She is the CEO of LATAAC - Latin America in Action. The organization uses Crowd-funding principles where the NGO's, Private Sector and Global Organizations can colaborate together sharing knowledge, executing global social projects and getting financial funds through the platform. LATAAC was born in One Young World South Africa Summit 2013, as a commitment of Ambassadors from Latin America and who work now in different countries in LatAm in order to raise funds and bring change.
Milena: You had the experience of working with children, learning about social business, even skydiving on one occasion. How did you start those opportunities and where did they lead you afterwards?
Alejandra: I started my social passion with volunteering and kids inside many organizations in my native country. I believe education is the most powerful weapon to improve our society, and it was the inspiration I had to create the projects I had been involved, and I am involved as well. One of the most incredible opportunities to work with kids was CREA MAS Peru,they gave me the opportunity to teach maths and painting to many kids with low resources face to face. However, it is for me an honor to say that, in that year, I learned more from kids than I have taught them. Then, I thought, " I work in private sector so, how about involving the company with kids?" So then I created the first project of values and leadership in a company I worked, but this time helping kids around diverse projects. Many people inside the company were interested in the idea, and it makes you more grateful when you see more people support that, and working for them, because you feel that your ideas are not alone, and that there exist more people inspired to help others.
Now, I do not work any more for that company, but I know they still create leadership workshops for those kids. Then, I started believe than more people can help kids through education and value transfer, but some times the existence of ideas is not enough and much of these dreams are interrupted because they don't have the support or financing, So I had an idea "to create a social crowd funding for them" - LATAAC "Latin America in Action" helping these kind of projects to raise funds in many countries in LatAm and Caribbean,but LATAAC team and platform is just the path but the weapon of education is inside of each change maker, the project creators.
Nowadays, I am still working for kids, not face to face, but I will love to do it again, and I will find the time of course because it is the most inspiring and wonderful non-paying job I have ever had; the kids transmit peace, happiness, and they change our lives. I am challenging myself now to create more projects to help people, and of course my main inspiration are children.
Milena: What do young people need to know about Latin America as an emerging market if they want to study there, start their business or work in global corporations? How does the opportunities landscape look like for young people in LatAm? In what MDGs did you make the biggest improvements?
Alejandra: Latin America is an emerging market with a lot of resources; it is growing in many aspects, the investment of private equity that generates an economic growth and a positive rate of employment in many countries. Latin America is becoming the place of opportunities for young people who want to develop the entrepreneurship spirit, as statistics show that LatAm is the strongest in this topic around the world. However, LatAm has the other side for the people who are seeking to improve countries with resources and with foreign capital, for change makers around the world is an excellent opportunity to come and work with the local change makers helping them to improve other issues in their countries. Here exists an excellent market to invest in the private sector in extractive industries (mining and energy), especially in clean energy, where LatAm and Caribbean are focused on developing renewable energy, the government is including this topic as a main one in their sustainability policies of MDG's. On the other hand, the open data is causing a revolution, where the technological entrepreneurship is protruding. Where Tic's are playing a key role, contributing to the development of a relevant education that considers learning to know, the learning to be, learning to do and learning to live together, as a Region.
By other side, Young people are coming from Europe, USA and Asia, not only with a touristic order, they are coming in order to work with many NGO's, private sector, or travel to meet the customs of our country and many of them start a new life in LatAm for the opportunities that our region offer them, contributing with a base of learning for young people from Latin America.
Many young people from Latin America are working now in government, private sector, NGO's, civil society, improving education, creating public policies, developing sustainability, and emerging entrepreneurship create the huge market.
From my perspective, I am focused on renewable energy, developing it around Latin America from a private approach. On the other hand, I am helping to finance the entrepreneurship in my region from my crowdfunding platform - LATAAC - "Latin America in Action" and creating new ventures along with my partners and friends Marco Bruggmann and Jaylli Arteaga (IT Developers), and an the excellent team of Community Managers from LATAAC and One Young World Ambassadors
Milena: What did your UN experience look like? Did you have opportunities to travel with UN enthusiasts or to host some of them in your home country?
Alejandra: I have never been a girl of extreme sports, to be honest. I have never climbed on a roller coaster, I was so afraid. When I started LATAAC, my first entrepreneurship project, I felt the necessity to understand better what it is going to be, and what I am doing. I heard many times from other people that you need to overcome your fears to start a new chapter, so that is exactly what I done.
