Iris Ruth Baten Rojas
Defensoría de la mujer indígena DEMI
There will always be a hand to help you, you are not alone.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a Chemical Engineer recently graduated from the Mariano Gálvez University of Guatemala, being the first of the Faculty of Engineering Mathematics and Physical Sciences, I am currently doing an internship at the Defensoria de la Mujer Indigena attending an emergency line in my mother tongue MAM, I also work with organizations with the theme of restoring ancestral knowledge, empowering women and active member of the youth council.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
As a fellow of the Jyol Spiken Student Program, they motivated all the young people of my generation to study different careers, in my town Cabricán, Quetzaltenango there were only professionals in the humanities area, it was then that I had the courage to investigate and follow my dreams as a child of know the composition, the origin of each thing. Over the years that dream was impossible due to the economic reality, however several teachers motivated me to study a high-level scientific career, they saw the potential that my person could not see, my main motivations my mother without studying I understood that It had to be different and my father for believing in the capacity of women and giving me the opportunity to study.
HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?
As an indigenous woman, she proudly wore my clothes and I speak my mother tongue, Mom, for which I was discriminated against, my ability as a student was questioned by teachers and classmates, but I was able to show myself and others that I had the abilities to be a good student since in addition to representing women, she also represented an indigenous people.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
I wish younger had known this was possible, that it was possible to be the first indigenous woman to graduate from the Faculty of Engineering of the UMG, to be awarded for academic excellence, to have the ability to use my knowledge as an indigenous person and develop innovative projects that They are still waiting for the opportunity to see the light, they have many ideas but I have not found the opportunity to develop them.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
I would like to work in STEAM since one of my objectives is to motivate girls, indigenous youth from Guatemala to have a scientific vision, use our science as indigenous peoples, achieve balance, be an example for other women.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
You have intelligence, you just have to know how to use it for your good but mainly for the good of your people. There will always be a hand to help you, you are not alone.
"I have never believed that because I am a woman I should have special treatment, if I did I would be acknowledging that I am inferior to men, and I am not inferior to any of them". Marie Curie.