Profile of Gemio, Gabriela (Gabicha)
- Name: Gemio, Gabriela (Gabicha)
- Nationality: Bolivia
- Country of Residence: Bolivia
- Town: La Paz
- E-Mail: not public
- Profession: Undergrad student of Ecology and Environmental Engineering
- Educational Background:
Industrial business management assistant /
Trainee of the Energy Component of PROAGRO - GTZ /
Co-organizer of the program "Integration of an International Research Experience in Bolivia with Sustainable Development Engineering Education\" with the Techological University of Bolivia and Michigan Technological University
- Where I live and how I view my environment:
La Paz is located at 3.635 m above the sea level. This amazing valley is sorrounded by the mountains of the high Altiplano with peaks reaching the 6.000m. Crossing the Andes high altitude mountains and glaciers the clouds welcome you in the transition areas of the Andes to the semi-tropical and tropical forests. This region provides us with fruits! The national parks cover close the 35% of my country. The Madidi National Park content most of the bio diversity of the planet! The range of geographic regions and climates makes of Bolivia a flora and fauna paradise!
- Biodiversity means to me personally:
Biodiversity means to me “a variety of different life-forms”, this life – forms protect our soils and waters, provide all of our food and our medicines, provide services upon which our lives depend.
I live in a country with 199 different ecosystems; fortunately I have had the opportunity to travel extensively around Bolivia to see the amazing array of cultures and the different forms of life in my own country. This is one of the reasons why I decided to stay in Bolivia to study Ecology and Environmental Engineering.
I feel very fortunate to be here (Bolivia) and be able to achieve something. The future depends on the actions we make now. The biodiversity has been feeding us and in response it seems we cannot unravel what this harmony means and what it is to live together with the extraordinarily diverse and complex life on earth.
- My Symbol of biodiversity:
A seed, because it gives all its energy to comunicate the message of life
- My motivation for participating:
I really look forward to meet people from other cultures, and be able to SHARE! I know that all ancient cultures around the world have developed technologies in harmony with nature; we need to bring this knowledge back and integrate with “modern” ways of living!
I am very proud of being Bolivian and want to represent my country.
I really expect to widen my horizons bringing the ideas of the participants all together and be able to share all I learn during the Camp with my university classmates after I come back, in order to pass on the conclusions and the actions we decide to make. At the end we all are in the same path. I do believe as someone said “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person”
- How did I show I am ready to "Go 4 BioDiv":
My family has owned an organic farm since 1992, situated at 4100 meters, that has encouraged me to start a small business, Mamá Naturaleza an organic restaurant with the idea of share with other people my family’s lifestyle. We were our own provider, but I also wanted to help other uncertified small organic producers from the different regions of La Paz, bringing their products to the city (after travelling trough incredible dangerous and zigzag roads!).
In Ventilla (the name of our farm) we produce all year round different kinds of vegetables and even strawberries! Many people wonder how we can produce in such an altitude, it is not a secret: the prior owner developed the “Wallipinis”, a kind of green house 2 meters under the soil. We use the strong solar radiation to keep the wallipinis warm enough and to save the heat for the hours in the adobe (mud-brick) walls, especially at night when it freezes.
At the farm we also have 19 Brown Swiss and Holstein cows, thanks to them, we produce yogurt, cheese, butter and cottage cheese in the “old fashioned” way. We have always wanted to have the doors open for visitors; Ventilla is a place to share the knowledge of sustainable farming. Last year I organized a small workshop with volunteers who have a large experience with natural building, renewable energy and organic farming. Ventilla hosted another workshop for the communities nearby the farm, this time to start the construction of a low- cost bio-digester.
Two years ago together with an American friend living in Bolivia and with help of The Michigan Technological University (USA), we applied for a grant of the National Science Foundation from the USA for a 3 year research programme focused in sanitation and sustainable development in rural areas. The goal of the programme is to integrate the knowledge, methodologies, techniques, and practices of American and Bolivian under and grad students in a 4 week field research experience in tropical rural areas of La Paz (Bolivia) where you find the country`s vast biodiversity. We think we need to develop a global partnership while students value the experience of service to local and somehow to the global community while innovating appropriate ideas and services for people in need of safe water and sanitation conserving biodiversity.
I really would like to share some experiences from Bolivia.
- My message to other participants:
I want to give my energy to reach the objectives we all set at the beginning of the Summit; we all are on the same path!!