By Kelly Szaniawski
On Wednesday, November 14th, the founder and managing director of Impacto came to speak as part of Social Enterprise Institute’s Speaker Series.
“My vision, my goal is to help close the gap between the poor and the rich and make this a better world for all” Aguerrebere preaches.
Adriana Aguerrebere, a graduate of Northwestern University and a resident of Chiapas, founded Impacto with the goal of pursuing social and economic justice within the community, specifically working with the Mayan women of Chiapas.
“According to the OECD in Mexico, 8 out of 10 indigenous people live in extreme poverty, while 14 of the indigenous municipalities of Mexico are among the poorest in the world” (Impacto) Given this gap of inequality between indigenous people within the municipalities of Mexico, Impacto seeks to reduce the inequality gap by strengthening handicraft textile sectors and coffee production in Chiapas using social enterprise principles to generate economic opportunity. Impacto, a small non-profit, helps the Mayan women of Chiapas with protecting their designs as intellectual property while building “micro” businesses that can generate fair and sustainable income. These relationships build bridges to access programs involving education, such as Impact Education that connects young people of Los Altos de Chiapas “beyond the geographical, social and economic borders of their community”.
The Textile Impact project of Impacto is one of the many programs that Adriana is proud of. Recognized at the national level for its actions of empowerment of women artisans, Textile Impact promotes “innovation, development of new products, commercialization, leadership, health, education and women’s rights, integrally improving the lives of artisan women and their communities”. The program benefits craftswomen through building connections with social companies and designers, monitoring progress via field visits, and provides women self-earned income.
Adriana acknowledges that there are many barriers and bumps in the creation and expansion of Impacto, including building a social media presence, but that Impacto is continually evolving to meet and supersede expectations.