by Jabu Pereira


Mexico, 28 October 2014

After a 24 hour journey to Mexico city and a 2 hour road trip without my luggage, I had felt rather stressed and jet-lagged and wondered if the universe was sending me a message.


ILGA LAC’s amazing women leaders, Gloria Careaga and Josefina Valencia Toledano invited 20 feminist leaders from across the world to a women’s leadership training programme. The programme focused on various aspect of leadership, such as self-awareness and self-care, our human rights challenges on legal and policy issues, advocacy at the UN level, media training and Leadership coaching.

yoga at the ILGA centre

Each morning, the group did yoga and meditation


I soon forgot about the loss of my luggage and the jet-lag. Once I set foot on Quinta el Zopilote, the message from the universe was clear – It’s time to detach from materiality, but rather I ought to spend my time with some deep reflection, relaxation and being fully present in the space with all the amazing women I arrived with. Quinta el Zopilote is a retreat centre, it has several meditation rooms, beautiful gardens with delicious fruit trees. It also has a Temazcal, an indigenous space, built into the ground similar as a sauna. Our host Patricia led the traditional ceremony. We learned how to prepare the fire for the Temazcal. Over several hours we honored our ancestors, we shared the pains we wish to leave behind, and the visions we will take foreword. To be in such a space, brought us all closer to what we understood as decolonising our bodies.


Prepping the fire for the Temazcal

Our facilitators were Lame Olebogile, PAI, Nori Spauwen, CoC Netherlands, Jabu Pereira, Iranti and Maria Sjodin from IGLHRC and trainer on the RFSL Global Rainbow leaders program.


Our group comprised of amazing women from Peru, China, Jamaica, South Africa, Botswana, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Netherlands, Mongolia, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Strong bonds were formed and deeper friendship and solidarity. The one essential love we all had was towards the women in the kitchen and prepared the most delicious home cooked food.


On our last day we managed to sneak in some local market shopping at the town of Cuernavaca. We left this beautiful town, ready to engage at the world ILGA Conference.


Skeleton sugar
At the market, sugar in the form of skeletons are sold. beautfiul acknowledgement of the dead.

Women's leadership training group at ILGA 2014
Full of smiles and laughter, a great week at the women’s leadership training.

Source: Sogi News