Vanessa is from Honduras. She has studied her university degree in Taipei, Taiwan with a B.B.A in International Business. She speaks Spanish, English, Mandarin Chinese and Italian. Vanessa’s real passion is entrepreneurship and she would like to have her own business one day. Not just any business but a Social purpose business mainly because she believes you can make money and solve a problem and benefit the people one is working with. Vanessa Hernandez's mentor is George Constantopoulos.
Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story!
A: The history of my country Honduras is one of a long military rule, corruption, poverty and crime which have rendered it one of the least developed and most unstable countries in Central America. Even with all of this, the spirit of its people is candid, positive and hospitable. Honduras neighbouring countries are Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Honduras has a tropical climate and lush vegetation. It is beautiful and it has a rich culture.
I was born in 1985, I am the oldest of 3 daughters which made me a responsible person early on. I was born with an intense desire to see the world. I studied my university in China and I have worked in Taiwan, China, Peru, Chile and the United Arab Emirates. Currently, I am working on a Social Purpose Business and my story keeps on unfolding.
Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?
A: My view of the world is not fixed. As I see the world today and the state of our current events it makes me wonder that perhaps we are going backwards with regards to many of the things we have achieved so far as humanity as a whole.
However this is not a pessimist point of view, I think the people that want to make the world a better place have more access to tools, talent and the overall outlook and acceptance of this kind of person has improved. So expect them in the coming years for they will reshape the world.
My concept of a better world is where people have access to equal opportunities and businesses are built to improve the life of its people.
Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?
A: In my country employment, economic stability and responsible parenthood are a challenge.
Q: As a woman what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?
A: Access to equal opportunities.
Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?
A: Being able to express my career and business concerns without the fear of being judged is extremely important to me moreover having access to leverage the professional experience and support of my mentor to help me in building a business has been a life-changing experience.
Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?
A: Growing up I used to complain why was I not born in a more developed country in which I could have more access to tools to develop my interest.
Later on, I have come to realise that being born in my country has made me a resilient, persistent, intrepid, resourceful, positive and someone with a lot of courage and something to fight for which is more than I could ask for.
Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!
A: Name of project: Cooperativa Comisuyl
Comisuyl was founded in 1995 by small-scale coffee farmers in search of market access and social stability. Located in the rich agricultural department of Yoro, Honduras, the fertile valley of the Aguan River provides farmers with fruitful soil and plentiful irrigation. Through innovation, diversification of crops, and commercialization of its product, COMISUYL has made its dream of sustainable production a reality.
Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!
A: The Invitation - Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, 'Yes.'
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.
A: My communication with my mentor has made me more open to asking for help and talk about my project.