grantees » Lorena Ortiz Garcia

Lorena  Ortiz Garcia, Mexico

Lorena is an indigenous Zapotec leader, she has not been able to finish her studies because of the lack of economic opportunities and the determinant fact of being a woman, she saw that this is was a common problem for a lot of women in her village. She sees this JWHi grant as an excellent opportunity to broaden her knowledge on several issues in a hands on way through exchange visits and following courses at other organisations.

In February 2017 Lorena participated as a volunteer in the activities of Bosque de Niebla “Las Cañadas” in Huatusco, a collective initiative of workers that has constructed an ecovillage, living from the things the collective produces in growing vegetables and raising animals in a sustainable way. Emphasis was on improving her skills on the preservation of native seeds and the improvement of selection methods. In March Lorena made an exchange visit to the Cooperativa Maya Vinic, concentrating on methods of honey and coffee production, fair commerce and seed protection. Also she collaborated in the youth collective ”T´zunubak” that works in the area of communication aimed at promoting the participation of youth in the political life of villages.

In June Lorena wants to look into different alternatives for communitarian intervention, communitarian organization processes as well as group management activities, and workshop activities at the CESDER rural development centre. She will especially concentrate on the participation of women in aforementioned activities and processes. Finally, during September and October, Lorena intends to participate in the Colectivo de Mujeres de Matagalpa community development program. This is a huge effort to create a network of 1800 organized women in 14 municipalities and 50 communities of Nicaragua, which takes decisions through an assembly method. These assemblies develop different communitarian activities towards regional development in a sustainable way. As a volunteer with this organization Lorena will engage in activities with these groups, take part in the organization of assemblies and in the actions that these groups drive.

Afterwards she hopes to implement and share the acquired knowledge in her her own village in order to improve the food production, the environmental protection, and the strengthening of the role of women. Thus she hopes to induce more people to work together on the build-up of a more inclusive and better world.

Leadership Objectives

She sees this grant as a great opportunity for learning. She firmly believes that the best way of learning is sharing. Therefore she wants to travel to new places to learn different techniques and acquire knowledge that can be shared later on in her own village in order to improve the food production and to strengthen the role of women role in environment protection.