Ms. Eglée González Lobato visited Utah in May of 2017 as part of the Women Leaders: Drivers of Social Change program, and has high praise for the IVLP, saying it had a significant impact on her work advocating for democratic values in her home country of Venezuela, a nation that is currently suffering from severe outmigration and, as she describes, is on the brink of collapse.
Ms. González Lobato is a professor at the Central University of Venezuela and is the creator and director of the National Understanding Project (PEN) which seeks to reduce internal conflict within Venezuela by starting dialogues between opposing parties in an effort to find solutions to the country’s problems. Currently, PEN is working on finding consensus between members of civil society in regional and local governments to address the collapse of public services and make Venezuela a livable country again.
Ms. González Lobato’s visit to the United States and Utah helped her to see the importance of strengthening civil society organizations and the need to sensitize society to cooperate. She is currently seeking to promote the participation of women, youth, and entrepreneurs and has attended numerous radio and television interviews alongside officials from the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela to spread her message.
Ms. González Lobato expresses that she is enormously grateful for the IVLP experience and was particularly impressed with Utah, saying that the state’s greatest asset is the quality of its people. She would like to assure UCCD and Utahns that her time in the state has strengthened her confidence that it is possible to make the world a better place.