I have read so many interesting stories from inspiring women in this group. I have explored some of the deepest secrets in Africa, the most corageous stories from the Middle East, passionate and strong concerns in North America and some sweet Latin American words.

I am trying to write my first journal entry (as I am not sure I will post it in the correct place).

But what should I write about?

or...let me ask this question in a better way

What do I want to write about?

I would like to represent female voices that are never heard. To get to indigenous communities, to reach hard workers, to get to talk to children from streets, to successful lawyers, to faithful writers, to unemployed. To students and to teachers. To go from the hazardous North to the beautiful South. To find good stories. To share them with you.

Mexico is living one of the hardest times in decades. There are so many stories to tell, so many voices that want to be heard.

I feel inspired …

Comment on this Post


Andrea, what I've been hearing in the news lately about the situation in Mexico does seem to indicate the country is facing tough times. I would love to see the picture from your perspective. I know what it's like to live in an insecure environment, having grown up in Nigeria, and I wonder if our stories and our worries overlap. What are the people of Mexico saying? Are you hopeful? What do you envision for Mexico's future?

Would you mind sharing a little about this?

Well, I understand what you say. Lately, drug crimes and corruption is too much for Mexican people. But I believe that the last year it has been the worst, as every day on the news you read that somebody was killed, robbed or kidnapped.

I live very near to Mexico City (and I study in the city). There are some places where you can walk, and I can assure you nothing will happen to you. But there are some other places that you know you can risk yourself if you go there are certain hours.

I have had the opportunity to travel, and to get to see and live in other countries, where corruption problems are less common. In Mexico I believe the lack of education for everybody (and with this unemployment that leads to corruption), these are some of the worst problems. And now with organized crime...government is fighting with fire!

Years ago government would not say anything about drug-dealers and organized crime but now that the government is fighting it, they realized it is WAY STRONGER than what they expected. And this is why you hear news about killings so frequently.

People here in Mexico? Well eevrybody is tired...dissapointed! Overwhelmed! Some are hopeful...some are not. We will be celebrating a big event (our 200 years of being and independent country from Spain) and government are spending a lot of $ on events and monuments. People are tired and they express their hopes for that money to go to fight the corruption and crime problems...rather than some monuments. Oh well, this is a bit of the situaion so far!

Thanks for lending your insight,dear. The picture you paint sounds uncannily like my country, in which corruption has reigned for so long. Here, too, there is currently an outcry against the outlandish amount of money the government has allocated to celebrate our country's Independence Day come October. "Disappointed . . ." "overwhelmed . . ." " "tired . . ." I could borrow these words, too, to describe the way people are feeling around here.

This only affirms the need for a new dawn. And that's exactly what we're fighting for with our pens and voices, isn't it? I am encouraged by you and others all over the world who will continue to tell the stories that make for peace. God bless!

Yes! Sadly I guess it is a common factor (corruption) in developing world societies...and sometimes is just too much! Like, for example, today I went to the beautiful, historical centre of the city. Stars, culture, amazing buildings...but then you walk 10 minutes (or less) away frorm this and you find very sad, dirty places. And then again, 5 minutes away huge, modern buildings.There are so many contrasts...sometimes it is too much.

I am encouraged by you too :) Thank you for your welcoming ;)

And one last question... Are you ready to change the world?? ;)

Much love to your way!

In South Africa unemployment and lack of education leads to a lot of criminal activity. The worst thing about our country is that leaders in the political realm are getting convicted of serious white collar crime. We live in an environment where the rich and middle class constantly mingle with the poor, the poor are jealous and envious so much so that they engage in criminal activity of all sorts just to get by. I worry about our youth because the government doesn't seem decisive on a curriculum for kids in high school, those that are able to get into university fail dismally and get back in the streets. It's also very hard to get places in university. Fees cost an arm and a leg, unfortunately a vast percentage of matriculated (that's when you finish 12th grade) pupils have no alternative and once again end up on the streets. In a city like jo'burg, petty crime is rife, I've never been mugged but my friend's have been numerous times. The saddest part is that young people are becoming criminals. I look forward to reading more of your stories about Mexico and the problems that you face. I can identify thus far!

"Where is the what if the what is in why?" Moloko

Yes my dear, tha is another big problem here. There are not enough schools. And universities or private schools are sometimes very expensive for people. Also, teachers in some areas have very bad salaries (and because of this being a teacher can become a bad option if you want to earn money to have a house or a car...)

We need:

  • Better salaries for teachers, so they can have better qualifications as well.
  • More schools with these qualified teachers.
  • Less $ requirements or more scholarships for students who really need this!

As you said, if this does not happen, students will go and work or steal. Sadly, the last is the "easy" way...

I think we can definitely work on something in our journals about this challenge, Nigeria, Mexico and South Africa are three different places with similar problems. To make matters even worse, teachers are engaging in public servant strikes - during these times, pupils don't go to school. Let's get talking!

"Where is the what if the what is in why?" Moloko

Teaching is undervalued in the USA as well - Public schools are mired in bureaucracy - and yet, some students will rise to the top & attend college - others are lost - there is not enough emphasis on education for skilled trades or para-professionals at a young enough age - highest risk time is ages 11 - 13, then if kids are not connected to healthy pursuits, they can get very connected to unhealthy/ illegal /violent passions.

Would love to hear @ your path to the university and how to make this possible for more students in Mexico. . . ~Karen

Well my dear Karen,

I am a lucky person. Since I was young, my parents have always encouraged me to continue studying, as they always told me that with my studies I was going to be "someone" in life, I was going to be able to have a job and do something I liked. And I thank them every single day because with their help, I have been able to study until university (and in around a year I will be done!)

I never had to work or earn money to study, which is a very common case in Mexican and Latin American students.

