Archive for the ‘women’ Tag

“Me encanta escuchar las opiniones de las demás”

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Photo courtesy of Michael Roberts

This post follows on from the previous posts about the Cooperative “Mujeres Mediambientalistas de Jiquilipan”. The mission of the cooperative is to produce fruit products of the highest quality, retaining the natural flavour of the fruits to please the most sophisticated palate, in order to promote respect for nature, the sustainable development of the region, and the well-being of the members of the cooperative.

The photo above is of the Presidenta of the cooperative, Miriam Tamar Osorno Torroella. Duting the time she was talking to me about the challenges she had faced as leader of the cooperative since it was formed in 2004, she said; “me encanta escuchar las opiniones de las demás”. Translated this means; “I love listening to the views of my fellow workers”.

It is very hard to imagine a typical Mexican male leader uttering this quote. Leadership in most Mexican organisations is autocratic. Continue reading

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Mujeres Ambientalistas de Jiquilpan: another Mexican success story

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Jiquilpan is a typical, very small Mexican town (population about 2000) in the state of Jalisco, about 2kms outside another small town, San Gabriel (population about 5000), which is famous as the place where one of Mexico’s greatest writers, Juan Rulfo, spent his childhood. To get there from Ciudad Guzman, where I live, you have to cross to the other side of the volcano del Nevado, a spectacular drive, full of twisting curves, that climbs up to about 3000 meters, before descending into the plain where San Gabriel is located.

I had been invited to San Gabriel by Alejandro, the coordinator of tourism there, who was keen to show me and my son around the area. Part of our two-day trip, just before Xmas, was to visit a project called ‘Mujeres Ambientalistas’ (literally translated as ‘environmental women’), a group of women who had set up a co-operative to produce jam and other products mainly from the fruit guayaba, and using particularly the fruit that was judged not to be suitable for selling and which otherwise would have been thrown away.

When we visited the cooperative, I was fortunate enough to be able to talk to not only the president, Tamar, but also a consultant from Mexico City, Gerardo Chavéz Segoviano, who was helping the cooperative with the production, distribution and sale of its products.

Tamar told us the history of the cooperative. Continue reading