Diana Alexandra Lara, a forester entrepreneur with a strong environmental awareness

Versión en Español

Diana Alexandra Lara is Colombian, a forest engineer graduated from the Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, and founder of Huella Colibrí, an organisation that raises awareness, environmentally empowers citizens and promotes food security.

Diana shares her experiences as an entrepreneurial woman, the activities she has carried out and the challenges she has faced throughout her professional career.

Follow her project on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/huellacolibri/


Lili: Diana, why did you decide to study forest engineering?

Diana: Because since I was a child I had close contact with nature, especially with my father when I was a child we used to visit a mountain very close to our home and I began to have that awareness of nature, from that moment on I saw that I wanted to do something related to the environment. I always wanted to be visiting the woods, I wanted to learn, I was very observant, just as children are, and as I grew up, this taste for the environment and forestry continued to grow, so when I saw the opportunity to go to university, I found that the closest alternative was forest engineering and I think it was one of the best decisions I could have made in my life, because I really liked it.

Lili: Diana, for those who don’t know you, I would like you to tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

Diana: My name is Diana Lara, I am a forest engineer and I have studied subjects related to agri-food agronomy, which are closely associated with forest engineering. I studied in France and there I had a great personal growth, not only in knowledge, but also in my own life, which opened my mind to other alternatives that we can take in life, in our daily lives. After returning to Colombia, I continued working because in my country there is much to do for the conservation of our forests and environmental education, which is what has caught my attention in these 2 years, before I saw it as a form of volunteering, a hobby, but since 2020, I decided to become independent and create my own business called Huella Colibrí.

Lili: Super! We have a forester entrepreneur who likes environmental education, Diana, what are the main challenges you face as a forest engineer?

Diana: Related to environmental education, raising people’s awareness, I had the advantage of having contact with nature since I was a child and that makes it easier for me to see the environmental problems that exist, so one of the biggest challenges is to reach people who do not have that kind of awareness and often it is not that they are not interested, but that no one has ever given them that kind of information. If we go to the rural areas, burning rubbish and cutting down the forest are habits in some sectors of the countryside, and it is difficult to change that mentality. Therefore, as foresters we must get closer to the communities without believing we are more than them, because they have the wisdom and traditional knowledge, all in function of improving the quality of life of the people, and the planet we are leaving, not only for us, but also for the rest of the living species we encounter.

The other challenge is more related to mentality and growing up. For example, it was a challenge for me to have started a business, leaving my comfort zone, having a steady job and a very comfortable lifestyle, and to say: “well, I want to go much further and inspire more people with this life purpose that I have”, and to be able to take the message and multiply ourselves. This issue of mentality, of being able to grow and believe that you can do it independently is very strong, but it also makes us grow as people and I recommend it to everyone.

Lili: You touched on a key topic, that of entrepreneurship. I would like to know what made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

Diana: The last two years that I worked as a contractor I felt that life had to go a bit further, I wasn’t fulfilling my life purpose. I was driven by the fact that I wanted to go further, I am a person who likes to take controlled risks in order not to stay with the curiosity of what would have happened, I said it is time to change course, it took me two years to make the decision and I said well I’m going to take the risk to not stay with the doubt, and that’s where I created Huella Colibrí, which is a triple impact enterprise: Environmental, social and economic, which seeks citizen empowerment so that people learn to grow their own food, know where food comes from, learn to safeguard seeds, and additionally to have more sustainable lifestyles with the planet, because sometimes the media make us think that we are powerless to what happens around us, but contrary to that, what Huella Colibrí seeks is to empower people, show them how they through the knowledge that we spread can impact their families, their communities and themselves. That’s what we are looking for, to wake people up and make them see that they can reach beyond their limits.

Lili: For people interested in your project, what are your communication channels?

Diana: You can find us on Instagram and Facebook as @HuellaColibri, you can send us a direct message and we are ready to give you more information about it.

In the second part of this interview Diana tells us what skills she has developed as a forest engineer, her adaptability and leadership skills, the role of women in forest engineering and her recommendations to the new generations of foresters who are being trained. You can watch the full interview on youtube: Full video

This is how we close this interview, I hope you enjoy it. And for those who read us, don’t forget to comment and share.

Thank you all! See you in the next interview.

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