Maricela Fernández

Indigenous Cabécar leader

Maricela Fernández is an Indigenous Cabécar leader in the Talamanca rainforest of Costa Rica. She founded the Women’s Association of Indigenous Cabécar Kábata Könana (Defenders of the Forest) in 2016, a group of 247 women who are devoted to women’s and Indigenous rights, and to the protection and revival of their ancestral knowledge. As part of this work, Maricela leads an initiative called The Indigenous Virtual Product Exchange, el Estanco. It’s a solution that uses new technologies and ancestral farming practices to guarantee food security for the Bribri and Cabécar Indigenous communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Since June 2020, a large number of products and seeds have been exchanged, with the participation of 110 families from the Talamanca Cabécar territory.