Alex on a recent trip to Nicaragua
Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to attend the event announcing the new Global Advocate for Girl Up, Angelica Fuentes. Mrs. Fuentes is the Mexican CEO of the incredibly successful Grupo Omnilife Angelissima Chivas. She spoke with the same tone of inspiration and confidence that you might remember from her speech at the Leadership Summit last year. The mantra of this accomplished woman and her secret to success: "collective consciousness."
Angelica Fuentes is a firm believer that cooperation leads to success, but competition leads to injustice. Women, she says, are naturally good at working together, and we need to continue harnessing that ability for the betterment of other women. Mrs. Fuentes clearly lives by this "collective consciousness" through her work training girls and women in Central and South America to live independently. The rate of domestic abuse in Latin America is startlingly high, but when women are given the tools needed to be economically and mentally independent, they are less likely to remain in abusive relationships because they are capable of providing for themselves and their children alone.
Angelica Fuentes noted that the girls she met on her trip with Girl Up to Guatemala last year were incredibly eager and ready to learn. On a recent trip to Nicaragua, I witnessed this yearning for knowledge while volunteering at the community center in a poor mountain town. The children would constantly come up to me pointing at pictures in the coloring books and trying to name them in English. In the family that I was living with, the young girl, Aneysi would sit next to me every night waiting for me to teach her more words in English but too shy to ask.
Our work with Girl Up helps to provide the resources that girls like Aneysi need to keep learning and dreaming big. Let this be a reminder that "I am strong, but together we are stronger."