Guatemalan Girl Leader Rises Up at World Wide Women Girls’ Festival

Rise Up Guatemalan Girl Leader Ixchel will be speaking about her campaign for girls rights at San Francisco’s WORLD WIDE WOMEN GIRLS’ FESTIVAL this Saturday. On October 15th from 9am-5pm in San Francisco, 5,000 girls and their families from all over the Bay Area will experience a game-changing day of exploration and learning at the World Wide Women Girls’ Festival. Please join Ixchel from Guatemala, and a panel of inspiring girls leaders originally Somaliland, Nigeria and the US who are doing important work to advance girls’ health, education, and equity around the world. The Global Girls’ Voices panel will take place at San Francisco’s Fort Mason on the Main Stage at 12:30pm. For more information and tickets, visit

Ixchel shares her story in this powerful blog. She discusses the importance of advocacy for girls, the challenges facing girls in Guatemala, what she is doing to #RiseUp4Girls, and what she is looking forward to during the Festival.

Why is it important to work for girls’ rights in Guatemala? It is important to fight for girls’ rights because girls have the ability to enforce our rights through empowerment and because we are the present and the future of our society. We just need the opportunity to express ourselves and our needs in health, education, protection and participation are addressed. I am convinced that through education doors and opportunities open to demonstrate our talents and value as children and adolescents to help improve our living conditions and overall development.

Porque es importante trabajar para los derechos de niñas en Guatemala?Porque tenemos la capacidad de hacer valer nuestros derechos mediante el empoderamiento y porque somos el presente y el futuro de nuestra sociedad y solo necesitamos la oportunidad para expresarnos y que nuestras necesidades en salud, educación, protección y participación sean atendidas. Estoy convencida que a través de la educación se abren puertas y oportunidades para demostrar nuestros talentos y valor como niñas y adolescentes que ayudara a mejorar nuestras condiciones de vida y desarrollo integral.

What has your work with girls and youth been? I have given talks about their overall development, opened doors for them in advocacy spaces, and have helped mediate projects and have support them when they ask for my help.

Cuál ha sido tu trabajo con las niñas y adolescentes? Impartirles charlas para su desarrollo integral, abrirles puertas en espacios de incidencia política, minimizar las necesidades que poseen mediante proyectos y apoyarlas cuando pidan mi ayuda.

What has struck you most about this work? The most impactful part of this work has been to hear the stories of girls and adolescents who suffer violence and discrimination, noting that the authorities do not take their suffering into account. It is also impactful to hear stories of girls looking to stand on their own and succeeding.

Qué es lo que te ha impactado más en este trabajo? Lo más impactante de este trabajo es conocer historias de niñas y adolescentes que sufren violencia y discriminación, observar que las autoridades quienes no toman en cuenta el sufrimiento de las niñas y adolescentes y escuchar historias de niñas que buscan sobresalir por sus propios medios y lo logran.

What specific barriers you faced in this job? I have moved from one place to another and although this has allowed me to see different ways of life, I have been without many financial resources to pay for my education. As a result, I studied at a boarding school for three years and was away from my family.

Qué barreras específicas has enfrentado en este trabajo? Mudarme de un lugar a otro, aunque esto hace que conozca diferentes formas de vida y no tener tantos recursos económicos para poder sostener con facilidad mi educación, ya que por tres años estudié en un internado alejada de mi familia y amigos como consecuencia.

What are your hopes for girls and adolescents? They can participate in decision-making spaces, come to the University to study and break all the barriers that society has given them.

Cuáles son tus esperanzas para las niñas y adolescentes? Que puedan participar en espacios de toma de decisiones, lleguen a estudiar hasta la Universidad y rompan todas las barreras que la sociedad les ha dado.

How do you think society can join this challenge in favor of girls and adolescents? Society can start really trusting the potential and value of girls and adolescents, believing in our dreams and goals and above all, helping us to achieve them.

Cómo piensas que la sociedad pueda unirse a este reto a favor de las niñas y adolescentes? Confiando en el potencial y el valor de las niñas y adolescentes, creyendo en sus sueños y metas y sobre todo, contribuyendo a alcanzarlas.

What excites you more to be in the festival girls? Share my experiences with more girls and adolescents and the experiences and stories of other girls and adolescents elsewhere in the world.

Qué es lo que te emociona más de estar en el festival de las niñas?Compartir mis experiencias con más niñas y adolescentes y conocer las experiencias e historias de otras niñas y adolescentes de otros lugares del mundo.

Written by Ixchel, Rise Up girl leader