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Changemaker: Mantaro Garcia

Country of Implementation: Mexico

In Mexico, every year thousands of migrants and refugees try to cross the southern border in order to travel towards the United States, we are talking of thousands of life projects put on hold, and most of them, don’t have the necessary means to have a safe journey. They cross more than 2,500 Kms and face numerous violent situations such as assaults, rapes, kidnapping and forced deportation.

Thus, we created Zito, which is a social biotech startup dedicated to empower the lives of refugees and migrants by growing skills and creating temporary jobs, where they transform organic waste, into valuable products.

Migrants stop at numerous institutions called “Casas Migrantes” along their journeys. These shelters provide them with free food, healthcare, legal and psychological assistance. However shelters only survive on donations, they are welfare oriented and are temporary since they allow the people to stay from 3 to 7 days.This is why Zito is working with the migrants to teach them how to transform locally available resources, coffee residues, into soaps that are further bought from them and commercialised. Through this actions, Zito is not only economically empowering the migrants, but also unlocking their own entrepreneurial potential while supporting migrant shelters and raising awareness and fostering solidarity with the local population.


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