Civic Innovator: Monica Carrillo, Peru
Monica Carrillo is a published poet, the leader of a band and can boast having produced her own radio show. Any of these activities would have established the 29-year-old
Carrillo is the founding director of LUNDU, a Lima-based human rights organization that works to improve conditions for Afro-Peruvians who, representing between 7 and 10 percent of the population, suffer disproportionate rates of poverty and discrimination. “There’s no other place in South America that has the same levels of offensive, aggressive racism as
A communications graduate of the Universidad Nacional de
LUNDU operates in two centers, one in
Carrillo and a team of four travel every Saturday to El Carmen to organize workshops that focus primarily on sexual education. The effort is a response to the spike in incidences of HIV/AIDS resulting from the area’s growing sex tourism industry. In 2006, a documentary produced by MTV Europa and filmed by Carrillo about LUNDU’s work in El Carmen, was among six finalists at the UN Documentary Film Festival in
But Carrillo’s activism extends beyond strengthening the Afro-Peruvian community. She wants
Carrillo is currently building a marketing strategy for selling Afro-Peruvian artisanal products, labeled Estética en Negro. Her organization plans to sell furniture, crafts and even a CD of songs written and recorded by LUNDU participants to be distributed locally and abroad with the help of international partner organizations; Carrillo expects merchandise to hit the shelves this June. The proceeds will go toward scholarships for LUNDU youth. So far, four young people have received funding for secondary education.