November 5, 2008 The Bridge Between Family and Work Experiences

November 5, 2008  The Bridge Between Family and Work Experiences

On this historical day when the first African American president has been chosen I thought it only fitting to publish an interview with another leader who rose up from life in a tribal community in Southern Mexico,  to become recognized as one of the 100 most influential woman in the world today.


Xochitl Galvez Ruiz, runs High Tech Services Firm, an engineering consultant business and she has created non profits to help people in poverty such as Fundacion Porvenir, the Future Foundation, which distributes a food supplement to indigenous children suffering from advanced malnutrition. On December 1, 2000, she was appointed Head of the Office of Representation for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of the President’s Office, by President Fox and then as the General Director of the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples, a federal institution responsible for coordinating public policies concerning the integral development of indigenous peoples and communities. She is middle sibling and comes from Tepatepec, Hidalgo in Mexico.

When I interviewed, Victor Lichtinger, the prior Environment Secretary in President Fox’s cabinet  2000- 20003, I asked him which woman he would suggest  I interview who he had known as a courageous leader. With out hesitation he suggested I contact Xochitl Galvez. I am grateful for his help in making this interview come to life.


Although Xochitl Galvez speaks English well she was more at ease speaking in Spanish. Therefore I have put Maria Bustos name to indicate that Xochitl Galvez was speaking in Spanish and Maria Bustos was translating.




Andrea:  I see your brief biography on this paper.  Many of the important events in your life are mentioned but I gather this is just the tip of the iceberg?


I would like to know how you would describe a bridge between your earlier family experiences and your later commitment to your community.   What did you learn early on about leading?



Galvez/Maria:  My community was a system where women don’t have any value.  Women were told they did not need to study. Women were told they needed to stay at home. 


The first thing I did was to break this old paradigm.  I saw that in the indigenous community, unfortunately, woman cannot be in a power situation.  This is changing little by little.  Now some women can achieve a powerful position in the group.


I believe what made it possible for me to change started in my first trip to Mexico City when I was very young.


I realized that when I saw something as simple as a bath room cold be designed to solve many problems.  In Mexico City this bathroom was so different from what we had.   Here for the first time I saw a complex bathroom.  It was nothing like the hole that we called a bathroom.


Andrea:  This “hole” is what we would call an out house?


Galvez/Maria:  It was my nightmare because I was afraid that all around under my house was a lot of excrement.  At that moment I saw how the waste could be cleanly removed from the house.  It had been a nightmare to be in the close company of the excrement. This bathroom in Mexico City was all white.  You could see how the pipes were connected and how they allowed the water to fall into the bucket.  When I saw a shower it seemed impossible to make something like that.  Back in my village, every 5 days I need to carry the water to my house to take a shower.  This shower was a completely different system.  This bathroom was amazing. 


Seeing this had a very real impact.  I began realizing that this was an opportunity to have a dream. Yes, I knew at that moment that this dream could make my life different. 


After that the trip, I was trying to figure out how I could return to the city and study at the international public university. 

In the village there was only limited access to the schools. In order to go to a high school one had to travel a long distance.  I knew I wanted to go to the university and I would find a way.

(Galvez family came from a village of the impoverished Otomi Indians in the central Mexican state of Hidalgo. She excelled at school and won an award for outstanding indigenous students. Her stipend covered bus fare to a distant high school.

Although there were no computers in her small town, Galvez decided to study computer science after seeing a pamphlet advertising the career. She earned an undergraduate degree in the subject and a master’s degree in telecommunications at Mexico’s national university while working as a telephone operator.)[1]

Andrea:  What year were you born and did you have brothers and sisters? 


Galvez/Maria: I was born in 1963 and I am the fourth of seven children in my family. Two boys died when they were young. 


Andrea:  You are the first middle child I’ve interviewed. So far all the women have been the oldest, or the only female or the youngest.  I am thinking you might also be special in your family because two of your brothers died after you were born and you were a survivor.


Galvez/Maria:  They died because of poverty problems. There was a lack of medical help.


Andrea:  Yes, that also has an impact on you. You learn that life can be short.  Perhsp you could see that there is a need for more help for all of the families in your tribal area not just your family.  


In addition I would wonder if perhaps the death of males might lead your parents to understand that girls can survive and therefore they have value? 


