Guadalajara, Mexico - The founder of Casa Cem, a non-profit recycling and environmental education center in Guadalajara, Sofia Chavez, received the 2019 Premio Jalisco from Governor Enrique Alfaro at a ceremony held last week at Casa Jalisco, the governor's official residence in the State Capital.
The Premio Jalisco, which includes a cash award of 88,000 pesos (US$4,600), was awarded to Chavez in recognition of her brainchild, which she began over a decade ago after being unable to find anywhere to recycle her household waste.
Today, Casa Cem is a large house on busy Avenida Chapultepec, where the public can attend educational talks and movie screening that draw attention to environmental scourges such as styrofoam and deforestation. It is also a public collection center for recyclable materials, and the headquarters of Electroacopio, an electronics recycling project that encompasses 62 municipalities in the greater Guadalajara area.
Seven others notable Jalisciences received the Premio Jalisco this year in a range of areas: science, civics, culture, sports, humanities, labor and literature.
Governor Enrique Alfaro applauded all of the winners for "breaking paradigms and thinking out of the box," while Secretary of Culture Giovanna Jaspersen observed that they had "distinguished themselves by adding something to the environment."A non-profit organization whose focus is on integrated waste management linked to issues such as environmental education, environmental culture and environmental governance, Casa Cem receives support from several public institutions, including the U.S. Consulate, and employs dozens of volunteers. To learn more about their work, visit casacem.org.