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Margarita Barney

Born in the Mexican city of Chihuahua, Margarita Barney studied languages and became an interpreter and translator. She dedicated most of her adult life to the support of education in Mexico. As part of a group of young parents, she started a Montessori school in Chihuahua, and she worked for a school that prepared Montessori teachers in Mexico City. Witnessing the pollution in Mexico City and the widespread indifference of its inhabitants, she carried out different campaigns to raise awareness. Later, Margarita studied ecology, population and development at the Ibero-American University and formed the group Environmental Volunteers of Tecamachalco, which later became GRUPEDSAC. Margarita and GRUPEDSAC have been recognized nationally and internationally for their work.

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Grupo para Promover la EducaciĆ³n y el Desarollo Sustentable (GRUPEDSAC)
Hybrid Social Enterprise
Agriculture, Food and Beverage; Infrastructure; Sustainable Development
Areas of Impact
Latin America, Mexico

Grupo para Promover la EducaciĆ³n y el Desarollo Sustentable (GRUPEDSAC)

GRUPEDSAC takes an integrated approach to solving the problems of rural poverty and environmental degradation. It does this through skills training and human development programmes that increase community organizational capacity and autonomy.

Through its learning centres in the states of Mexico and Oaxaca, GRUPEDSAC addresses a range of problems faced in rural Mexico, such as lack of water, energy, food insecurity, rural migration and inadequate housing. The centres provide hands-on training in appropriate technologies and organic farming methods, rainwater harvesting, ecological construction, and solar and wind energy. All technologies are adapted to the respective environment and make sustainable use of the existing natural resources. The training centres receive groups from Mexico and other parts of Latin America. Once trained, these experts then replicate the appropriate technologies in their countries. There are now centres throughout the region, most of them started by organizations trained at GRUPEDSAC and following its model. The government of the State of Mexico has also constructed eight small training centres in its most remote municipalities with the intention of introducing sustainable development in these areas.

In addition, GRUPEDSAC revives cultural traditions and resources that have been neglected and underused and combines them with modern techniques. The organization also grants microfinance loans for the development of small business and housing improvements. GRUPEDSAC also works with schools, corporations and universities for environmental awareness, to increase social and environmental responsibility and promote sustainable income-generating activities. It offers programmes in volunteerism and family rural ecotourism to benefit local communities. Additionally the organization offers stakeholder engagement services for socially responsible corporations that want to have a positive impact in the communities.


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