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Araceli Iñiguez: Working for Change

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"More than finding simply a job, I found opportunities to get involved in social justice and public activism."

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My name is Araceli Iñiguez. I am Mexican and I am 39 years old. Every since I was a child, I wanted to be different, and I found myself with many obstacles. Being a woman, I wasn't given the right to go to a university; supposedly because I was going to get married and would be taken care of – something that still has not happened. I have always worked, and I like to be able to take care of myself. I have worked doing different things, but I've always been concerned – why the differences? Social rules? Wealth disparities?

In Mexico, I worked directly in the Federal Electoral Institute. After a personal crisis, I arrived in this country and once I found La Colectiva, I found a road with my answers. More than simply finding a job, I found opportunities to work for social justice and public activism, however you want to call it.

Attending hearings and participating in marches and protests, I began to know about laws, opportunities to participate and be part of the community. I am very satisfied to be part of it all, and now I am fighting to make my opinions heard and my rights valued, to demonstrate that I can get ahead and be a solid base as an example for my daughters' development so that they are able to study, succeed, and fight for what they want and commit themselves to their community.

La Colectiva has not only trained me to work, but has guided my personal development and increased my understanding of domestic work and our representation at the local level, the national level, and now at the international level within the United Nations. Domestic work is not nor should it be degrading. The satisfaction of what I can achieve through it stimulates me to change and to be a better human being.