In 2008 I founded CREA, a Mexican non-profit, where I have been working since as the Executive Director. CREA trains and advises low-income female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, generate jobs and open new distribution channels for their products. Our mission is to create employment opportunities in Mexico. To date, we have worked with over 800 women and our programs have directly benefited them and their families, reaching almost 3,000 individuals in more than 15 communities in rural Zacatecas, Mexico and growing in the Estado de México, Guerrero, Puebla and Queretaro. I want to contribute to the success of the microenterprise sector in rural Mexico to ensure that these business can realize their potential to create jobs that are a sustainable and dignified alternative to migration.
Why start in Zacatecas? Since I first visited Zacatecas in 2003, I fell in love with the state. I conducted fieldwork for several years, working with microentrepreneurs to understand the impact of migration and remittances on their development and that of their communities. I soon realized that they faced many challenges that could be address in innovative ways and I decided to leverage my experience and relationships in order to develop participative programs and services and launched CREA. From the beginning I knew that effecting real change and getting to the root of the problem meant that our work had to take into account the expectations and needs of the community, incorporate the work of other stakeholders and include a strong impact evaluation and assessment component. This has allowed the organization to grow, learn from its successes and failures and has kept me motivated and flexible.
Zacatecas, a high-migration state in North Central Mexico, has become the place that inspires and motivates me to keep moving forward and never give up. The entrepreneurs, organizations and individuals we work with there are relentless in their fight to eradicate poverty and promote development and employment.
Oh! And obviously there's the delicious food, amazing cultural heritage and fantastic artistry that I get to experience first hand and share with a larger audience while helping the microentrepreneurs we work with.
I was born and raised in Mexico city and completed a BA in economics and a BA in international relations from the Instituto Tecnologico Autónomo de México. I completed an MS in Community Development and an MS in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis. I've presented my work on remittances and female micro enterprise development at the Wharton School of Business, the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, the Organization of American States and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, amongst others.
In 2008, I was selected as one of the top social entrepreneurs of the world by Echoing Green. I am a 2009 Architect of the Future from the waldzell institute and 2009 Latin America Finalist of the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards. In 2010, I was selected as a StartingBloc Fellow (Boston), a Cordes Fellow at Opportunity Collaboration and received the Ted. K. Bradshaw Memorial Alumnus Award from the University of California, Davis. I was also one of 25 finalists for Iniciativa México, a competition with 47,049 applicants looking to improve the future of Mexico. Since 2011, I am a Sandbox Network member and am currently a Global Shaper for the World Economic Forum as well as an Associate of the Mexican Foreign Affairs Council.