I am not sure of the impact all these different things might have had on you. But clearly you were adaptive and able to learn in your circumstance, and this allowed you to break away from the traditional roles that women were supposed to follow.


Galvez/Maria:  Also I was born in the opposite way. That is I was born feet first.   Not with the head but with the foot coming out first.  


Andrea:  Feet first, funny! In a way you came out and landed on your feet.


Galvez/Maria:  It was good luck because not all the babies that are born that way survive.


Andrea: Yes, your birth was a complicated situation and you were born without medical help.  Tell me about your father.


Galvez/Maria:  My father drank too much.


Andrea:  Did he drink before they lost 2 male children?  


Galvez/Maria:  I always thought he drank because he saw so little hope for his life.  Perhaps also he had to see so much death.  I guess that is possible.


Galvez/Maria:  My maternal grandmother also died young at 34 years when my mother was only eight years old.


Andrea:  Do you know how many siblings your mother had?   


Galvez/Maria:  I think there were five but it was common that many babies died in the middle of the pregnancy.


Andrea:  Did you know any of these aunts or uncles growing up?


Galvez/Maria: I knew about three of them.


Andrea:  How about your grandfather?


Galvez/Maria:  He had four more children with another woman.


Andrea:  Who was important to your mother?


Galvez/Maria:  The oldest uncle.  He was very smart and he also was important to me as he encouraged me to read books. His name was Alberto. When I was growing up I would ask to read after doing my homework. I realized he had a special place for me. He would let me read and he would spend the afternoon with us.  He had a little room with books like a small library.  I can still remember that room and could even draw a picture of it today. It was here that I read a book by Garcia Marcus, One Hundred Years of Loneliness.[2] It is an amazing book. No one after me opened this book. 


Andrea: You seem to have the curiosity bug. It’s probably not a gene. It may have to do with the ability to sense the environment. Perhaps you had that special ability to use curiosity and knowledge to observe how things worked in the environment. Then you were also fortunate to be around people who stimulated your curiosity and provided very profound books for you. 


Galvez/Maria:  When I was a child I looked for all kinds of insects and keep them.  Some of the good ones I would sell.  I also sold things like Jell-O. I made a kind of ice box for freezing the Jello. It was a special bowl that I made and put it in a tree.  There the bowl was able to keep everything cold.


I did this as I wanted to support my mother in an economical way. I was seven when I was working to help bring home money.


Andrea:  What about your older sister?


Galvez/Maria:  She worked as a maid.


Andrea: Was she sent away?


Galvez/Maria: Yes, she left to be a servant in another place. There was a system for work that was supposed to give women an opportunity to study but in fact it was only to be a maid. Eventually she did get to school in the United States.


I decided to stay even though I had an opportunity to leave the area, like my sister. I decided to stay with my mother. She was an amazing woman.


My mother had an ability to give of her self to others.  She was very patient, very smart and inviting.  And she was a strong woman who supported woman who had been subject to violence. My mother had also been subject to violence and she survived it. At one time her husband was drunk and he had guns and tried to kill her. She was running to try to fake him.  I understood that it was not his intention to kill her only to be macho.


Andrea:  You need a gun if you want to be macho because women are so very powerful.


Galvez/Maria:  Finally, I finished high school. Then I participate in a political movement to put a new mayor into office.    I thought the old political system had become corrupt.  For seventy years southern Mexico was a controlled community. The PRI announced candidates, and that was all it took to win.


I was 13 years old and before I knew it I was giving speeches with all these revolutionaries.  I encouraged people to change their lives and the political story.  I said that all the citizens of the town had the ability to throw out the corrupt people.  I encouraged people to feel their importance and that became like a torch.   


Andrea:  What year was this?


Galvez/Maria:  1977.  The new party won and after that I was elected to work in the government’s civil registry. I worked in the administrator’s office where I learn to write all the facts of when people were born and died. I organized the civil register’s office.  I began to put out an agenda. In a very short time I was seen as the responsible leader.


Andrea:  One of the funny things I notice about the families of political leaders is that people who are revolutionaries often times have a father who disappoints them or disappears.  Right now in the U.S. both Bill Clinton, and Obama, did not have a father around when they were young.  Their fathers disappointed them or disappeared.


Galvez/Maria: I too have a father without having a father.


Andrea: Obama went back and found his family in Kenya when he was in his twenties.  In some deep way he knew that this was important to find his identity.  He had to understand his family to know who he was and so he went back and found his family.  The he wrote a book describing this when he was in his twenties call, The Dreams of My Father.   


