I’m Maya Tz’utujil women. I recognize the power I have as an indigenous woman in my different roles:
As the last daughter of six siblings, I was able to break the cycle of little participation and an unsustainable lifestyle. I built a sustainable house and now I make decisions at the table with my family.
As a citizen, for 10 years I lead cleaning, reforestation and environmental education campaigns with more than 1,000 children annually in my town.
As an agent of change and leader, I founded Casa Maya in 2017. Here I share local wisdom from the hearts of indigenous families, where the work as a housewife is relevant and paid. The world came to my table and others to expand our learning zones and provided access to an economic fund to equip local houses with green technology. In 2019, I stepped up to become co-executive director at SERES, a nonprofit organization that has spent over a decade working in youth development with indigenous rural communities in Guatemala and El Salvador. At the same time, Casa Maya was also named winner of IMPULSA, a nation-wide competition run by the Guatemalan National Institute of Tourism (INGUAT) and Alterna.
As an educator of sustainability over the past decade, I have facilitated more than 60 programs reaching 1,276 young people across Guatemala and El Salvador. These programs are designed to inspire a new generation of young leaders and changemakers to co-create creative change at a community level, with SERES.
Photo credit: Adam Dickens