I don’t believe in many charities. I mean not the ones who just give things. Don’t get me wrong, I would rather people do something than nothing, but I believe in creating change, and you can't do that if you just give handouts. To make real change, you have to educate and empower people — It’s like giving a person a fish to eat or teaching them how to fish. That’s why I started my own women’s workshop in Valladolid, Yucatan 2009. I noticed that a lot of indigenous people kept their innocence and sometimes reminded me of little children. They are happier than us, I think. And they laugh a lot. Something I love to do and share with them. We do laugh a lot.
I don’t have legal status as a coop yet, but my best friend’s charity, Caring for Colombia. which was co founded by my friend Geneviève Maquinay Déséglise. Geneviève (Gigi) is the President and co-Founder of Caring for Colombia. A Colombian-Belgian painter and sculptor, she studied fine art in Colombia, Belgium and Italy, graduating from the Art School of La Cambre, Brussels. Lately, Geneviève has been working with various media to make sculptures using recycled materials, wood, stones, metal and other natural elements. Geneviève is also a board member of the Agustin Fernandez Foundation.
Gigi is an amazing person. Beautiful inside and out. We have a lot in common. Gigi has European background, but was raised in Colombia. I am European, but live in Mexico. Both countries of Latin America. We share the love for the arts. I went myself to Cartagena with her and saw what a difference her charity makes for the people. We do believe that encouraging people to be part of after school programs like dance classes or art classes will not only keep the kids off the streets, but will encourage their talents and maybe even create a career in these fields. I love her charity because there are no handouts and it addresses the real problems in the lives of these people.