Were there any people in your father’s family that you would say you knew growing up?


Galvez/Maria:  My father’s father was a very good man. He was a revolutionary man in the 1910. He was responsible to organize the land for the government; therefore, he could have taken a lot of the land for himself but he took only one piece of land for his family. He was not a greedy man. Also I saw that he spoke in a special language. Then I realized one day that he came from an Indigenous family.


In Mexico nobody wants to be from Indigenous people.  In the 70s they were not allowed to speak their languages. 


It was like a double political idea: on the one hand the indigents were too poor to amount to much, but then on the other hand to make progress they needed to lean the language of the dominant culture.


Political people used this argument to force them to give up their language.  They believed that if the people are to speak Spanish they will progress.  After that I was very clear about the tribal people that I came from. I was always very proud of my origins   Eventually I was appointed to help people from other cultures. I always was clear where I was from and proud of it. I wanted to attack poverty but never to reject my origins.


Andrea:  Over the course of history there are many examples of invaders who steal the people’s language and then their land.  Mexico has a long history of dealing with invaders and the difficulties that arose for the native people happened over many years.


Mexico has a complex history but similar problems with other dominate cultures who also repress the natives. This struggle is everywhere.


For example, part of my family is Irish and part is English. Well, the English part stole the Irish people’s language and their land and so now I have this heritage.  I am part slave and part land owner.   This kind of injustice also happened to the American Indians. 


It is easier to dominate people if you can convince them that they and their culture are no good. I’m very interested in how social systems influence small groups of people to alter their own belief about their place in the world.


The recent history of the Mexican people reads like a detective story. It is hard to know who the good guys are, if you are on the outside.


Perhaps it is easier to find a way to make a difference as an individual than to find out which political party to trust.


Galvez/Maria:  One of the things that made it easier for me to step away from the limiting beliefs about Indigenous people was that I had a personal achievement parameter.  I was not trying to be a millionaire. I simply valued honesty and hard work.  In my business right now I am focused on how I want to bring positive change to how people are able to live.  


The biggest issue for me is a lack of time to accomplish my goals. 


My business concerns how I can put pieces of a puzzle together.  I want to pay people well and to encourage them to do well.  I must ask then how can I help people break the constraints of their culture?  How can I encourage them to see the value of honesty work?  Work is important for adults but should not be for children.


I have tried to educate people to understand that children don’t need to work when they are very young. Children need to go to a school.  It is important to question old ways of doing things and to raise the value of woman and children in communities.


 The other problems that need to be solved in our nation have to do with basics; like the lack of clean drinking water, the lack of green spaces. 


All of these problems forced me to become a person who deals with this level of challenge.  Of course the most important and basic need that arises in our culture is to find the strength to love other people.   


These principles are my base for being a different kind of entrepreneurial woman.  My mother use to say that the only thing that you can go to hell for was to keep more than you needed.


I became a political woman and I have been determined to make a positive difference in the daily lives of people.   I know there is always the danger in politics of being a hypocrite. I desire to be authentic.  I also know it is important to be a very straight and open woman.


For instance, if I find out that someone has stolen money I am able to directly say to the person:  “You stole the money.  To President Fox I said you have a chance to give the money, if you really are supportive of the poor people.”


People can think better if you are direct with them, hold them accountable and give them choices.   


When I was in the cabinet of president Fox I helped bring electricity to two million people.  We also developed a sewerage system and assistance for portable water containers in the villages. 


There are over a hundred small states in Southern Mexico where the Indigent people are the majority and it is they who suffer the worst poverty.[3]


Andrea:  It is similar in way to the plight of the American Indians.  They use to have all the land. But they had no ability to withstand the onslaught of the invaders. 


Galvez/Maria:  The Indigenous were never important to the political people until Marcos lead an uprising in 1994.[4]


In that week ten thousands of millions of dollars disappeared from the country as people who had money were worried about what Marcos might do. The Salinas government said nothing about people taking money out of the country.   Yet we know that in that week millions of dollars immediately disappeared from the country because of Marcos and the movement.


Andrea: I can remember reading about this and seeing pictures of the guerillas. People believed that they could topple the government in Mexico.


