"I'm inspired by Oaxaca. I’m inspired by our indigenous communities. I’m inspired by our roots. I hope that God gives me life so that I can keep working on behalf of these indigenous villages, empowering indigenous women, continuing to develop these products with them, training them, because I know full well that tourism is a tool for combating poverty in our native communities. I want to keep conserving our culture and make the most of all of these cultural and natural riches in a responsible way—and also highlight them so that our culture is not lost."
—Alma López López, director of Mujeres Generando Cambio y Bienestar A.C. (Women Generating Change and Well-Being) in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Alma López López has been doing community work in Mexico for more than 15 years. In the three years she has been leading Mujeres Generando Cambio y Bienestar A.C., she has traveled throughout the state of Oaxaca cultivating viable tourism economies in more than 100 indigenous communities. Utilizing the Rainforest Alliance’s online sustainable tourism training tools, the organization creates and enacts business plans for local women working in the culinary arts, weaving, and pottery. The end result is tourism enterprises that respect their rich indigenous cultures, improve the livelihoods of the trainees, and honor the environment. Financially empowering women is particularly important because studies show that women are more likely to invest the majority of their earnings back into their households and communities than men.
"I know full well that tourism is a tool for combating poverty in our native communities."Alma López López
- Recently cried tears of joy at the sight of a pregnant jaguar in the mountainous southeastern region of Oaxaca.
- Enjoys listening to the elder craftswomen tell the meanings behind the designs on huipiles (traditional embroidered clothing).
- Typically wakes up in a different town each day.
#OurFamilyTree is a photo series that features people from around the globe whose work forwards the mission of the Rainforest Alliance. See the entire series and get a peek into the lives of the people who help create our impact on the world.