Friday, July 06, 2007


This is the approach of Osram in Mexico for CSR, it is mainly a huge marketing campaing, where they developed a pink lamp (low energy consumption), which sells (10%) will go to hospitals to cover the treatment of the Human papillomavirus that produces the cervical cancer (very common in Mexico).

As part of their campaing they illuminated some of the major buildings in Mexico City (Televisa was one of them!), and they even made a campaign in one of the most popular soapoperas "Destilando Amor" the Mexican version of "cafe con aroma de mujer", only that instead of Coffee this one is about Tequila... well, no comments

Although I don't feel very comfortable about Marketing for sustainability (doing good things because it is the trend, and to show it to people), I did liked the pink content, I did buy a pink lamp, and I went to see the illumination of some of these buildings.. maybe it has something to do with the fact of my boyfriend being working for this company... :)

Some pics of Palacio de Bellas Artes:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Volunteering in Mexico

As you know I am working in a bank, and it is the first time that I have not been involved so much with the third sector (NGOs, foundations, etc), however I have not been totally apart of it.. since I came here I joined the Sustainability Task Force of the bank and we have been interacting with some organizations that are making a wonderful job, however thei interaction was not exactly on field... was more like donations, cocktails and not so down to earth things... Until we found this great foundation called IMPULSA, and we decided to put our staff in the real world by offering the opportunity to volunteer in public schools.

We got 24 volunteers (out of 100 employees), and we start to pilot this partnership with Impulsa involving two public schools, focusing on secondary level (highschool) the objective of the program is to promote education among these kids so they don't quit school to try a job or something else... but to recognize the importance of education in order to break the poverty cycle.

Being a volunteer for this program was such a wonderful opportunity, to connect with the reality of Mexico, and to share with these kids some of my own experiences as student and how you can shape your life with the decisions you take... I had a class of about 45 kids, that I shared with another collegue (well I was not willing to go alone to the battlefield), and although I lost my voice and got pharyngeal inflammation we could manage to get them participating in all the activities in relative calm :)

The program lasted about 2 months, and it finished last week, I really miss these kids (Especially Giovana, Pepe, Hugo and Oliverio) who made me feel like "Maestra Jimena" of the famous mexican series "Carrusel", hahhaa.. it really made me considering being a teacher at some point of my life.. and be able to inspire and why not.. also to "entertain" my kids ( I have to tell you about the Shakira dance style story!).

I'm sure the bank will keep promoting this program, but while the new scholar year begins I will keep looking for ways to make this time in Mexico worthy....

See some more pics...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Talking about playing soccer in cities about 2.500 m:

I just loved this picture!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Shakira in Mexico....

This was a concert I was looking for to attend for a long time... and finally the perfect timing appeared, it was in Mexico city, in the second biggest square in the world, the famous Zocalo, and it was for free!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sustainable shopping...

I was checking this site: We are what we do looking for ways to act in a more sustainable way, and I found a very easy way to make this world a better place... avoid plastic.

For a while I was thinking of the hundreds of plastic bags that I have at home pilled up behind the washing maching, I was trying re-using (I use them to bring my lunch everyday to the office), but after checking this web, it made a click, besides re-using I can try rejecting and explaining people the reasons why plastic is not a good idea (education)...

So, the last time I went to the supermarket I brought a paper bag with me and put all my items there, I politely said to the cashier that I did not need one more plastic bag, that I had brought my own bag in order to contribute to the environment... I think she did not understood the point very well.. but it felt so good to do this small thing... then I thought that I could bring to the supermarket some of the plastic bags I have at home at least for my personal usage... although maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to have a bag/plastic deposit for clients, so they can recycle it afterwards... suddenly some more ideas appeared and it makes more and more sense to me.

Some facts about plastic:
  • It takes approximately two billion barrels of oil to service the plastic bag industry in this country alone
  • A plastic bag can take up to 500 years to decay
It is amazing to realize how many simple, effortless things you can do, and how big is their impact if more and more people start implementing them... hope you also get involved!! :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

ABN AMRO What is the deal?

The news are everywhere, ABN AMRO (the bank where I am doing my internship) is being sold.

But the question that remains in the air, is who is going to buy it? Not because no one would have appetite for it, but all the contrary, there are at least 4 banks that have showed how starving they are for our businesses.

Last monday, it was announced that ABN AMRO and Barclays had come to a selling agreement, creating a new bank that would be owned 52% by Barclays and 48% by ABN AMRO, creating the biggest/strongest bank in the world. The offer was valued in €67.000 m. Additionally ABN agreed to sell La Salle bank, their bank in the United States, to Bank of America for $21 billion.

Until then fine... everybody thought that this was a fact and the sell was going to be completed, but as it was also expected the consortium formed by RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), Santander and Fortis made his call.

They offered €72.000 m, but conditioned to include La Salle bank in the package (this is the most atractive piece for RBS). With this offer speculation increased and the certainty of who will get the bid, from one side Barclays represented the best option (supported by the management board) for the continuity and sinergy that it can bring to ABN, also shareholders were adviced that this would be the best option for them.