Galvez/Maria:  The people who were supporting Marcos and staying with him were millions.  There were people all over the world that supported this revolution.  If I was 20 years old I would be willing to run in order to say with him. When I was in the university I was a member of a very radical group.


But I never thought that the PRE would never fall down as they did but it was the only way. Everything was controlled and it was very repressive throughout the country.  This was the only way. In 1994 I was 30 and had a family so I could not go with Marcos.


My daughter is now 20 and my son is 11.


Andrea:  How did your meet your husband?


Galvez/Maria:  He is also an engineer.  We have a very good way with each other. He has been very supportive of my professional development. During the 6 years I was in the government with Fox he looked after the family.


Not only did he take care of the children also he took take care of my father and mother.  My parents were sick and in our culture the father and the mother lived with the children until the day that they die and they don’t put them in another place.


My father died in 2003 and my mother in 2005.


Now my son, when he is upset with her says, “I don’t want to take care of you when you are old.”  But he really knows that this is a good tradition.  The most important thing is that women can break with the traditions that are creating suffering.  There are still good men, like my husband in this culture.  I love him and want to die with him.


But consider the heritage we are overcoming.  For example, there was a monk written up in a book, The Indian of Mexico. Apparently he arrived here in the sixteenth century and said that woman are pervert and strong.  So to achieve power over the woman the man on the first day of the wedding needs to be strong and have sexual relationships with her eleven times.   If he does not achieve this, the woman has the right to look for another man.


Andrea: These are the kinds of stories that make it easy to see why there is tension between men and woman.


Galvez/Maria Do you have any more requests?


Andrea:  I would like to know your father’s siblings position…


Galvez/Maria:  There were seventeen children.


Andrea:  And he was in the middle?


Galvez/Maria:  There are seven alive.


Andrea:  I try to look at how the family promotes leaders, how does the family promote leaders not even with intention? Are we similar to a flock of guess where the leadership changes to give everyone a chance or is it best if just one person emerges and stays in the leader’s position due to being wiser in some way.


Galvez/Maria:  I have a very good story about my maternal grandfather.

The people had great respect for him, even though he was just a working man, raising corn. But each Sundays he refused to work on the land.  Everybody believed he was a different person as he valued Sundays as a special day. He was different. He would dress well on Sunday and the villagers noticed he ate with a fork.  Also they saw he was different as he liked to listen to classical music.  In my grandfather’s house there was special equipment just for listing to music. Now I have this equipment in my home.


Andrea:  That is wonderful.  Clearly you value your grandfather and therefore your roots.


I believe the people who know the past the best will be able to see further into the future.  This happens as people can accept the imperfect past and therefore they can see the imperfect future. 


Principled people don’t run away from their own family, despite the difficulties.  It pays to understand that people we are related to were in their owe way trying to be the best person they could in their time. Those who are able to respect the people who were different in the family system developed more mature values.  How do we know what our ancestors were up against? It also pays to be humble instead of blaming.   If the truth be known none of us are sure that under certain circumstances we could have done any better.


Now I am wondering, how do you see the future at this time?  How do you see Mexico changing?  What would you do to make a difference in Mexico if you had unlimited resources?



Galvez/Maria:  Education is the best way to offer people a better life. It made a difference for me.  My life would not have been the same without an access to the university.


The people can not alter their lives easily.  It is not because they’re Indigenes or poor people, or lazy people. It is because people don’t have an opportunity.  We have lack of opportunity.


When I talk about education, I am thinking about a way of teaching that also touches the heart. To provide for a new way I believe we have to talk directly to the heart from the heart of the teacher. 


This is how I talk to the politicians.  Always it is important to talk directly to the heart of the person. Some say to think this way is ridiculous. But I have seen that women don’t have the kind of fear of being seen as ridiculous.  Many are not ashamed of speaking directly. Women can talk directly to the heart of the other person. 


I believe that we need that commitment in education. To make a difference we need the commitment of teachers who are willing to talk and teach from the heart.


I had a professor who had this commitment with me and every afternoon she would teach me mathematics.  She lived in town.  She talked with me many times.


I hope that our teachers will bring compassion and even bring food to the children.   Compassion works because the teachers are doing what they love for the children they love.  And I think this allows teachers to find a way to educate people to be happier people. These kinds of compassionate teachers will do more than what is expected of them. 


