“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” John F. Kennedy

In January, our corporate sponsor, Sustainable Earth Solutions (SES), delivered a custom training program to VIDA and Fondo Para Ninos project managers in Mexico. The dynamic team, Dave Bauer, Bob Adler, and Kyla Jaquish, presented a workshop with interactive lessons in creative thinking, team building, project design and management, change leadership, and ways to enhance team communication. Their kinesthetic exercises built trust, team dynamics, and mindfulness, creating significant breakthrough moments for each of the participants, enabling them to move to new and deeper levels of self-awareness and team performance.

The SES team reports, “One area that was so refreshing to experience was how focused, enthusiastic, and appreciative the participants were. As the week-long training went on, the depth of the connection between the participants and the training team became very unique…relationships flourished.”

Each day began with a centering activity designed to foster mindfulness and led into a specific leadership theme; each theme involved corresponding activities that invited the participants to develop competency in these leadership areas. The group developed their own goals to further their work in the VIDA community; for example, to assist mothers in the nutrition program, to work with parents to expand their understanding of the long-term benefits of the VIDA program, to reach out to the young adults (13–24 year-olds) in the community, and to further the families’ commitment to their own organic home gardens.

We look forward to reporting on the outcome of these initiatives!

Kyla’s Reflections

“I had an amazing experience in Huehuetla, Mexico, delivering the Creative Problem Solving workshop.” The workshop took place in a university classroom located in the transition zone between the Sierra de Puebla and the Sierra de Papantla. Based on previous work in a corporate setting, she anticipated that the locals of the indigenous community would treat the SES team as outsiders, as if they were making them do this work. Instead, Kyla noted, the group participants were accepting and extremely willing to learn what the SES team had to say. “The level of respect and curiosity was amazing.”