OF ALL THE PLACES I COULD HAVE LANDED in this world, I landed with a wonderful family, in a beautiful country. When I was very young, my parents introduced me to the natural and cultural treasures of Mexico—its majestic deserts, solitary snow-capped volcanoes, vibrant jungles, peaceful forests and lakes, wild rivers, and amazing carpets of colorful coral, as well as our country's imposing pre-Hispanic sites and incredibly diverse expressions of art, traditions, and languages.
While I learned to love and respect Mexico and its hardworking people, I also became very aware of our marked social contrasts and inequalities, and our environmental challenges. I noticed that those who lived in and cared for the natural areas we visited—those who knew most about them—were rarely consulted when the government made decisions about their land. I remember being very upset as a child once when we were camping in a pristine coastal area, and we learned from local fishermen that the government would be relocating them to the mountains with their families so the government could build an exclusive tourism complex along the water.
Because of incidents like that one from my childhood, by the time I finished high school, I knew I wanted to do something that would enable others to have access to the same opportunities I had been given, and contribute to a more thoughtful use of our natural resources. After completing my college studies in biology in the United States, I returned home. I had no idea what would come next, but I trusted that God would point me in the direction where my talents could be put to good use. Soon afterward, I started working for The Nature Conservancy, an international non-profit organization. And since the mission of this organization is to "preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive," my job allows me to contribute to the protection of Mexico's natural treasures. It also gives me the opportunity to see how the efficient use of our natural resources affects our life in positive ways.