This semester, Emmanuel Marquez, VO’s Mexico Outreach Coordinator, has traveled to 58 different schools, handing out 25,171 booklets, and Katia Rodriguez, VO’s Mexico Campaigns & Spanish Media Coordinator, has handed out 7,132 booklets at 25 different campuses!
On January 19, Emmanuel and Katia leafleted the Universidad Tecnológica Santa Catarina in Nuevo León. Emmanuel reports:
This was the first time we visited this university: the administration staff was very open and really interested in what we were doing. Students were very receptive…we saw many of them reading [one, below, right]. We met Delta: she asked us why we were there and after receiving a leaflet she told us how she saw her family killing pigs and other animals for food, and said she couldn’t eat those animals; she seemed very interested.
We also met Karen and Pedro [below, left]: Pedro has been a vegetarian for three years and Karen for five years; they were really excited to see what we were doing and told us how they try to spread vegetarianism in every class project they can and that they want to get involved with VO.
On January 28, Emmanuel and Katia reached 1,500 high school students at Preparatoria 22 de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Guadalupe:
Katia joined me at noon and for a period of time we were in a river of students. We met Marisol and Mary [below, left]; they were talking about the leaflet some steps away from us and I joined their conversation because Marisol was saying how she had tried going veg a couple of times before. Katia chimed in and told her a little bit of her personal transition to veganism, since she did it at a similar age. We gave them some advice, guided them to VO’s web site for more information and encouraged them to go at their own rhythm.
On February 3, Emmanuel visited the Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Unidad Campo Redondo, in Saltillo:
Fortunately Miranda Garcia [below, right] and Miriam Solano joined me to help and they leafleted freely around the campus because Miranda is a student from the university. Both are animal rights activists and this was their first time leafleting and they did a great job. They loved how many students were reading the booklets and the reaction they had.
We met many people interested in the information, like Gabriel and Cristina [below, center], who asked for more information and a vegan starter kit after they received the leaflet. They decided to start cooking and eating vegan meals!
On April 20, Katia teamed with activist Ana Gonzalez at the Preparatoria de la Universidad de Monterrey, Unidad Obispado:
First time visiting this high school with a student population of 350. We set up a table that was visited a lot. Several people registered so we can send them information and recipes to change their eating habits.
Lizeth, teacher Celia, and Jordana [below, left] were so interested that they even sat and kept asking one question after another and taking notes of everything I said about where to find vegan products, restaurants, the benefits of a vegan diet and how to begin; I’m so glad I met them!
I also gave a conference to around 32 students: they were receptive and some of them stayed after I finished to thank me for being there and to tell me that they were going to give veganism a try.
On April 22, Emmanuel leafleted the Universidad Politécnica de Tulancingo in Hidalgo:
The take rate was lower and there weren’t a lot of students; I assume this was because it was Friday. It was a little hard but the whole day was worth it almost at the end. I met a teacher that told me she was shocked with the information in the leaflet and will start changing her diet.
And finally, I met Eva [below, right]: she told me that she was thinking about going vegan for some time because her family had a pig living with them and when she watched videos about factory farming on the web she felt terrible to think someone like her pig would go through that. Also her cousin has been vegan for some years. Our presence there was the last push she needed to start changing her diet.
On hard days with a low take rate or a not very responsive audience we should keep in mind that we never know when we are going to meet someone whose life we are going to change. It may be at the middle or the end of the day, but we have to hold out there and be persistent to find out.