Peru: Felicitas Estela Linares Meneses

To reach peace is to eliminate all the violence that originates from social inequality and from cultural differences and different ways of thinking.

— Felicitas Estela Linares Meneses

Felicitas Estela Linares Meneses is from Lima. She created the Communication and Environment Institute (ICMA), from which a huge innovative project for cross-cultural meetings and for the development of production units for the coastal and mountain region emanates. With them, she tries to contribute to national awareness of the need for a more integrated society.

Felicitas Estela Linares Meneses (65) is always doing new things. She has always done this. When she was four years old, she gathered things that could be reused from the rubbish dumps of Lima. After that, she became an organist, weaver, carpenter, and video maker. She is a mother and a friend who loves intensively. She experienced the war and the violence that devastated Peru during the 1980s. She was herself the center of many attacks. Her proposal: to work for national integration. “Our Andean and African roots allow us to project ourselves.” She thinks that Peru must be remade, but not alone. She is the director of the Communication and Environment Institute (ICMA), from which she develops innovative, productive, and cross-cultural projects. “I have tried to imprint a new mentality on women.” Her ideas gave birth to seven projects in different parts of the country. In El Carmen, in Chincha, in the administrative district of Ica, there is an exemplary work in La Casa de la Mujer (The House of Women), with a project called ‘Art with Dignity.’ In other regions, there are, for example, projects for empowering women, for the processing of milk products and for the marketing of agricultural and artisan products, among others. It seems like Felicitas Estela Linares Meneses has no limits, nevertheless there is one: diabetes. She has a disciplined approach to her illness. “Every day, I control my level of glucose and follow my special diets, even if it seems rather complicated due to my continuous travels.” She has a great fondness for crochet. “It is my therapy and my inheritance from my mother,” and with the patience that only a weaver has, she transforms the bobbins of wool into beautiful blouses. As she weaves, memories flow connecting her to her history, to her dreams, to her new Peru.

Instituto de Comunicación y Medio Ambiente (ICMA)