It was a last-minute decision, I traveled to Chile to do that, I was really decisive! Then, when the aircraft was climbing 13,000 feet, I remembered that I had not even gone to my roller coaster because of fear, I never tried paragliding, never jumped off a bridge, I never made any extreme sport!- I just thought at that time, it is no turning back and I felt really good ! A little crazy, but I felt really good! When the time for jump came, obviously with an instructor, there were just two seconds that I thought, ''This really will be a big change in my life, and maybe it will be a good story to tell my grandchildren or maybe not, but I'm doing and that's what mattered most at that time.'' I Jumped, and I'm sure that every professional paratrooper in his first jump, and I'm sure it was a tandem parachute, must have been afraid. After 3 seconds that I jumped, it was one of the most incredible experiences I had so far, I was flying! And I could see all the wonderful scenery; I felt no fear, and only had a great sense of freedom. The decision to do that is personal, this is an extreme sport and has risks. But I can say that for me it was a life experience, and something similar happens with entrepreneurship. At the beginning you have no idea what are you getting into, it is difficult, and you are afraid of failing, but you never know until you tried. (Thanks to my friends of SkydiveAndes – Chile).
You can find adventure in many ways, with travels, new challenges, new customs, meeting new people. And yes - I am an adventurist, but not of extreme sport, I am an adventurist of entrepreneurship and life! I believe, "May your dreams be bigger than your fears"
Milena: What books
about LatAm must global young entrepreneurs and activists read in order to
understand the continent better? Which conferences do you recommend for the same purpose?
Alejandra: It is best to give the direct links to your readers for books and conferences that inspire me.
Book or Multilateral Cooperation Posts:
a) Enfoque Estratégico sobre las tics en educación en America Latina y el Caribe (Estrategic Focus about Tic’s in Education inside Latam and Caribbean) , Unesco , Oficina Regional de Educaciónpara América Latina y el Caribe - UNESCO publication
y criterios para elaboración de políticas docentes en América Latina y el
Caribe, Oficina Regional de Educación para América Latina y el
Caribe UNESCO publication
d)América Latina: nuevos enfoques
de desarrollo para el siglo XXI, Fundación Friedrich Ebert, Autores: Diana
Aguiar, Rodrigo Arocena, Ricardo Ffrench-Davis, Alexis Guardia, Luis Maira,
María José Becerra Moro, Carlos Ominami, Valter Pomar.
e)Globalización y sus efectos sobre las sociedades rurales de América Latina, González Jácome, J. P. de Pina García y M. E. Valdivia de Ortega.
f) Macroeconomic adjustment and Latin American agriculture since 1980, Structural Adjustment and the Agricultural Sector in Latin America and the Caribbean, Londres: Macmillan.
g) Land and Sustainable Livelihood in Latin America, Amsterdam: Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) y Francfort: Vervuert Verlag, Zoomers - 2001.
a) UN Conferences of human Development LatAm & Caribbean. (each country) 2015
b) COP 20 – Climate Change Conference 2014 – Peru
c) Energy and Sustainability 2015 - 6th International Conference on Energy and Sustainability
e) CFHI - “Global Health Education Programs” 2015 – Argentina, Brasil, Ecuador.
f)Conferencia Regional de Datos Abiertos en 2015– Chile.
Milena: Attending OYW Summit in Jo-burg led you to start working on Jamie Oliver's project Food Revolution. How did this cooperation look like and what does OYW represent for you?
Alejandra: Yes, OYW Summit 2013 gave me the opportunity to work with Jamie Oliver's Project Food Revolution. I met many other Food Revolution ambassadors in LatAm where we have some online meetings in order to exchange information, and learn about how each of them are doing a health food projects for people in the region (many of them focus in children). This means we can generate knowledge from civil society, the ambassadors who work with children in different countries, giving them lessons of healthy food and how it can improve the food system and even education in the country, because a child well fed and healthy has a major advantage of learning, of one that has not a good and healthy food. Also, we can generate knowledge exchange through OYW people already working in the private sector in the area of health and education, to establish public policies based on real statistics of these workshops that each ambassador from food revolution promotes.
Milena: Thanks for all the input. Inform us in the future about your activities.
Alejandra: I will do. All the best.
Images: private archive, Home Hotel Buenos Aires