Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Proof of the Power in Passion - Martha Isabel (Pati) Ruiz Corzo

My new inspiration comes disguised as a little fireball of a woman by the name of Martha Isabel (Pati) Ruiz Corzo. As I was working on the computer from our room yesterday morning, I had the live video stream from the conference on my computer running as well.
This woman was introduced and began speaking – in Spanish. I thought to myself “Oh well, I’ll leave it on anyway and maybe some Spanish words will sink into my brain while I work.” I soon realized that I had stopped typing and was mesmerized by this woman on the screen who was speaking with such passion that I was pulled into her spell without understanding the details. I was crying and applauding right along with everyone in the live audience for most of her presentation. When she ended by breaking into an a capella song and finished with audience participation on the chorus of “Amen, Amen, Amen” while she inserted verses – in English – about nature, I was completely overwhelmed, energized and inspired. And still sitting there by myself in my pajamas!

I had the opportunity later in the day to thank her in person for her presentation and as we shook hands, we both started crying all over again. I had just connected with a powerful force for nature – a tsunami disguised as a grandma and I will not forget her. She makes me believe that any one of us can make a difference if we choose to.

Below is her bio from the Wild 9 Program.

A recognized leader in Mexico’s civil conservation movement, Martha Isabel (Pati) Ruiz Corzo is known as one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve where she has served as Federal Director for more than a decade.
Martha Isabel (Pati) Ruiz Corzo, reconocida lideresa del movimiento civil conservacionista de México, ha sido una de las fuerzas que impulsaron la creación de la Reserva de la Biósfera de Sierra Gorda, misma que ha dirigido por más de una década.
Spanning more than one million acres, the reserve encompasses mountains and valleys of breathtaking beauty but is also home to more than 600 communities living in grinding poverty and battling high unemployment. Corzo’s leadership focuses on addressing and solving the region’s challenges through environmental education, land conservation and community development.
Ms. Corzo has received numerous awards for her innovative work in environmental conservation, including the Rolex Prize for Enterprise in 2002, the Schwab Foundation award for Outstanding Social Entrepreneurship in 2001 and Mexico’s National Ecology Award in 2000.
Con más de 400 000 hectáreas de extensión, esta reserva no sólo abarca montañas y valles de indescriptible belleza, sino que es el hogar de más de 600 comunidades que viven sumidas en la pobreza y padecen de altos índices de desempleo. Los esfuerzos de Pati Corzo se han concentrado en atender y resolver los retos que la región enfrenta, mediante educación ambiental, conservación de la tierra y desarrollo comunitario.
a Srita. Corzo ha recibido muchos galardones por sus innovadores trabajos de conservación ambiental, entre ellos el Premio Rólex a la Iniciativa Empresarial 2002, el Premio a la Iniciativa Social Excepcional 2001 de Schwab Foundation, y el Premio Nacional de Ecología 2000 (México).

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