Forming community resources as a first line of survival support for families impacted by internal migration, especially women and girls is an essential part of CM’s work. With a network of over 100 women formed as community resources, the impact is not only visible on a daily basis, but also in moments of social and environmental crisis.
CM’s leaders were first responders and organizers in times of serious upheaval when Hurricane Odile destroyed southern Baja California Peninsula; prioritizing protection of lives and the human rights of the people involved, including sexual and reproductive rights. Community leadership by the women formed by Centro Mujeres was also unequivocally demonstrated when confronting an epidemic of rape and other expressions of violence against women in a huge area where disenfranchised neighborhoods converge, and when a community suffered the consequences of a prolonged drought.
Sharing similar experiences – woman to woman—is a powerful way to build trust and facilitate learning. This is the core of program Promesa. This community leadership program in women’s reproductive health and human rights was developed to provide support and advocacy from within the community to women who reside in marginalized environments. This includes migrant women living in rural ranches, as well as poorer women living in La Paz and Los Cabos counties. Centro Mujeres provides intensive training to local women and in turn, they serve as a resource and advocate for their community.
This program delivers real impact on both a micro and macro level.
In addition to serving as an health and rights advocate for women in crisis, Promesa leaders in Los Cabos have also had important achievements in their community such as negotiating with the county to install street lamps to increase security, and with the state health department to increase local clinic hours in order to include basic health prevention programs like pap smears, and vaccinations.
Community Leadership PROMESA: PROMESA changed my life. I am not the same person now that I was when I started the training. Understanding that I have rights and that I have to exercise them changed the way I act and relate with people in a positive way, especially with my husband and kids. Now I feel strong and help other women in my community, especially those that suffer violence so they can have a better life. They come to me because they have seen the great changes in my life. I don’t ever want to go back to the life I had before PROMESA! ~ Josefina, age 36, San Jose Del Cabo