Georgina Martínez is the first Mexican to win the Global Peace and Humanitarian Award for her community work.
By Jorge Zanella Alvear | Puebla Campus - 11/11/2021 Photo Georgina Martínez Gracida English, Jorge Zanella Alvear

Georgina Martínez-Gracida English, a student at Tec de Monterrey in Puebla, has been awarded the Global Peace and Humanitarian Award 2021 for her 10-year effort in campaigns to build classrooms, and feed and give toys to children in Oaxaca.

When they said my name, I couldn’t believe it. It was very emotional. It’s the moment when you realize that you’ve traveled to the other side of the world to speak for your country.”

The award, presented by UN volunteer organization the Bangladesh Digital Social Innovation Forum, is given to individuals and organizations whose efforts significantly improve the lives of others by consistently contributing to promoting a culture of peace and humanitarian service.

There are seven categories for this award, with Georgina winning in the Outstanding Service Category for 2021.

Gigi, as she is known to her family and friends, became the first Mexican in history to receive this award.


Es la primera habitante de México en ganar este premio
She’s the first Mexican citizen to win this award.

The first-semester Law student recalls that the presentation took place in Dubai on October 21 in the style of the Oscars, where they showed a “mini-movie” of her career.

“You’re reminded of your past, and you say to yourself: Wow, look at everything I’ve gone through to get to this point. You’re in a country with a different culture from yours.”

During her work in the community, she helped young people from the Oaxaca Guardianship Council to manufacture and sell dolls to help their families.

It’s worth noting that Gigi was one of the youngest people among the winners, and she recognized the award as “a strong commitment.”

“Speaking to the world is a very big commitment. What you say affects others. I was speaking for the youth of the world, for my Mexico and my Oaxaca.”


‘‘It was very emotional. It’s the moment when you realize that you’ve traveled to the other side of the world to speak for your country.”


The only Latin American finalist for the Global Peace and Humanitarian Award

Gigi says that this trip “was quite an experience.” For the big moment, only she and five other finalists remained after several rounds.

“Having won motivates me to work for the right causes. It’s not just an award but an everyday commitment from now on,” says the only Latin American present at the event.



It was in 2013 when she formally started her activism. While still a child, Gigi couldn’t understand why children in Oaxaca weren’t attending school.

“I remember that for more than a month there were three million children without classes due to conflicts in the education sector. At that moment, I knew that something wasn’t right.”

“At school, we learn about children’s rights, how things should be, but looking around and realizing that their right to education wasn’t respected made a lasting impression on me.”


A journey full of sacrifices led up to this award

“I’ve gone through a lot of sacrifices, not just to get this award, but in everything along the way,” says Gigi referring to the time she’s devoted to her work.

“You sacrifice going out with friends, chats, playing games, and trips to the movies. Sometimes your friends don’t understand the things that make you grow up quickly, although I appreciate seeing things at a young age that children don’t usually experience.”


Diversas campañas la impulsaron a ser premiada en Dubái
Various campaigns led to her award in Dubai


Her years of work and receiving the award in Dubai mean that Gigi can change people’s lives in her beloved Oaxaca. She’s convinced that citizen cooperation is what will move Mexico forward.

“I would like to see a fairer Oaxaca, where equality and equity improve people’s living conditions. We need to aspire to that Oaxaca, to that Mexico, in which we see each other as brothers and sisters, helping, not competing with each other.”

There were tears, struggles, and sleepless nights. It was a journey in which things didn’t always go as Gigi planned, although she’s always willing to find alternative goals.

I want to tell those who read about us that anything is possible. I’m a normal person. We’ve all gone through periods like the pandemic, moments when we don’t know what to do with ourselves. It’s part of human nature.”


Into the future with the help of Tec de Monterrey

Gigi is happy about the time she is spending at the Tec, thinking about bigger achievements and making new friends. That’s why she doesn’t hesitate to share her love for Tec de Monterrey, a place that she has dreamed about since she was little.




She dedicated the award to her parents, brother, grandparents, and relatives, and to her friends and the children in the communities she has helped.

They’ve encouraged me when I’m feeling sad or unmotivated. There’s my brother Jorge, who is always so happy, my friends always cheering me on, and all the people who at some point have taught me something or have been part of my life.”

For her part, Asunción Ilein English Ramos, Gigi’s mother, shared what it means for her and her family to be part of her daughter’s life.

“We’re so proud of our little girl. We’ve seen her grow and develop, the effort she puts into everything, and how she’s committed herself to each goal. We’ve seen her cry, suffer, and fall. However, she comes out on top and fills us with pride with everything she does.”

My dream was always to go to Tec de Monterrey. I didn’t imagine being here at this moment. I thank the Tec for the support and help it’s given me. It’s also a family.”

“I’m very happy with this new stage. Leaving Oaxaca is a little sad for me. I have my family and friends there who always support me. I know that when I need them, they will be there for me.”

Georgina envisions a future with a path full of work in Mexico, a reason to continue with her studies, focusing on environmental issues.



Gigi junto a otras distinguidas estudiantes del Tec de Monterrey en Puebla
Gigi (left) with other distinguished students from Tec de Monterrey in Puebla.


“In Dubai, I visited the most important international sustainability expo for the 2030 Agenda. I realized there that renewable energies are the future for our cities and countries.”

Gigi plans to encourage children and young people who want to become agents of change to help the environment through her organization “Mexico for the children.”

“Climate change is the greatest challenge in the world. It’s a priority, and it’s our responsibility as citizens to demand the appropriate measures from governments.”

For the young activist, citizens must play a leading role at a personal level with initiatives such as recycling and reusing things at home.

“We need to tell our friends to pick up their trash, to throw it in the trash can instead. We build the world we want from those little things if we take action now.”


“We need to tell our friends to pick up their trash, to throw it in the trash can instead. We build the world we want from those little things if we take action now.”


Siempre se vislumbró en el Tec de Monterrey
Gigi always envisioned studying at Tec de Monterrey.


Gigi believes that, while it is true that some countries don’t have sufficient financial resources to counteract this problem, citizens can help prevent laws that don’t address the issue of renewable energy or clean energy.


Her work in the future

Gigi will attend the United Nations (UN) World Summit for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Munich, Germany, in April 2022, where she aims to create an outreach network and continue her work for the 2030 Agenda.

“I hope to share that Mexico wants to do good things for the world. We need to support the issue of sustainability every day. Young people are leaders. We listen, and we want to be heard by our countries and the international community,” she concluded.






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