below Water. We hope this program will enable the young scholars to take what they learn on the Peace Boat and bring it into their communities, empowering other youth to raise their voices for
a more sustainable world.

The seven participants are recipients of partial or full “Youth for the SDGs Scholarships” by Peace Boat US. 


Hansier Rodriguez is a Dominican-American researcher currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Public & Nonprofit Administration with a second concentration in International Affairs at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. Peace Boat US has a partnership with Rutgers University to give students the opportunity to learn through international dialogue and experience during our Global Voyages. Hansier will be interning with Peace Boat US during the Spring semester to support our work at the United Nations . He considers himself a change agent and a social justice activist as well as a global citizenship advocate. He feels most connected to SDG 4, because he wants to see all children receive a quality education. His leadership model is inspired by the following quote, “the most powerful thing a leader can do is to empower others.”

Carol McDonnell Schmidt is a geographer working for CODEFF (National Committee to Protect the Flora and Fauna), which is the oldest environmental nonprofit organization in Chile. Peace Boat and CODEFF work in partnership to raise awareness about environmental issues through activities held in Chile and onboard the ship. Both organizations continue to work on the Campaign to declare Patagonia a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO, as the region’s diverse wildlife and other biological and geographical features are already endangered by development and resource exploitation. Carol works specifically with
biodiversity, in the IBA (Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas) program, assessing the status of birds for a more specific approach at protection initiatives within the context of climate change. Carol expresses her dedication to the UN SDG 15 to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and land

Sara Van Eerde is currently living in New York City and works for the nonprofit organization Global Kids, where she teaches environmental justice through a program called the “Human Rights Activist Project,” leads a “LGBTQ+ and Allies” support group, and is piloting a new mental health program at a high school in Queens. A partner organization of Peace Boat, Global Kids focuses on global learning and youth development that works to ensure that youth from underserved areas have the knowledge, skills, experiences and values they need to succeed in
school, participate effectively in the democratic process, and achieve leadership in their communities and in the world. Sara is most passionate about the UN SDGs 5 and 13. She highlights the importance of opening up spaces for all genders and marginalized communities. She loves finding links between the SDGs and showing people that bridge in an accessible way.

Mareeka Dookie was born in Trinidad and Tobago and raised on the island of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin. She is a creative young professional who loves to travel, learn about different cultures, learn new languages, and gain worldly experiences. She prides herself on being a life long learner. Currently she is an elementary school teacher living in Sint Maarten, focusing on recovery efforts in the lives of children after the devastation of hurricane Irma in September of 2017. She is working as a Programme Administrative Officer with UNICEF-Nederland in Sint Maarten. Mareeka’s work centers on the UN SDGs 9 and 11, which express her call for disaster risk reduction, education, and resilience among communities.

Michael Valdivieso has served as youth representative at a political think tank organized by Participación Ciudadana, one of the largest NGOs in Ecuador, since December 2015. Michael previously also served as a Public Information intern at UNHCR-Ecuador, and participated in the National Model United Nations in New York from 2013 until 2018, both as delegate and as staff member. Currently, he is one of the founders of Momentum Novum, a social business based in Germany that promotes sustainable development through advisory, education, and information services.

Silvia Cantu Bautista is a junior at Middlebury College, majoring in Political Science with a minor in History. While in college, she took a course on Marine Science and conducted research on ocean acidification. She is passionate about Environmental policy and conservation, particularly concerning marine ecosystems. She is a PADI certified Advanced Scuba Diver and an avid photographer interested in climate change photojournalism. Silvia is an advocate for climate justice and
sustainability through action towards the UN SDGs 13 and 17 ; she hopes to become involved in the drafting and implementation of local and  international environmental policy and adaptation plans.

Donovane Tremor is a talented professional photographer specializing in landscape and architecture photography. Most of his professional work focuses on the tourist economy between St. Martin, St. Barts and Anguilla. Donovane’s passion for the UN SDG 9 is expressed in his dedication to regional economic sustainability! He is enthusiastic about travel, specifically when he has the chance to discover new cultures from around the world. He is always ready for a new adventure!