International Women’s Day 2020: Alma Hernández
Protecting the critically endangered Colombian black spider monkeys
The Colombian black spider monkeys are one of the rarest and least studied primates in the world.
How did you come to lead your conservation team?
I think it was because I love what I do and I managed to convince my team!
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
I arrived in very remote areas with a very different cultural context and, in most cases, with very macho ideas, with very kind people but full of fear for the armed conflict and widespread indifference.
What has been your biggest achievement in the field in the past year?
In addition to finding the Colombian black spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps) in places, I met and interacted with human communities far away from urban centres that, although they have great needs, also understand the respect for different life forms and that have preserved and still conserve amazing forests.
What would you say to aspiring women who want a future in conservation?
That they always believe in their strength and their ideas, women have transformative energy that comes from love, and what they set out they will achieve! Small changes can become major transformations.