Yalitza Aparicio

© UNESCO/Christelle ALIX

In October 2019, the young and famous Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio was designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the indigenous peoples, for a two-year term.

Her designation came in light of her commitment towards the issues of gender equality, indigenous rights, and the rights of domestic workers, and her dedication to the universal ideals and aims of the Organization. 

Yalitza Aparicio was born 11 December 1993 in Tlaxiaco, Mexico, to parents of indigenous origin. Whilst training as a primary school teacher, she was cast as the role of a domestic worker Cleo in Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma (2018), which received international acclaim and earnt her a nomination for Best Actress Oscar, making her the first Indigenous Mexican woman to receive such a nomination. 

Since her film debut, Ms Aparicio intentionally used her new platform to advocate gender equality, indigenous rights and domestic workers’ rights. She has attended numerous conferences on these themes, often as a speaker.

In March 2019, she spoke at the International Labor Organization (ILO) of the United Nations as the keynote speaker for International Women’s Day. She also collaborated with the UN in their “Fight racism” campaign, launched in March 2019, and is the representative of the «Zero violence against women», a campaign launched at the Guanajuato Film Festival this year. Time magazine named her one of the hundred most influential people in the world in 2019.

In her capacity as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Indigenous Peoples, she will contribute to UNESCO’s efforts to support the promotion of indigenous languages, culture and living heritage; the right of indigenous people to inclusive and quality education; and gender equality.


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