Gladis Mucú

Guatemala

Meet Gladis Mucú, a growing community leader of indigenous women and adolescents in Guatemala. She graduated as an agroecological student and has practical experience at Na’leb’ak ONG. The Na’leb’ak network is an organization that consists of young Q’eqchi’ women who promote sustainable education to empower girls and adolescents. For example, this group advocates for the prevention of early and forced marriages and pregnancies and creates safe spaces for girls and adolescents. Gladis is a mentor at Na’leb’ak ONG and is welcoming to listening and supporting the community of indigenous women and adolescents. Being a mentor has allowed her to talk about her knowledge and motivate the community to continue studying.

Besides being a mentor, Gladis got elected by the mentors’ network to be part of the Board of Directors. So far, she has led woman’s groups and talks with them about human rights and political participation in communities to combat indigenous women’s exclusion. Furthermore, Gladis has created safe spaces for her community to give a place to talk, express, learn, and take action on rights, political concerns, and new ideas of projects, and even space for economic support. Subsequently, she encourages the community to work in diversified and sustainable crops to recover the culture and ancestral customs.

Gladis’s goal is to promote the recovery of local knowledge, plant species, and cultural habits, connecting girls and adolescents more harmoniously with ecology, economy, soil conservation, and food production. For this reason, she is working with the Na’leb’ak network on the construction of an agroecological center. The center will allow Na’leb’ak to continue their work with women and adolescents from Chisec. Besides that, it will enable the community a safe space to meet, talk, and carry out activities that help learn more about their rights and surroundings, including land and crops. The grant is used to attend workshops, consultations, and training to strengthen her skills and knowledge in agroecology, crops, leadership, public speaking, administration, and more. Eventually, Gladis will mentor her community what she learns, which creates a multiplier effect on the community as a whole.

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