Fundación Casa de la Paz | Presidenta Ejecutiva Fundación Casa de la Paz | Santiago
I have dedicated my last 28 year promoting social transformation in Chile. In the 80´s we worked for the return of democracy; in the 90´s we promoted environmental education and public participation. Since the year 2000, we have been working to promote sustainabilty, educating and building bridges between local communities, local government and private companies. Today, 60 persons actually choose Casa de la Paz, as a place from where to serve humanity, as a full time job or as volunteers.Many young leaders have started working in Casa de la Paz, and then leave to serve in the public, social or private sector, taking with him/her, the seeds of change learned in Casa de la Paz.All of them aknowledge that their experience in Casa de la Paz was fundamental to dedicate their lives, whichever position they held afterwards, to fight for a better world for everyone, undestanding that conservation of nature was part of that process.
I feel a special connection with local communities arround mining activity. They are in contact with huge projects, enormous investments, extremely talented workers, but receive very little benefit (and lots of negative impacts). I feel a strong motivation to strengthen their capability of choosing the type of future they desire to live in, and be part of that process, undestanding that local communities know best what is good for them. I feel committed to work for their empowerment, to their access to decision makers, to be listened with respect,to be able ro influence all the decisions that may affect them.
I hope a cultural change will take place, one that makes each human being responsable for his/her options. For this to happen, we need citizens who have the information of the consequences of their choices, are aware of their rights and are willing to defend them.We need authorities that sincerely respond to these needs, and private companies that include them from de very beguinning in the design of their projects, to maximize the benefits for local communities, and minimize their negative impacts.I am convinced that unless civil society gets involved in issues of public interest, niether the government nor industry will have the motivation to promote the deep transformation process society urgently needs. We need to tackle inequality, improve the educational and health systems, we need independent media, we need a more empathic society that offers the posibility of self development and dignity to all human beings.
I am a journalist who had a very succesfull career in the advertising field. During the Cold War I became concious of the threat that a World War III would mean for humanity. In 1983, with a group of friends, we founded Casa de la Paz and I have remained for 28 years in a leading position. I have served in several roles as a representative of environmental NGOs, all of wich have given me the opportunity to better understand the way public policy works. From Casa de la Paz we have been involved with the private and the public sector, promoting a collaborative relation among them and with local communities. We undestand that the complex problems we are facing as humanity, need complex solutions that engage the different actors of society. Working in partnerships with different actors is extremely difficult, and in Casa de la Paz we have learned the way to achieve it. I very often teach in different universities, participate in workshops and international conferences, and write in media, as a means to inspire others to help build the future we wish to leave for the next generations.