As I read all of the stories that our women leaders from around the world, and Digital Changemaking 101 participants submit as “My Journey” post as their first assignment in this training, I get more inspired to join the conversation and open myself up the same way that all of you have been brave and trusting in sharing your visions, dreams and struggles.

I come from a place that is very complex and contradictory. The rivers, mountains, oceans, deserts and forest feel as somehow we had been rewarded by goddesses. And nonetheless, these resources have been the source of conflicts for decades and even centuries. I was born and raised in Colombia in South America. A country that has seen the devastation and horrors of an undeclared civil war for about 6 decades, but that now is going through the transition of building peace and signing treaties– this is a story for another day.

The macrocosm of the national upheaval is felt in the microcosm of individual families, violence permeates our daily lives and apathy grows as a defense mechanism. Growing up I witness the reflection of that violence within the family and outside of the house – stories for another time as well. Nonetheless, we all were doing our best and I found myself many times in very privileged contexts, where knowledge and education were your tools to get further, not so much monetarily but somehow knowledge was able to bridge many gaps – gender, economic, social, etc. I witnessed very strong women leading the way in government, politics, business and community development, but this was not the case for many women in the country; women with less access to education and representation stay behind. And in particular women and people of our indigenous communities, who have been the most affected by internal war and armed conflict. The conflict has torn down infrastructures and systems for self-representation and community development, making women and girls vulnerable and pushing them to a state of mere survival.

However, I keep witnessing, even from afar, that more generations of strong women keep taking on very strong stands for the reconstruction of the nation and communities. This gives me hope and inspires me to continue working on facilitating spaces for mutual understanding. Now, fast-forward to a life as an immigrant in the USA, where I have dedicated my passion to making voices of immigrants and refugees heard in a local and national arenas. Working to make an inclusive new home, an adoptive home that many times does not see the complexities and abundance that each unique individual brings, with the knowledge of centuries of self-reliant civilizations in their pockets. 

Time and time again, I have worked in networks of very compassionate and talented individuals who want to make more equitable communities. Not very easy or gentle work, but very rewarding. I’ve used my ability to facilitate dialogues and action plans with marginalized groups and politicians, with artists offering solutions to needs in communities, and now reaching a global community as part of the World Pulse team. I envision that I could support the opening of avenues for women to use their resources, strengths and knowledge to find the best solutions that make sense for their own lives. There has been many instances that I have been doubted in my adoptive nation for the only fact of being a women and a foreigner, where people have made assumptions of my abilities or feelings and those times only just strengthen my believe in that you are the only one who can tell me who you are, that each one of us can voice the change needed and that we can work on it together with compassion and mutual respect. Now my toolbox has expanded with all of you, with a global outreach of infinite knowledge and creativity. 

11Encouragement

Hi Mayarte

You are strong Woman,as i read your peace I cant help but see a role model and a mentor to many women out there.

Together we can change the world and be a voice to the voiceless.

 

Mayarte!

Your story is so full of strength, compassion and dedication to a cause. You are indeed a strong woman. 

You come from a community with many struggles like all of ours and you are using the voice you have found because of your access to education to make the difference.

I wish you well in your mission and you have a family and platform you can count on here at world pulse!

Together we can!

Cheers!

The Best  you can ever be is YOURSELF! 

Leila Kigha

Dear Sis,

My strength flows back to me when i read inspiring stories like yours.  Just because you are a WOMAN, makes a lot of sense.  It will take our collective effort to stamp out discrimination against women in all ramifications out of this world.

Yes, WE can!

With love from,

Chimdirimebere

Harriet C Okoro

Executive Director

Ruldin-Society for Neglected Women of Nigeria

Hi Sister,

    As I read through you post, I see a very strong, passionate and courageous woman.  All or most of us either come from  a violent community or family or have experience violence in one way or another. To me ,the way you handle the violent experiences in your life, is what makes you a better person just like you have done.  

The issue here would be for you to help those you speak out for to get the necessary education and knowledge which you were privileged to have so that they can come out of those undesirable conditions.

I am very confident that with current trends of women becoming presidential nominee even in the greatest nation of the world, America, some day, we shall, bridge the gaps in this male dominated world of ours.

Regards,

Avera 

 

Avera

Beautiful Maya! I love how you're using your personal experiences of integrating into a new country and the challenges you've encountered and overcome, to inspire others to give voice to who they are and thereby creating more compassion and mutual respect as we all share this journey of life. How did you find your way to WorldPulse and the team? I bet there are many more stories to be told... joyful blessings from Australia, Tina 

 

joyful blessings, Tina - Joy Coach for Entrepreneurs at http://innerdelight.com

 

 

Hi! Thanks for sharing. I really am interested in your story, especially what it was like for you as an immigrant in the US.

Sounds like you are bravely clearing the way for many women.

Thanks for all you've done and will do.

Love and Peace, Kaity

Hi Mayarte, complex and contradictory is the story of many women but choosing to go beyond the complexities of life is not an easy one. You could have chosen to stay on the sidelines hopeless and helpless but you choose to help others make sense of their situation, that is a brave choice not minding other people's doubts of your abilities. Well done dear. 

All the best in your future endeavours

Funmi

Dear Mayarte,

You have dedicated yourself to be the voice of the voiceless and that is what attracted me to your person and I admire every act of your service to the immigrants. KEEP IT UP!

Dear Maya,

The piece you have written is as strong as you are. It's like a summary of your journey, I'm sure there are countless layers in it. Reading your journey I realized how strong, driven and passionate you are about everything around you and at the same time it showed how immensely humble you are. It's a privilege to know you even if it's just 1%. You are an inspiration and I'll look forward to hear more of your story.

Thank you so much

:))

Dear Mayarte!

Your post post is very nice i loved it :)

And indeed we always had to try to make our societies a better place to live ! And seriously as i read your journey i became astonished that how can a single girl done these all activities or action. But YEAH:) you are really amazing  women and very strong!