Fellow Since 2003
This profile was prepared when Carmen Yolanda Llanquín was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Carmen is giving Mapuches the tools to economically and socially integrate themselves into the rest of society. By advocating that Mapuches fully exercise their rights, Carmen is promoting self-sustainability, local leadership, and community participation. Her approach has three comprehensive stages. First, she systematically facilitates debates and discussions to encourage groups to make concrete proposals to local government on important social issues like health and education. Second, Carmen is dedicated to enhancing the training and skills for developing small business ventures that contribute to economic advancement and self-sustainability. Finally, she integrates the previous measures into an overarching drive to help indigenous people get involved in the legislative leadership responsible for assigning the economic resources of the national budget. The impact of this initiative goes far beyond the Mapuches and includes all native ethnic communities in the country who will be able to demand co-participation on their provincial budget. As the first Mapuche woman that has ever promoted a process of this kind in Argentina, she is undoubtedly strengthening and giving a new value to the role of women in this predominantly male-led sector of society.