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Magdaléna Rojo

Oaxaca, Mexico
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About Magdaléna
Magdalena Rojo is a freelance journalist covering global issues and human rights from the field, mostly in developing countries. Rojo comes from Slovakia, however, driven by her desire for a fairer world and common understanding, she has traveled countries on four continents. Exploring the world with an open mind and listening to people with diverse ideas is what makes her feel alive.

Six years ago, she co-founded the long-term, global project Women Who Stay that brings a different perspective on migration – the perspective of women left behind after their male counterparts migrate. She pursues this project together with her husband, a photographer, Noel Rojo.

Within the project, Magdalena and Noel explore slow journalism and anthropology. They spend weeks or months with people they write about in order to understand them and their environment and to gain their trust.

As a journalist fellow for the Spiritual Exemplars Project by the University of Southern California, she followed community leaders who are changing lives. She has been published in international media outlets, such as e.g. News Deeply/TNH, Deutsche Welle, Mongabay, and national media in Slovakia, Czechia, and the U.S. She was nominated for the Slovak Press Award with her reportage about Cuba in 2013.
Czech English Spanish
Feature Stories Research Interview (Print / Radio / Podcast)
Research Social Travel

Denver Chaplains Foster Relationships to Help People Living On Streets

05 Mar 2024  |  julieroys.com
Tim Rau, once homeless, found solace in reading novels in Denver's Carr Park. Struggling with alcohol addiction and the challenges of homelessness, Rau's life began to change through encounters with chaplains from the Denver Rescue Mission. The non-denominational Christian organization runs the New Life program, a year-long rehabilitation initiative that has helped over 1,000 men since 1997. Rau entered the program in July 2022, which offers job search assistance, counseling, and spiritual guidance. Despite a relapse and temporary expulsion, Rau reapplied and was accepted back into the program, embracing its spiritual aspects and focusing on faith, family, and sobriety.

Great markets and strong coffee or How I tasted Indonesia

15 Mar 2023  |  www.lideazeme.cz
The article recounts the author's culinary experiences in Indonesia, highlighting the vibrant markets, the variety of local fruits, and the significance of strong local coffee. It describes the bustling fish market of Tanjung Luar in Lombok, the preparation of traditional dishes such as nasi campur and rendang, and the importance of ingredients like tempeh and chilli in Indonesian cuisine. The author also touches on the environmental impact of shark fishing and the cultural practices surrounding food in different Indonesian regions.

Custodians of Mexico's indigenous forests confront climate change

02 Feb 2023  |  www.context.news
Indigenous Zapotec people in Capulálpam de Méndez, Oaxaca, Mexico, are facing challenges in forest management due to climate change, including severe droughts, bark beetle infestations, and unpredictable rainfall. The community, which benefits from ecotourism and sustainable logging, engages in reforestation efforts and has joined carbon offset markets to fund their environmental work. Despite the difficulties, their collective approach, including voluntary work known as 'tequio,' is seen as key to protecting the forest. Some community members, however, express concerns over the potential future influence of companies buying carbon credits.

Exploring Global Issues Through the Lens of Human Rights and Migration

27 Jan 2023  |  crcc.usc.edu
Magdalena Rojo is a Slovakian freelance journalist who specializes in global issues and human rights, with a focus on developing countries. She co-founded the project 'Women Who Stay,' which highlights the experiences of women whose male family members have migrated. Rojo, along with her husband Noel Rojo, practices slow journalism and anthropology to deeply understand and accurately represent the stories of the people they encounter. Her work has been recognized internationally, with publications in various media outlets and a nomination for the Slovak Press Award. Rojo has a deep appreciation for indigenous cultures, particularly in Oaxaca, Mexico, and prioritizes sustainability in her travels.

Farmers in Mexico fight coffee disease with resistant varieties and agroforestry

15 Jun 2022  |  news.mongabay.com
Indigenous Mixe farmers in Mexico's Sierra Norte are combating coffee leaf rust, a fungal disease exacerbated by climate change, by testing over 27 coffee varieties in shaded agroforestry systems. The disease, which reduces photosynthesis and coffee quality, led to significant production losses since its 2015 outbreak in Oaxaca. The State Coordinator of Coffee Producers in Oaxaca (CEPCO) and Livelihoods Funds are aiding farmers by promoting organic coffee cultivation, soil health, and diversification of income sources. Farmers like Lucio Jimenez Ocampo are experimenting with different coffee varieties to find those resistant to rust, while also becoming community technicians to advise others. Despite the challenges of unpredictable weather and rising production costs, farmers are striving to improve coffee quality and explore cooperative processing to achieve fair market prices. The article also touches on the broader implications of climate change on agriculture and the lack of government support in national climate policies.

This Czech City Is Modeling How Communities Can Support Migrant Populations

09 Jan 2022  |  www.goodgoodgood.co
Brno, Czech Republic, has developed a municipal program employing intercultural workers to support its growing migrant population, which had previously relied on NGO services. These workers, often migrants themselves, help newcomers navigate the Czech system and cultural differences, and work with local institutions to ensure they can serve foreigners effectively. The program, inspired by similar initiatives in Lisbon and Vienna, aims to bridge cultural gaps and create long-term integration solutions. While the program has seen success, it faces challenges with non-systemic funding and aims to improve legal support for migrants working without visas.

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