“We started with almost no participation from women in the fishers network.” – fisher Angélica Maria Méndez Parham

Angélica Maria Méndez Parham is the co-founder and current Manager of the Guatemalan Caribbean and Izabal Lake Artisanal Fishers Networks. She has been instrumental in the creation of strategic alliances among fishing organizations all along the coast of Guatemala. A longtime spokesperson for the protection of coastal and marine resources and the environment, Angélica is from the town of Livingston on the coast of Guatemala. In 2010, Angélica was honored with the Gladding Memorial Award by the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute.

I started fishing for crabs at the age of seven to contribute to the family economy. My sister and two brothers fished together but I always went by myself. When I got married at the age of 18, I started fishing with my husband to support our family. We would fish for shrimp using small trawling nets called changos.

I helped get fishing organizations together from Barra Sarstún to Punta de Manabique to form the Guatemalan Caribbean and Izabal Lake Artisanal Fishers Networks. Now we have a voice. Continue reading