I have had a big frustration about educated. People have funny expectations.  Some people believe that because anyone who has a degree should earn a lot of money.  Instead of money I propose that when someone has been educated they will be able to create more opportunity.  In doing so you may make more money but it is more important that you are a happy person creating opportunities. 

Education can help people earn a good living but it also needs to help the general welfare of the people not just the economic welfare of the people.   


Andrea:  Yes, that kind value that says people are our main concern would bring about enormous social change.


Galvez/Maria:   There are some universities, which I will not name now, which do not have that commitment to the community. 


But our country needs the commitment to educate the people well because we have 50 million people living in poverty. 


Of course, I am also in favor of technology. I am in favor of the expansion of the Internet, as it makes available current science, and research. 


Better education is needed as it is the first was that we can bring meaningful change to large parts of the country.



Andrea:  One idea I have thought about is that a teachers might be able to communicate not just with the students, but also with the family.  At least in the states, if you are in poverty, your family is in poverty.  Therefore, the teacher also needs to be able to help the mothers and the fathers who come to pick up the children and who may learn as the children learn.


Galvez/Maria: Mexico is at an advantage as we understand the importance of the family to the child.  Last week in my town we were organizing sports teams to competition in all the levels at the elementary schools (1-6 grades).  I was encouraged that one of the fathers of a student will be the coach of the football team Now this has to happen as they don’t have money to pay a real coach but its best for the family if the fathers participate.


It is important to involve the men of the family. First, if they love sports and children they will have something important to do in the afternoons. They will not be out drinking alcohol. They will be participating in educating the children in a way that they too can enjoy.  This will heal some of the division in the family, where fathers can feel not as important and therefore go out drinking. Seeing that you are important to the future of your children is one of the best ways to avoid addictions of all types.


What I see now is that everybody is waiting for the minister of public communication, or a professor or a coach to do this. Instead of doing it ourselves we wait for others.


What we need is more leaders to encourage participation of the citizens.  I am sure if I stayed two weeks in a community I could encourage people.  


Right now my husband is doing this. Every weekend instead of sleeping till noon, like a lot of fathers, he would wake up at 6:30 and be at football camp for the kids by 8 o’clock. My husband and son are both very strong. I am convinced that it is very important for any son to see his parents participate.


When my mother was alive she also went to go to the games to root for the children.   This happened as her son encouraged her.  It can happen that the children encourage the parents or even the grandparents. For example, one day my son, Paolo arrived at his grandmother’s house. My mother asked: What was the score?  Paolo said, if you want to know why you don’t go?


For my son, it was very important to speak openly to his grandmother. I think he was very disappointed that his grandmother was not there and his speaking out was a positive way to encourage her.


Andrea:  That is a wonderful story that could be told on the Internet. These kinds of human interest stories could make a difference in encouraging people to be more open and speak up about what is important to them with the people they care about. People can learn from these stories. It gives them courage to see wht others can do and the difference it makes.


Galvez/Maria:  This is my actual job, to encourage indigenous woman to find ways to do what they love and make money. For example there is a store that features furniture, made by indigenous woman.   They make beautiful handmade furniture. Each couch cost about 4,000 pesos and this has been a successful business. 


Also, I am working with a French company that has invented a way to purify water by using special glass containers.  They have found a way to make clean water available cheaply for the poorer community.  They will not have to drink contaminated water.  Now we have a development project that promises a solution to the water problem plus a business for woman and men. 



We also have a project with Dannon yogurt.

You should interview the president of this company, Juan Carlos Dalto, as he is an amazing man.


We have also asked if Coke will donate money for a community television program. Coca Cola will donate millions back to the community.


All of these are examples of ways that business can give back to the people. Both the business and the people will benefit.


In this building I have two businesses. One is to make money by organizing buildings in a systematic way, and the other is to give money back to the community.   Most of the earnings of my business are donated to the foundation company.  I do not need to make money for myself.   


We ask people to give some time of service to the community. I gave one year of service for my community. Some say I lost a lot of opportunities in business.  But I think that it helps me to stay happy in my work. 


Andrea:   I think you are finding a way to help people alter the selfish part of human nature.


Galvez/Maria:  I believe I have the moral authority to clarify the real issues surrounding the poor conditions of the people and to say that we can and must change this. 


I gave this kind of a talk in front of 2,000 business people and they understood that nature of the task before us.


Andrea:  You are creating leaders for tomorrow by appealing to the heart and the mind to find a willingness to undergo great change in society. I deeply appreciate all you have had to say and I thank you for your time.



