Renewed synergy and community in Latin America


Earlier this year, Savory Institute and Hub leaders from Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay gathered at Fundo Panguilemu (the Chilean Hub’s demonstration site) in beautiful Chilean Patagonia to learn, discover and unveil opportunities not only for their countries but for the whole region of Latin America. Their voices, views, and concerns also attempted to represent those of their colleagues in Brazil and Colombia who could not participate. 

These Discovery and Opportunity (DO) sessions happen every year in all regions of the world. Hub leaders come together to nurture “community” and find synergies to do better work, increase impact, align strategies, and allocate resources more effectively towards the realization of a common vision for their regions.

The sessions begin with the formation of (or the review of) their shared holistic context to guide decision making and design. It is incredibly powerful and inspiring to partake in these conversations, filled with honesty, vulnerability, passion, and devotion.

The group of Latin American Savory Hubs call themselves “Los Mostros,” which amusingly plays with a misspelled version of the Spanish word for “Monsters”, conveying the unstoppable nature of these amazing group of young leaders.

(Left to right) Jose Manuel Gortazar (Chile Hub), Juan Pedro Borelli (Argentina Hub), Isidora Molina (Chile Hub), Felipe Urioste (Uruguay Hub)

The desire for fun and enjoyment is reflected in their holistic context, describing themselves as a collaborative that is fun, fresh, pleasant, and creative. They seek work that inspires, motivates, and challenges them, through transparent collaboration. They feel united by their unwavering commitment and wholehearted dedication to accelerating the healing of land in Latin America.

It is always an honor and a huge pleasure for Savory staff to share time with dear friends and colleagues during these DO sessions. It is a chance for deep listening, alignment, exploration, sharing of concerns, fears, dreams, opportunities. It is a step and a “pause” on a long journey of learning, achievements, and also setbacks. We are all the more resilient for the time we spent together building this beautiful community of practice. 

Outcomes were tangible. Clarity around strengths and functions of each leader, mentorship opportunities, direct support to establishing EOV baselines, case studies and data, joint grant writing, Land to Market business development, and plans for monthly communications and annual regional gatherings are among the action items of their time together.

These are the things that make one believe that it's possible. That change is possible. And that there is nothing that can come out wrong from this. I congratulate you all for the commitment.

Very grateful to Jose and Lizzie for making us feel at home, to Daniela for betting on us with Savory and helping us get here, and to my colleagues Juan and Felipe, because they are "monsters" (ha!) Together we will make Latin America fly!

Other tangible outcomes and experiences were fantastic food and glamping amidst the most gorgeous setting, incredible hospitality by the Gortazar family, owners of Fundo Panguilemu, great learning on the land during pasture walks, and superb photography by Uruguayan artist Guillermo Fernandez.

These young leaders are already busy at work, together, softly holding each other accountable, continuing to check with their shared holistic context to make sure they create a future together that fulfills them, and that is so much more impactful than what each of them can do on their own.

We have such trust in these young leaders and their capabilities, spirit, and heart. 

We can’t wait to see these MOSTROS roar!

Daniela Ibarra-Howell

Daniela Ibarra-Howell

Daniela is CEO and co-founder of the Savory Institute. An agronomist with over 25 years of international experience, she has led the design and implementation of Savory’s revolutionary, entrepreneurial, grassroots, network-based strategy to reverse desertification and tackle the systemic food, water, and climate change crises.
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