I've always gained scholarships as well!

So you ask...What should you write about?

I think that you're in the best position to tell us of the experiences you're going through on a daily basis while living in Mexico.

If i hear the word 'Mexico' mentioned, I picture beautiful Hotels right next to the beaches, cuisines/spices, friendly people and some of the most breathtaking spots on earth. There's also the dark side that we hear about in the papers, the drugs, warlords and witchcraft going on.

But it would be interesting if you opened our eyes and walked us through the real situation that Mexico is in. It would be refreshing to hear it from you other than reading stories in the media because journalists sometimes only write what the people want to hear and not what's really happening behind closed doors.

I wish you luck and lots of inspiration. I do look forward to reading your upcoming journals.



My dear Nyambura!

You are very right in your perspective on Mexico, but I have one question for you. When you mention you relate Mexico with "witchcraft"..could you explain more about this? It is inpetesing for me since I never heard anyone saying this! :)

I would feel very honored to show you other sides of Mexico :) And I will do so, thank you for your sweet words!

Good luck for you too and I will keep an eye on your work my dear ;)

Be persistent!


Most of us worry in what is happening in our countries and what best can be done. We have had what is happening in Mexico and South Africa, but in Zimbabwe we worry about the health of the communities. There is a need to integrate TB into HIV so that these poeple are attended to early and get treatment early (especial TB patients or people living with HIV) I think there is much more to be done as we once had overcome the challenges of the disease For now it real has come to haunt us without much attention given. We require more efforts and commitment form our government and the politicians to understand what is going on. We require more commitment in our day today work that will produce evidence based work and assist the sick in getting early treatment, in having sufficient drugs until they are cured, and early case detection- these will contribute in Alleviating stigma and discrimination. We also need much advocacy for improved services, communication- (Improve responsiveness of health care services, communication skills, staff attitudes and practices in relation to the poor and the vulnerable community) I write about this because within our community if you have HIV and then later you are diagnosed with TB it becomes a serious stigma and they have given it a name as TB 2 meaning it is now your death sentence. This is not the community or the affected patients we gave it this name it was due to what will happen to you next when you have been diagnosed. In 85% of the patients diagnosed would die after starting TB treatment reason being they always dscovered late for diagnosis or they were not coming forward to explain their signs and symptoms of TB or when they informed the health care provide early he/she only insist that they be checked for HIV in that when they are discovered that they have the TB organism/germ the sickness would have advanced. I hope I discussed what you require as you said we are the voices of our future I have provided what is a worry in our community and we need to strengthen advocacy, communication and social mobilizaton. What I can say is: it is not easy. It is a serious challenge to overcome the bearers that are there.

Thank you Regina

Regina Bhebhe

Regina! This is a very interesting subject you talk about: diseases. Integrating people. More conscioussness on the importance of having a treatment. You are an inspiring soul that wants to transmit all of this on paper, and I admire that! I think you will be a great journalist/participant!

Thank you so much for sharing.


I like the way you expressed your feelings of desire to do something remarkable. You are in the right place and we are happy to have you with us! Welcome and we look forward to read your voices:)


Nilima from Nepal

Dear Andrea, I just had some gist of these thread messages that followed your initial thoughts about Mexico. One important thing I felt while going through is the similar experience I have had in two countries. Its not just Mexico and South Africa, its Bangladesh as well which has severe literacy problems especially for the children. My heart felt so heavy when I saw little little kids carrying bricks and sands in the construction sites, begging for food and money, in the first time in my life. I have even seen these situations in India too. In Bangladesh, there were no enough primary school for children. Looking into each children story, poverty too becomes a big barrier for their education. All over the world, no matter east, central or west, still people in many places suffer in their lives where we can see different issues overlapping each other.

Regards, Shivalaxmi Arumugham Student of Asian University for Women Chittagong, Bangladesh.

My dear Shivalaxmi!

You are from the land of one person I admire very much: Muhammad Yunus!!!

Well, about children and labouring. Yes it breaks our hearts, here it is commonly seen children selling candies on the streets or in some corners, walking around asking for money. It is even worst when you know they might use this money not for themselves, but for other (or for drugs...)

This is a very hard subject, but if we could write about this, I know we would raise awareness about the issue in so many global ways!!

I want to read your posts certainly.

One BIG HUG from Mexico,

Andrea Arzaba


Use of Haitian voodoo, Cuban Santeria and Mexican Witchcraft is commonly used by gangsters, to keep away the police and by the police force, to weed out the gangsters.

A very ironic situation.



Dear Andrea and friends from PulseWire, After I had read the comments you posted, I remained feeling what you are facing in your countries is exactly the same with me in my country, Myanmar. Have you ever heard it? It is a country in Asia, to be exact in South East Asia and between China and India. Frankly, our country might be the worst corrupted one in the world. Myanmar is regarded as one of the poorest countries. I think the statistics are based on seeing the situation of the citizens. However, if we look at the officials from governance position, I think it will be very difficult to say who is richer than those. And the misuse and improper use of the budget is everywhere. Seven years ago, I was working as a tourist guide for a while after my matriculation exam and waiting to attend the university. Then one of my friends from France asked me a question along our trip. "Here, in Myanmar, we can see pagodas almost everywhere and those pagodas are religious buildings are marvelous. However, why the roads are very damaged across the country? Why are your people are in poverty?" The way he pointed out and his questions were really thought-provoking. It is not a religious issue. We have to consider what a country needs to develop and what citizens need for the goodness. Very briefly, on the other hand, we have some prosperity in our community such as emerging youth development workers such as, exactly, me. Very nice to meet you all and let's share and learn each other. With Love, Shwe Wutt Hmon @ Pollen Myanmar

Shwe Wutt Hmon