ChangeMakers Lake Chapala

ChangeMaker participant Jasibe is an amazing 16-year-old, a talented musician, a cheerleader, weight lifter, and enthusiast for environmental change.  She dreams of becoming a marine biologist and volunteers at the dolphinarium in El Chante while studying Aquaculture in CETAC in Jocotepec (Technical Studies of Intercontinental Waters Center).

We asked Jasibe to bring her mother for an interview about her perception of the ChangeMakers program which began operating in San Juan Cosalá in March of this year.  In spite of Covid with its necessary precautions, the program has 12 young women participating in a variety of activities to help them achieve success in finding their own paths to the future. 

However, Jasibe was unable to come for the interview because of her work schedule.  Instead, Teresita Garcia Sánchez, Jasibe’s mother, arrived, along with her four other children, two nieces, and one of their young children because of her own essential family-caring duties.  Obviously a dedicated, loving single mom, Teresita is raising five children with the help of her sister.  Jasibe is her oldest child.  Teresita herself attended the University of Guadalajara and has a degree in Graphic Design.  She works full-time in Guadalajara.  

In describing her daughter Jasibe, Teresita called her determined, a person who  goes full-force to get what she wants.  She described Jasibe as intelligent, a dreamer, a hard worker, and an achiever.  Jasibe won a contest for playing the violin and received a grant to participate in a three-week music program in Silicon Valley. 

When asked how Teresita feels about Jasibe’s choice of Marine Biology for a career, she smiled and dropped her head.  She realizes that this career will take her daughter far away from home and family, but she wants first and foremost for Jasibe to be happy and successful and independent.  She wants what is best for Jasibe.  

Teresita feels that ChangeMakers, even in the first few months, has already impacted both Jasibe and their entire family.  She said Jasibe is more responsible, more considerate of the needs of her younger sisters, and in turn has brought the family closer together.  

Teresita believes the best part of ChangeMakers is that the program makes the young women participants feel special.  They have been selected to be part of a first-class program to help them make better choices, dream bigger dreams, and achieve greater goals.  “They are the chosen girls,” she said.  

Teresita also thinks ChangeMakers is beneficial by providing speakers and mentors in a variety of career paths, to expose the participants to many different career options.  She suggested that CM explore the possibility of providing tutors in subjects where individual participants may not be excelling in school.  Any tutoring assistance that can be provided to assist the girls to achieve higher scores on entrance exams to enter a university would be helpful.  Teresita also stated that she felt the English classes were vital and every participant should be encouraged to learn English — after all, “It is free!”

Finally, we discussed the possibility of forming a group for the CM Moms.  Teresita thought it would be great if the mothers could meet as a group with Mónica, the ChangeMakers Program Coordinator, every 4 to 6 weeks to learn about program plans, share their ideas, and provide their feedback on what they have seen to have the most impact on their daughters.  

To help support this new program and assist with expansion for a second group of young women in Ajijic and San Antonio Tlayacapan, click here and become a Changemakers contributor: 

We could use your support to assist more girls.  Changing the way a girl sees herself changes everything.

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