Xochitl Galvez Mindful Compass




(1)  The ability to define a vision:


It is unusual for people to recall and experience when they are ten which shapes their future in a profound way.  At the moment when Galvez saw the plumbing inside a bathroom in Mexico City, she saw how her life could be shaped in a different way. 


Galvez’s first goal was to be able to study at the international public university as she knew how necessary education was to be able to build a better world. By working hard at school she was able to win a scholarship to a distant high school, eventually earning a masters degree in computer technology and telecommunications.

Since she had also seen the suffering within her community, she was comforted by her mother’s strength in the face of violence and hardships. Other people in her family, like her uncle Alberto, provided her with opportunities to enjoy learning.  In addition there were stories of her grandfathers as a respected village leader, who functioned as  positive models. 

Galvez developed a steadfast approach to living a personal and deeply value oriented life. She sees how to organize larger corporations to enable them to give back to her community.  Her ability to see a lager vision and take concrete actions to make it happen has made it possible for her to emerge as one of the individual mostly likely to influence the future in a positive way. 

All this began in the way Galvez saw how to manage her self with her own family, then her community and eventually she became influential on the international scene.  

(2) The resistance to change in self and in any system:


Galvez was born into a family situation that was rebounding and dealing with managing early deaths.  As the fourth of seven children she had two male siblings who died when they were young, she also had a father who drank, and her mother had had to deal with her own mother’s death when she was eight.  These difficult events did not sink her ship. Rather she emerged with the ability to understand how individuals and groups can be thrown into a time of great difficulty and still emerge with far better functioning. She was able to accept facts that impacted her life.  “It was common that many babies died in the middle of the pregnancy.”  


Most importantly Galvez’s when faced with negative experiences in her nuclear family had to figure out how to focus on her life rather than fall into the regression of blaming others. 

When she was young she saw her father struggle with alcohol but she was still able to love and care for him in his later years despite the disappointments in her youth.  The ability to integrate the difficulties that people have without anger and blame is part of any leaders struggle. 

By seeing the poverty that her mother was faced with Galvez chooses to stay in the village and help her earn money. As a young thirteen year old girl she used her inventive mind to develop a way of keeping Jello cold.  This idea was the basis for her first businesses, selling Jello in the village.

When one develops a vision of how to help people in poverty it is basic to have principles plus an inventive mind and to see the obstacles of just how poverty, stress and drug use often go hand in hand.  Principles are like the guiding light of the north star. 

Principles are my base for being a different kind of entrepreneurial woman.  I became a political woman and I have been determined to make a positive difference in the daily lives of people.   I know there is always the danger in politics of being a hypocrite. I desire to be authentic.  I also know it is important to be a very straight forward woman.


For instance, if I find out that someone has stolen money I am able to directly say to the person:  “You stole the money.  To President Fox I said you have a chance to give the money, if you really are supportive of the poor people.


If one understands the resistance and difficulty in their family it is far easier to see it and deal with it in society at large.  Galvez practiced her principles in her family. They stood the test of time.  Principles are part of who she is.  They are authentic and enable her to have a backbone to withstand the pressures from the larger system to give in and go along with the status quo. 


(3)The ability to connect and use systems knowledge:


 Being able to experience how the larger family offers both love and knowledge despite the difficulties gave Galvez the ability to connect with the people in amazing way.  She found her self as a young teenager able to communicate with crowds of people in her community.  First, she participated in a political movement to put a new mayor into office.  By encouraged people to change their story, she made it possible for people to understand that they had the ability to throw out corrupt people.  Galvex saw that by encouraging people to feel their importance the people were able to carry that message forward, like a torch.  


Being able to connect with people then lead her to a new position where she was able to see the facts of peoples live spelled out in the civil register office. This was the first step in being seen as and acting as a community leader.


One of the things that made it easier for me to step away from the limiting beliefs about Indigenous people was that I had a personal achievement parameter.  I was not trying to be a millionaire. I valued honest and work and in business right now I am focused on how I want to bring positive change to how people live. 



(4)The ability to be separate: 


People are always asking wht does it mean to be connected with people and yet to be separate from them?  If you consider the many different ways that people try to so this perhsp Galvez has summarized in one sentence one approach that is always difficult in being separate from others at a deeply emotional level. 



