José Dualok Rojas Ortiz

Ashoka Fellow
San José, Costa Rica
Fellow Since 1996


This profile was prepared when José Dualok Rojas Ortiz was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1996.
The New Idea
As coordinator and consolidator of Sejekto, José Dualok has welded the eight existing indigenous ethnic groups of Costa Rica into a united front, and designed and developed a unique sustainable development plan for all of these groups. This plan includes financial, economic, communication, training, environmental, education, research, science, technology and legal rights issues for implementation at the national level. The long-term plan seeks to improve the standard of living for indigenous populations by offering them the opportunity to knowledgeably participate in a more modern economic system, while simultaneously allowing them to preserve their cultural values and natural resources in a sustainable manner.
José is the first person in Costa Rica who has succeeded in uniting more than 22 indigenous groups from the eight main "tribes" of Costa Rica. He provides the necessary leadership and innovative approaches to address many of their pressing concerns.
The chief vehicle for this unprecedented mobilization is a formal "Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development," which for the first time unites indigenous people in a new kind of "defense" against external forces and actors.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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