field work news psydeh team

2022 Year in Review

In 2022, we took a giant leap forward in our work to make a sustainable impact in the fight against inequality in rural Mexico.

This success is thanks to a lot of hard work at the local level as well as unique partnerships with global partners.

It is also a reflection of PSYDEH’s intentional evolution as a paradigm changer for other grassroots nonprofits and in the community-led development field.

We will do a deep dive into what this evolution looks like in our forthcoming 2022 annual report (just like these). For now, enjoy this snapshot of impact and growth highlights, including our new impact video series narrated by some of the powerful women leading PSYDEH.



PSYDEH made all kinds of noteworthy impacts through field programming linking economic solidarity and digital inclusion strategies.


With our flagship program Red Sierra Madre (RSM), we successfully launched a social and economic impact-generating network for local women facing extreme marginalization in the communities where they live. RSM is built on learning from 2021 programming, which itself was built on what we did with women since reorienting how we work in 2014.

What does this mean? Pursuant to local demands by our majority-Indigenous women partners, and to meet six of the goals in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, PSYDEH launched a three-year cooperative incubator program that is core to our replicable model for community-led development built for Mexico and the Global South.

In year one (2022), this had us delivering a 9-month cooperative school built on a 52-hour curriculum integrating learning from Mexican non-profit Incuba and global corporation 3M. By year-end, we had delivered hundreds of hours of training and 224 hours of coaching for 135 majority-Indigenous women. Moreover, 58 program graduates formed 4 women-led cooperatives – La fuerza otomí-tepueha, Tierra de BordadorasYu danxu mpefí di töí, Sihuame Tekikame – representing a region of 90,000 people living in some of Mexico’s most marginalized areas. 

Alejandra (right) with cooperative leaders at an RSM training.

These cooperatives used funding from the USA non-profit networking organization WARP and PSYDEH to produce 4 community impact projects. Cooperative members created their own social media pages with a segmented communication strategy. They also co-led a regional public forum linking 175+ women artisans and national and international partners, in part with the aim to produce this powerful human rights-based DECLARATION produced with technology from our Adobe partnership. This proclamation is a collection of local women’s demands of their government for the human rights-oriented policies that they believe will best foster sustainable development of their communities.

In 2023, PSYDEH’s cooperative network builds on 2022 success by recruiting more women to their ranks while graduating from a second year of entrepreneurship training focused primarily on personal and business development. This informal business school-like educational experience consists of another 9-month program facilitated by PSYDEH’s team and our new Puentes skills-sharing volunteer program and learning from global partners including 3M and Johnson & Johnson. Moreover, the 60+ women leaders of these cooperatives will work with PSYDEH to pursue the funding they need to launch a second iteration of our social enterprise initiative called Bordamos Juntos, including exploring how to use a voice-amplifying website created with Zoom company in 2021. Cooperative leaders will also be supported in producing a second round of 4 local community impact projects and another edition of our regional forum series linking their economic solidarity efforts to a revised rights-based declaration to be presented to local, state, and federal government officials.


With Tec para Todos, we transformed how PSYDEH and the women and community partners we serve ACCESS and USE information and communications technology (ICT) to INNOVATE solutions to local problems.

Building transformative digital inclusion with Viasat and Team4Tech.

Pursuant to local demands, PSYDEH launched a multi-year digital inclusion effort with 6 regional tech empowerment centers equipped with satellite internet thanks to our Viasat and Team4Tech partnerships. Two of these hubs are outfitted with solar kits from Clear Blue Technologies, giving over 350 majority women and girls in 4 municipalities consistent access to ICT.

PSYDEH’s field office “Casa Siempre Viva” and the field team are outfitted with tech tools and have been trained on how to use them to educate women partner-beneficiaries and their neighbors. For example, we deploy the first tranche of laptops (PCs and Macs) donated by Viasat while expanding access to cloud tools like Google Workspace, Slack, AdobeExpress, and Canva. We also equipped our field team with rural digital literacy toolkits including cell phones, remote battery packs, portable speakers, and personal defense equipment.

Digital literacy training “How to use your cell phone to organize groups”.

In 2023, PSYDEH increases ACCESS to tech through the more seamless use of Viasat satellite wireless at our 6 hubs and additional purchases of hardware and software we need to do our work. We use Honnold Foundation support to strengthen solar solutions to energy challenges. With stabilized access, we make further investments in tech USE and INNOVATION when launching a laptop loan program as well as a “basic and advanced” digital skills program integrated intentionally into Red Sierra Madre (RSM) programming with learning from Viasat and Zoom. Target students are PSYDEH’s team and the 60+ cooperative members of the RSM network. We will also have a particular focus on how to use cell phones and cloud tools like Adobe Express to achieve strategic goals. Lastly, with additional support from a growing ecosystem of tech company partners and local governments, we expect to strengthen our tech loan program and build out an “introductory” digital skills program for the communities in which we work.



