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Fearless Women, Champions of Change: Trish Snyder"I'm not into quilting!"By Carolina de la Cajiga

In 2004, Trish Snyder and her husband spent Thanksgiving in San Miguel de Allende. They returned for a month the following year and moved permanently to San Miguel in 2006. Trish immediately began volunteering for the San Miguel Walk Against Domestic Violence, organized annually by CASA (Centro para los Adolescentes de San Miguel de Allende). She organized the walk for the next seven years and raised funds for the program. "That is when I comprehended the vastness of domestic violence and the many challenges women face," said Trish. “Seniors in their eighties to teenagers from Mexico, the U.S., Canada, and I joined forces to empower women. We worked with Veronica Cruz, founder and director of Las Libres, an organization in Guanajuato state, one of the twelve 2023 TIME Magazine Women of the Year; author Jennifer Clement; Stephanie Bratnick, an international authority on trafficking; and journalist Laura Carlsen. These and many other activists became part of the Ser Mujer March yearly program. It's been an honor for me to work with these leaders who have become friends."

A few of Ser Mujer activities to bring social justice have been: En sus zapatos (In Her Shoes), Women's Day on March 8, 2020. This campaign involved months of collecting shoes to represent each of the women who had violently lost their lives in Guanajuato state.Trish recounted, "We collected 300 pairs of shoes and hung them on a wall in Colonia Guadalupe. We organized talks in Spanish and English and music to call attention.”

Another campaign for Ser Mujer in 2022 that attracted considerable attention was the Red Dress ceremony, a tribute to the Mujeres Desaparecidas de Guanajuato (Disappeared Women of Guanajuato). Ser Mujer volunteers researched the names of the 153 missing women in the previous two years. “As a reminder of the horrific situation, we affixed a ribbon with the name of a disappeared woman to each donated dress. We hung them on March 8, 2022, at Geek & Coffee in Fábrica La Aurora. Community leaders read aloud the names. Behind every dress was a grie-ving family—a striking and shocking revelation. The impact was tremendous. Many who saw the empty dresses burst into tears.” The presentation lasted two weeks. As an extension to this action, Ser Mujer held various programs around town, including La Biblioteca, El Sindicato, Bellas Artes, Hotel La Aldea, Casa Europa, and the Jardin.  

Trish recalls, “One year, Ser Mujer kicked off Women's HERstory Month with a Flash Mob, another with an all-women mariachi band dressed in pink, and another with belly dancers. Ser Mujer volunteers get things going, always working as a team. And, even when dealing with tragedies, we act with ingenuity and wit." From the start, Trish aimed to pass the torch to local women. In 2024, Dulce Ortiz and Sandy Delgado, two energetic, committed Mexicans, became the coordinators of Ser Mujer. Trish met Dulce, then CASA's staff psychologist, at the San Miguel Walks; they have worked together since. Sandy states, "Trish has expanded my horizons. Her empathy and dedication to improving women's lives is remarkable and contagious." 

What motivates Trish? With a mischievous smile and a twinkle, she declared, "I'm not a quilter!” With no disrespect to quilters, my passion and sense of social justice is supporting women.” She has also aided midwife students from Mexico and Central America and is now involved with reproductive rights. “Through Ser Mujer we have developed programs to help women with issues such as migration, self-defense, yoga, empowerment, feminism, and resistance in Latin America. In addition, we have shown films by acclaimed human rights filmmakers Tatiana Huezo and Judy Jackson.” 

But there's another side to her: a typical day for Trish starts with exercising to maintain her balance and leg strength because of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, which she's had for the past 30 years. Trish and Dick, her husband of 42 years, have visited many places in Mexico; they also have developed a wide circle of friends in San Miguel. This summer, they are planning a cruise in the Mediterranean. Upon returning, they will visit their combined family of five kids, 13 grandkids, and nine great-grandchildren from Alaska to North Carolina.

For further information, please visit Ser Mujer's Facebook page or

ser.mujer.sma on Instagram.

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