Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum describes her connection to the world through being Mayan and through her great faith in nature. Menchu Tum explains that we are all a part of nature and describes the joy that can be experienced when we are conscious of that connection.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation work based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples in her native Guatemala. She is the first indigenous person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 2007, Rigoberta ran for Presidency of Guatemala with Encuentro por Guatemala in 2007. Subsequently, Rigoberta made important contributions in spearheading the first indigenous party in Guatemala, and garnering enough votes to make her WINAQ party official, and ran again for President with this party in 2011. Despite the fact that she was not elected, she remains a steadfast presence in Guatemalan politics and the struggle to end impunity.

Rigoberta was born in 1959 to a poor Indian family in the highlands of Guatemala. Like many other countries in the Americas, Guatemala has experienced great tension between the descendants of European immigrants and the native Indian population. The Menchú family experienced extreme hardship as a result of their Mayan background.

After receiving the Peace Prize, Rigoberta established the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation which promotes the rights of indigenous people around the world. In 1998, she published Rigoberta: La Nieta de los Mayas, later translated into English and titled Crossing Borders.

From 1994 to 2003, Rigoberta served as the official spokesperson for the United Nations International Decade of Indigenous Peoples. She has held the position of Good Will Ambassador for the Peace Accords in Guatemala since 2004. Rigoberta is also president of the company Salud para Todos ("Health for All"), which aims to offer affordable generic medicines to indigenous people in Guatemala.


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