In celebration of International Women’s Rights Day, Women for Conservation held our second annual Entrepreneurship Fair “La Sierra es Mujer” on March 5, in the village of Vista Nieves in the municipality of Minca, in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in the department of Magdalena.
This second annual fair was attended by more than 100 rural women and entrepreneurs of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta as well as supporting institutions including ProAves, the Women’s Secretariat, the Mio Foundation and some district councilors.
La Sierra es Mujer was a fair aimed at recognizing the historical contributions of women and celebrating their artisanal handicrafts. These crafts were the result of training programs supported by Women for Conservation, which has promoted community unity and stimulated the local economy by facilitating the sale of artisanal crafts.
Women for Conservation’s goal is to unite rural women of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region, with the purpose of promoting the conservation of bird species and their habitats. This event also provides a platform for them to network and share their community conservation projects while raising awareness about the importance of nature preservation.
Women for Conservation and ProAves have been training women in Santa Marta as part of our mission to economically incentivize conservation through the promotion of sustainable livelihood opportunities. We work to strategically supplement household income and provide financial independence to women, through workshops in hospitality, culinary skills, and artisanal craft making with natural materials such as tagua seed. This fair provided an opportunity for these women to showcase their entrepreneurship, strengthen the ties between rural communities, and highlight the empowerment of Santa Marta women
“In this second fair we want to highlight the role women play in the conservation of an area as important as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. At the same time, we celebrate the beauty of women in the family and in all aspects of society”. Said Sara Inés Lara, Executive Director of Women for Conservation and ProAves.
Women for Conservation and ProAves have been partnering for over 10 years with rural women in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to promote community conservation initiatives. In addition to facilitating opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, we provide women with training to protect endangered species and contribute to the monitoring of biodiversity in the area. A part of our holistic approach, we also facilitate access to family planning workshops and resources, including to sex education, contraceptive implants and tubectomies.
Since 2019, 1513 women, girls and boys in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region have benefited from our programs centered around environmental education, family planning, and sustainable livelihoods.
Thanks to the success of these projects, Kelly Julio Donado, Coordinator of Women for Conservation in the Sierra Nevada, received an award from the Mayor’s Office of Santa Marta on International Women’s Day for her leadership and contributions to the defense of women’s rights in her community.
Daniela Julio, Kelly’s daughter and a member of Women for Conservation, said that the entrepreneurship fair, La Sierra es Mujer, was an opportunity for women to attract new customers in the region.
“I found the Fair incredible because it brought together women from many different villages of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It has provided an opportunity for them to share their different micro-businesses with the larger community.”
Women for Conservation and ProAves are dedicated to promoting nature conservation through the empowerment of women, and are always looking to support initiatives that create opportunities for women to succeed.
Our deepest gratitude goes out to the incredible women of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta for their unwavering dedication to preserving the unique biodiversity of this region. Their tireless efforts to promote gender equality and local environmental responsibility are truly inspiring.
Click here to read about the Santa Marta Women for Conservation Chapter’s other inspiring initiatives such as their women’s culinary microbusiness training, forest ranger and nature guide training, and conference against gender-based violence. We’re proud to stand with these empowered women who are not only eco-conscious entrepreneurs but also passionate environmental catalysts.
Today and everyday, we celebrate empowered women, entrepreneurs, and guardians of wildlife!