Lauren Schloss, PSYDEH Coordinator, Global Collaborators Program



Our programming helps to put women like Graciela, the acting president of the cooperative La fuerza otomí-tepehua, in the driver’s seat to help her and her collective to sell their sustainably made, ethical goods in different selling markets. This will put money in women’s pockets and bolster local economic development in their rural areas.  As Graciela shares,

In the future, I see that if we continue to work together and stay united, we will obtain good results. Little by little the work we are doing in the cooperative is going to generate and will generate and produce more.”

The impact is not only focused on improving economic and social equality. Women accessing and using digital tools to bring economic benefits to their families and communities increase their equality among men and government officials. PSYDEH volunteer Geovany Sabanilla Gonzalez, says, 

“It’s beautiful to know that people at an international level believe in your work, that they believe in the women of the cooperatives. Personally, it has been a very rewarding experience. Cooperative members are seeing how technology has helped us to learn, communicate better, solve problems in our daily lives, and improve the quality of our textiles. And now women partners know that their textiles can be marketed at a fair price and that there are people out there who are interested in knowing about them and their daily lives, who respect their reality and recognize that they are admirable, strong, and committed women— something that the community sometimes does not see.”

When reflecting on 2022 work, a PSYDEH staff member says that “I think this is an important point for me…. to make an impact within our communities, prudent impact without impositions, that’s what we are doing.” Another staff member shares how she “is thrilled to see women graduating, believing in cooperative work and inspiring other women, to think that perhaps it was the persistence and workshops that made them believe that makes me proud.” 

One more beneficiary story.

Yu danxu mpefí di töí produces and sells silk flowers at public markets throughout their municipality to generate income for themselves and their families. Using funds from recent sales, cooperative members decided to invest in new flower molds purchased online for the first time. PSYDEH’s field leader Salma Sinai Soto Montes shares that cooperative members wanted to confirm the delivery date for their order and ensure they’d be available to receive the shipment but had no experience doing so.

Using new tech and training, coordinating their order and shipment was possible and these women partners were empowered to invest in themselves, their cooperatives, and their revenue-generating potential. As Salma says, “Cooperative members commented that they had never followed a link to track a package before, and, in fact, they had never ordered anything on the internet before. This experience was new for them, and I could see that it gave them more confidence to learn and understand shipments and online sales. This will benefit their cooperatives in the future.”


Salma (left) interviewing a cooperative leader.


3M/PSYDEH team presenting project ideas in Mexico City.

While many grassroots Mexican nonprofits are closing their doors because of a lack of resources in 2022, PSYDEH expanded operations thanks to another year of robust office success driven by our development team.

PSYDEH raised 38 times more resources than we did in 2014. This is extraordinary. And 85% of these resources are in-kind, goods and services from the global partnerships described below, our Global Collaborators Program, and contributors like Google, Slack, and Canva. Our goal is to build on 2022 success by maintaining non-monetary resource levels while increasing flexible funding in 2023. This will be possible thanks in part to continued support from our long-standing partner, the USA-based crowdfunding platform GlobalGiving, and their professional development BRIDGE program with Lightful.

We continued multi-year partnerships with PopSocketsZoom, and Lemonaid & ChariTea and formed 4 new ones with Adobe, 3M, Honnold Foundation, and Viasat. Thanks to these alliances, we were profiled in Fast Company and Diginomica as well as an Australian public radio program. We also benefited from 1750 volunteer hours donated by Viasat, Adobe, and 3M partners in Mexico, the USA, and Europe valued at $367,500 USD.

In 2022, PSYDEH received funding to attend our first global conference in the USA while continuing our years-long tradition of hosting in-country experiences with groups of professionals from the private sector and academia. For example, we were chosen by 3M as one of only five Mexican nonprofits to work with the 3M Impact Mexico program facilitated by USA-based Pyxera Global. Here, our field team engaged four Mexico 3M professionals in the field and in Mexico City to produce a replicable business plan that Red Sierra Madre network cooperatives can use to sell their handicrafts such as embroidery, textiles, and woodwork to local, national, and global markets.

Welcome ceremony for Viasat/PSYDEH team in Acaxochitlán, Hidalgo, MX.

PSYDEH culminated a year-long, multi-pronged transformative partnership with Viasat Inc by engaging 16 of their USA and European professionals in a 10-day immersive professional services experience produced by our joint partner Team4Tech. This incredible initiative is PSYDEH’s biggest corporate pro bono professional services project ever.

PSYDEH was also chosen as one of only a handful of nonprofits around the world to be an early adopter of Adobe company’s new cloud-based design tool Adobe Express for nonprofits. By year-end, we were awarded a VIP invite to attend their Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles, California, USA, while being profiled in print, and in promotional and instructional videos. PSYDEH also received flexible funding, and organizational licenses to use their industry-leading Creative Cloud design tools in our ongoing impact storytelling efforts.

Doctoral students from The Chicago School and PSYDEH staff.

Wrapping up 2022, PSYDEH partnered with Brazil-based Campus b to host 26 doctoral students from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in December. Our goal was to facilitate cross-cultural exchange between the students and PSYDEH staff and Red Sierra Madre cooperative leaders, including putting in place what we need to help address the more personal challenges women face in rural Mexico family systems. This immersive fieldwork came out of an earlier successful virtual experience with The Chicago School in the 1st quarter of 2022



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