Galo is a development worker from Ecuador currently working as a communications specialist for local development at CPICH (the Chorotega Indigenous People’s Organisation) and at the mayor’s office in Macuelizo, Nicaragua.
How would you describe yourself?
I am passionate about working for social change, with the aim of creating a united, just and humane society.
What inspired you to become a Development Worker with Progressio?
I’ve had positive experiences of working with Progressio in Ecuador and Nicaragua. I identify with the organisation’s political philosophy and its objectives to reduce poverty and improve the standard of living of the most vulnerable sectors of society.
What has made the biggest impact on you in Nicaragua?
Nicaragua is like my second home; coming here was like being reunited with a big family, especially the indigenous people and small-scale farmers with whom I have shared, over a number of years, dreams, hopes and aspirations for prosperity and progress.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Improving the levels of communication with people and enabling them to play a leading role in the two-way communication processes. I am committed to working for family and community development.
What has been the most exciting moment so far?
The target groups (indigenous communiciators) becoming self-sustaining and able to make radio programmes like “our voices, our roots” without waiting for guidance from development workers. I have also enjoyed sharing my knowledge and training new people to participate in community dialogue among all the Chorotega indigenous groups.
And the biggest lesson?
Working with the indigenous communities has enabled me to improve my communication skills, understand their problems and goals, and recognise their demands for community development projects.
What is the biggest development challenge facing the sector/area in which you are working in country where you are working?
Creating a sustainable human development policy to enable the indigenous communities to participate in decision making on issues related to cultural identity, to join forces to tackle poverty, environmental degredation and the right approach to gender equality. An integrated, robust and transparent process is needed.
If you could change one thing, what would that be?
The bureaucratic ways of civil servants. I would also put an end to corruption and improve citizen participation in economic, political, social, cultural and environmental life at municipal, departmental and national level.
What strikes you most about Progressio’s Development Worker model?
Promoting citizen participation, including defending people’s responsibilities and rights so that they may be the actors in development initiatives which are based on the community’s proposals.
What is your favourite motto or saying?
“Working with all your heart for the development of the community.”
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of becoming a development worker?
You should have an enterprising spirit and a duty of service. It doesn’t matter where you are born, or where you live, but where you work and that it is for the common good.
Where do you see yourself once your placement has ended? And in what ways is this placement with Progressio assisting you to get there?
I am passionate about my work with indigenous people in Ecuardor and Northern Nicaragua. If these are my goals, may they stay with me until the day I die.