Meet the team: Q&A with Alejandra Cárdenas Huerto

Alejandra is a social psychologist, having previously worked in the education and NGO sectors. She has experience in developing projects and facilitating workshops to develop leadership skills and raise awareness of socio-environmental issues. Her work focuses on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through an intercultural approach. She is passionate about transforming her country, Peru, and the world, so that spaces are created where everyone can feel included and have the opportunity to achieve their dreams. She strongly believes in the importance of valuing diversity as one of the factors that influences the overall success of a team. 

Alejandra loves the environment, nature, and animals. She believes in the importance of developing affection and appreciation for people and places as a crucial first step in inspiring conservation. After all, people work to protect what they love.

How did you find your way into marine issues?

I went to Piura in 2015 and I visited the Organos and Punta Veleros beaches. I fell in love immediately with these places, their people, and the coastal wildlife. I love to go to eat ceviche at the dock with the local fishermen and watch the dogs running around. The fishermen usually eat ceviche with rice, which is not how it is typically prepared in Lima. Since that initial visit, I go every summer to Organos, where I eat ceviche every chance I get. Ceviche is my favorite meal and I eat it so much that sometimes I joke that I’ll eventually turn into a fish myself. 

In that same year, 2015, I also visited Ñuro beach. I saw how the community had organized to offer various ecotours, like turtle watching or swimming with the local marine life. Near the dock, you can find seafood restaurants and souvenir shops. This all got me thinking about how the community had tapped into the value of this space. In this way, they had taken ownership of their livelihood and modeled the space in a way that created development opportunities for their community.

Interest in seafood sustainability and traceability has grown in recent years. Why do you think that is?

We must think in scale, and to think in scale is to think long term. When previously watching the TED Talk given by FoF’s Director of Discovery, Dr. Marah Hardt, I was inspired by the interesting way in which she raises awareness for the necessity of consuming seafood sustainably. Obviously, not respecting the reproduction of the sea animals will lead to their disappearance, however, human beings often forget the role that we play in impacting such larger environmental ecosystems. In this way, it is very important to find creative ways to communicate this relationship and to give people insight into how their behaviors impact the world around them.

Where do you hope global fish production will be in 5 years? 10 years?

I hope we can achieve harmony and peacefully co-exist with marine life. I also hope people start to think more intentionally about the seafood that they consume. How did it get to our plate? This is a reality that can be achieved with a lot of work and determination.  

What were you doing before you joined Future of Fish?

I was a program coordinator for an NGO that identifies and empowers talented underprivileged youth by providing them with scholarships to receive world-class educations. We helped them to hone their skills and leadership acumen across different spheres— academics, arts, or sports. I designed and facilitated workshops that developed their competencies, capacities, and leadership skills, training them to be future change-makers.

How do you see your previous experience coming into play at Future of Fish?

I want to positively impact people and their communities, empowering them to find their own solutions and opportunities. Everyone has the potential and talent to achieve their goals and my role is to support this process of self-discovery. 

What most attracted you to working with Future of Fish?

It is a new challenge in my professional life, in a sector that I am excited to delve into more deeply in order to understand its needs and create a stronger sense of community. I love that it is a new project that we are building together as a team. I am ready to go full steam ahead in this next chapter!



Published Oct 20, 2021