People can think better if you are direct with them, hold them accountable and give them choices.  


The ability to connect emotionally with people makes it possible to be separate from others without a great deal of negative intensity. Emotionally people read differences as a signal that this or that person is NOT your friend. They are not with you.  There is a tremendous need at a primitive level to have people in agreement with you to feel safe and to trust the other.


This primitive need then gives people the idea that by seeking agreement they will be safe. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any new truth in fact is hard to see and hard to communicate to others. It requires the discipline of thinking and seeing deeply. Therefore the truth is often arrived at in solitude.  When one emerges from solitude to communicate some version of a personal truth to others there can be resistance.  Giving people choices is one way to avoid a showdown.


Galvez had had an amazing ability to communicate her views to people that touched something deep in the people which allowed them to connect with her view.   The solitude needed to see deeply resulted in her being able to communicate deeply.




Murray Bowen, M.D. in letter written in 1977




“I have spent my professional life on defining and practicing “Differentiation” which is usually misheard as emotional distancing.


 For me “Differentiation” involves the ability to remain an emotionally contained entity while in the middle of emotional chaos, while relating actively to every person in the field. 


In so far as I am able to practice operational differentiation, then I am a free agent in the field, able to relate everywhere without the emotionality in any field interfering with my function.”   


Commitment to Principles, edited by Clarence Boyd, page 180  


















Xochitl Galvez Ruiz has received different awards and acknowledgments, among the most important of which are: “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” Award for two years running – 1994 and 1995. “Recognition of Commitment to Others 1999” awarded by the Mexican Center for Philanthropy. She was recognized in January this year by the Economic Forum of Davos in Switzerland as one of the 100 Global Leaders of the future of the world, the first Mexican woman to receive this recognition; this year she also received the Pericles 2000 Award, given by the Amparo Museum of Puebla for social merit.
She has been Vice President of the academic area of the Mexican Institute of Intelligent Buildings; Full Counselor of the National Water Council, Counselor of CEMEFI and member of the working group on entrepreneurial social responsibility and member of the “Home Made” Foundation, an institution that seeks to promote values within the family.

She was born in Tepatepec, Hidalgo, on February 22 1963.





[2] One Hundred Years of Solitude

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Author), Gregory Rabassa (Translator)

[3] Consejo Estatal de Organizaciones Indígenas y Campesinas–made up of 280 Indigenous and campesino organizations throughout the state.


[4] The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), the army that woke up the world on January 1, 1994 by seizing four towns in Chiapas, the southern-most state of Mexico.

The EZLN has organized itself among some of the most dispossessed people of the world. Its composition is almost as diverse as the outside world to which it speaks.


Fortunately for us, the Zapatistas are very self-conscious speakers, and often speak to us about their own speaking, so that we will understand the words that come to us through their mouths. They are the words of those who have gone before us to the people of Chiapas; they are the voices of people who have learned to listen.


Marcos has affirmed the EZLN’s official support for women’s struggles against patriarchy. This involves not only a redistribution of responsibilities and work and the defense of women against men’s abuse, but also material support for women’s health and birth control.


The Mexican government’s response to the EZLN challenge has been surprising. With startling rapidity the state shifted from a truly massive military repression (over 15,000 troops dispatched to Chiapas, aerial bombings of villages, summary torture and execution of captives) to a cease- fire and high-level negotiations with the rebels, mediated by progressive representatives of the Catholic Church. Why?


Conventional political pundits attribute the change to the government’s fear of international scrutiny of its behavior in the wake of the implementation of NAFTA and in the light of its new pretensions to First World status.


Not only did the Zapatistas attack NAFTA in their very first declaration, but their uprising threatened multinational capitalist estimates of the risks of investing in Mexico. But this hypothesis of “sensitivity” to international opinion does not explain why the government judged that such opinions might turn negative or influential enough to affect foreign investment. To explain why it was worried we have to turn from the government’s reactions per se to those of Mexico as a whole, and to those of the world beyond.


Even as the Mexican Army poured into Chiapas, so too did representatives of human rights organizations, of other Indigenous peoples and of free-lance and foreign journalism which the Mexican government could not control. Within days these observers reported Army atrocities and repression. Others mobilized protest demonstrations all across North America, and even in Europe, to denounce the Mexican government. These actions tremendously strengthened the hand of the Zapatistas, and forced the government to withdraw to the negotiating table.



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