Much of ATA’s work is done online, including most of the interactions between our US and Mexico teams. However, online collaboration does not carry the richness of communication that in-person collaboration does. To enhance the effectiveness of our work, last month ATA’s Director, Maud Obe, and Program Associate, Hannah Klein, traveled to Mexico.
Starting in Mérida, Yucatán, then continuing to San Cristóbal, Chiapas, and ending the journey in Mexico City, they met with the local ATA staff, visited an artisan community, met with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and observed stores where ATA products are showcased and sold.
Throughout the weeklong trip, Maud and Hannah worked closely with our Chiapas and Yucatán teams, evaluating where we are today and where we want to be in the future. We conducted workshops in both offices to improve efficiency and ensure the delivery of the highest quality training for our beneficiaries. Hannah visited the artisan group Mariposas del Sur in Tixmehuac, Yucatán to meet the artisans and directly learn about the evolution of their business since joining our Manos Vivas 2.0 project. The word “mariposas” in Spanish means “butterflies,” as one artisan, Ingrid, told Hannah:
“We chose the butterfly [for our name] because, like a butterfly, we started as a little caterpillar and now we are growing and spreading our wings.”
Our final stop was Mexico City where ATA Mexico Director Maria-Eugenia Pineda, Maud and Hannah visited the office of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to discuss our new monitoring and evaluation system and future project opportunities. Stay tuned to learn more!
Thank you to the Mexico teams for hosting us and to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for giving us such a warm welcome. Most of all, thank you to our fellow staff and artisans who openly shared their thoughts and experiences with us.