From the other side, the "consortium" is not giving up, and has offered the 70% of the offer in cash (very atractive for shareholders), and had threaten ABN to put in hands of shareholders (instead of the ones of the management board) the decision to buy,

So here my question would be, would shareholders go the easy way accepting short-term benefits (cash), regardless it would mean the break up of a bank that has stand strong during almost two centuries, OR will they be interested in creating long term value taking advantages of the sinergies that can be created with Barclays, walking the sustainability talk for which has been awarded and recognized during the last years?

Only time will answer this question, while the answer come, we can be nothing but spectators, hoping that decision makers could be concerned about other stakeholders different to the ones that owns the stocks and who will be greatly impacted by this decision.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Michoacan... a state that worths the visit!

Last eastern Mario and me travel to Michoacan (like 3 hours from DF), we stayed most of the time in Morelia, but we had the opportunity to visit Patzcuaro and Janitzio two unique places of Michoacan.

I found Morelia, very beautiful, it is a small city that conserves the colonial spirit and body, the historical centre is enriched by the many buildings that stay as if we were still living in the XVII century, but with most of the benefits of contemporary times.

I can't save adjectives for the people in Michoacan, they are so kind and helpful, and at the same time so proud of their history, although pretty conservative, they are open to welcome the tourist and offer them a great stay in their towns...

Some pics from the trip:
left: the hotel "La soledad"
right: Palacio Clavijero

Pics from Janitzio:
left: the island
right: street markets in Janitzio
More Carnival Stories... yo te ame con gran delirio!

April 1st, good day to celebrate Barranquilla's carnival in Mexico... why not???

When my friend lyz invited me to be part of the Carnival of Barranquilla that would be celebrated in Mexico, I did not think it twice, I said COUNT ME IN!!! I never danced in a carnival in the 21 years I lived in Barranquilla, and I knew that I'm not the best Cumbia dancer that could represent my city, but hey I was in Mexico, and they dance cumbia as salsa.. so WHO CARES!!!!

The idea was to bring the carnivals to the colombian community in Mexico, and of course to mexicans to give them a sense of what celebration of carnivals really is (read the story of Veracruz below). So sponsorship was got, and more groups were included, invitations were sent to other latin communities and some Bolivian, Venezuelan and Brazilean people joined us in our celebration.

We had dances, music, delicious food and hundreds of people dancing during daylight regardless the hot sun and then the rain that came over us during the afternoon... good times!

More pics: at the left with Cami and at the right with Mario
Unexpected visit!

Some weeks ago, Rita came to visit me in DF after attending the AXLDS (AIESEC conference) in Guanajuato, we were together about 18 hours in total, but we did all possible to update each other about the moves that our lives have taken since last time we met. Time can pass but our friendship stays firm and strong!

Here a pic of Rita and me in my office...

Carnivals in Veracruz...

Traveling to Veracruz last february I discovered a city that mixes colonial arquitecture, beach and carnivals, in my search for identification I thought of it as a combination between Cartagena in Barranquilla.. only that different :)

The city was VERY crowded, so I did not particulary relaxed during this time, but hey who is looking for relaxation in the middle of the carnival?? crazy me...

Carnivals in Veracruz, are really interesting, it consist of 3 days parades, only that they are exactly the same, same groups dancing, same cars, same all.. so I guess they do it to give people more opportunities to see them (or maybe it is just lack of creativity). Parades, are kind of similiar to the ones in Barranquilla, the distance that the parade marches is about 5 km, the streets are closed for cars, and people stay in each side of the road, giving space to the folckloric groups, costumes, and celebrities to take over the street with music and color.

Given the fact that for the next day we would see the same parade, and the beaches besides of not being very nice were completely packed we decided to go to the acquarium, which mexicans claim to be the biggest one in Latin america (btw, what is the thing/complex with brazileans and mexicans with size???). I don't know if it is but I really liked it, there were "rayas", sharks, nemos, and many other animals from the ocean.. but not dolphins :(

P.S: Mexicans be prepared for the next biggest acquarium in latin american project that will take place of course in Rio de Janeiro - Brazil... it seems like it is a neverending battle!!!
Some updates...
I just realized that I haven't written so much in my blog during my stay in Mexico, I guess is a combination of not having time in the office, and not being able to upload my pics, but this week I was able to overcome these two challenges, since my boss is out of the office (so I don't have to work 12 hours a day!) and my roomie bought a computer that I could use yesterday night to upload my pics, so.. here I go.

Bosque de Chapultepec

It claims to be the biggest green area in Latin America built in an urban zone, and it surely is. It has a lot of attractions: A very interesting zoo that keeps the animals in a habitat very similar to their original one, a big lake (artificial one), a very nice castle (where former presidents and independecy heroes used to live), a wonderful musuem (Museo Antropologico) that describes perfectly the old tribes that used to exist in different parts of the country, and lots and lots of green. I think every part of the bosque deserves its own post but I just wanted to give you a sense of how especial this place is.

This Bosque, is visited for some hundreds of thousand of mexicans and foreigners every weekend, unlike most parks in Brazil, people visit them not to make sports (like running, biking, skating, etc.), more likely mexicans will eat "tortas" (their version of sandwich), tacos, or yes.. fruits, only that their fruits will contain chile (in powder) and lemon! very unique!!