Inmaculada Puente

Ashoka Fellow
Hermosillo, Mexico
Fellow Since 2003

Citation

This profile was prepared when Inmaculada Puente was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Inmaculada ensures the survival and development of indigenous communities in northern Mexico by bridging these communities and urban, nonindigenous populations. On the one side, she is helping indigenous groups recover their cultural heritage and acquire new skills in production of marketable products. On the other, she is developing an appreciation of the indigenous cultures among city people, converting them into buyers of indigenous products and supporters of indigenous development. By bringing the two groups together through educational visits, Inmaculada forges interpersonal relationships–including commercial relationships–that accelerate impact.
There have been many efforts in Mexico to help indigenous groups raise themselves out of poverty and isolation by fostering productive capacity. Inmaculada's initiative, however, has key differentiating features: valuing the producer groups' cultural heritage and fostering self-esteem based on this value; building appreciation for indigenous cultures among the broader population and translating this appreciation into market opportunities for indigenous products; and creating artisanal products of ultra high quality and realizing their full commercial potential by instituting successful production and marketing techniques.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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