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Spotlight on Sebastiana Pale, Coordinator of the Midwife Movement of Chiapas and GPA's Newest Member


Sebastiana Pale Pérez, originally from the rural community of Chimpil, in the municipality of Huixtán, Chiapas, speaks two Mayan languages (Tsotsil and Tseltal), and is fluent in Spanish. She moved to San Cristóbal de las Casas in 1998 in search of a job that would allow her to continue studying high school. Being from a large family, her parents weren’t able to support her financially, so her only option was to move to the city in order to complete her studies. She found her first job working in a shelter, and was able to use what she saved to go to school.


After graduating from high school in 2003, Sebastiana began working with government institutions and civil society organizations. These include the Center for Higher Education and Research in Social Anthropology (CIESAS-Sur), the National Statistics Institute, the National Electoral Institute as well as organizations such as Asesoría, Capacitación y Asistencia en Salud and Aid to Artisans, to name a few.


GPA began collaborating with Sebastiana in 2013 as a Tsotsil interpretor in our midwife courses. In May she became a full-time member of the organization and is responsible for accompanying the Nich Ixim Midwife Movement of Chiapas. “I am interested in strengthening the participation of the local midwife groups for the Midwife Movement, and getting new midwives into the Movement,” comments Sebastiana.


Sebastiana is the mother of three children – one girl and two boys,- who she is raising to be independent, respectful and who will fight for their dreams. She likes to take walks with them, visit her native village and learn new languages. She is most at home in nature, enjoying the silence, the water and listening to the birds.


(Sebastiana talking to a group of midwives in San Juan Cancuc, Chiapas.)