Marisela Romero Cruz, a Nahuatl leader from Acaxochitlán, met PSYDEH when she was a project participant in 2013. Impressed by her “can do” attitude and intellect, we invited Marisela to attend program workshops and serve as one of PSYDEH’s four local-based, community organizers. In 2015, she advised on program design and facilitated women’s workshops on local economic empowerment.

In 2016, armed with program experience and new knowledge of how to produce projects, Marisela linked with other program participants to develop projects awarded 3rd party funding: (1) collaborate with five indigenous women on a $70,000 pesos mx project to raise and sell pigs, and (2) collaborate on a $460,000 pesos mx project to form a local cooperative of women weavers (highlighted in our national crowdfunding video).

Marisela’s collaborative projects are two of nine launched by women partners through 2016 (building on the first two in 2015). Her success (and the diagram below) illustrates the complete unfolding of PSYDEH’s model for the sustainable development of communities.

In addition, PSYDEH linked women leaders from the community of San Gregorio, Huehuetla with the the Mexican NGO Red de Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil Hidalgo 84 (REDOSC) on a pilot project benefiting 25 families in need with a (1) training program on the value of green technology and the delivery of (2) Rainwater Capture Systems and (3) Clean Burning Stoves.

In 2017, women leaders launched and benefited from an additional 6 projects funded by various Mexican federal government institutions to build greenhouses for organic tomatoes, raise and sell pigs and a small fish farm to raise Tilapia in Acaxochitlán and San Bartolo.

In sum, a key indicator of our program’s impact is the degree to which women like Marisela use pilot projects to solve their own problems. In just three years, we’ve linked our forward-looking education and community organizing model to eighteen short-term, problem-solving projects. And we expect women partners to launch and benefit from at least seven more capacity building and small economic projects by mid-2019, bringing the total number of projects “spontaneously” launched by and for women to 25 since 2015 with a total value of over $4million pesos mx.