Anaïs Van Sull, sociologist
Specialist in young people living in poverty and delinquency, Anaïs worked for five years at the University of Louvain (Belgium) and at the "Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales" in Paris. Her PhD research focused in an ethnographic study of the social organization in precarious neighborhoods of Brussels and Paris, under the prism of an underground economy. Integrating herself in the neighborhood and leading long interviews with the population, she looked at understanding how the underground economy transforms the social organization of the neighbors, and how some marginals careers can start.
Anaïs attended different academic study projects on the issue of young people in "difficult" situation, health and social ruptures. She participated in several international colloquia and in different scientific research seminars to disseminate the results of her research.
From 2014 to 2017, she worked in an environmental education NGO in Tulum as Project Development Director, which meant she has divided her time between work in Mayan communities and fundraising work at the office.
With her experience living in Mexico, her work with Mayan communities, her background in the field of scientific and ethnographic studies and working with young delinquents, she has always been keen to lead and develop her own organization to respond to social inequalities she witnessed, and Movida Maya is a dream come true.
Julie Cassard, antHropOlogist
After reading Medical anthropology at university, Julie initially took part in community development projects in the United Kingdom, Nepal, Indonesia, Australia aiming to mobilize young people into leaders of their own lives and of their community, with specific attention to reproductive health, HIV and Aids, substance abuse, nutrition, etc...
She then dedicated her postgraduate research on the relationship of indigenous communities with their environment (social structures, use of natural resources, livelihoods, etc) and their resilience to change which took her to study different communities in Mexico. After furthermore traning as a Humanitarian Program Coordinator, she soon started working as a consultant in anthropology for non governmental organization working in humanitarian aid. She worked in various emergency contexts: in the refugee and Internally Displaced Camps of Myanmar and Europe, in the Philippines after the typhoon, in Sierra Leone during Ebola, etc....
After years working abroad, she felt the need to concentrate on her personal life and decided to apply what she had witnessed and learned on a more local level. Her passion for nature and community livelihoods and sustainability, has lead Julie to train and practice permaculture in her free time. She always dreamed of creating her own NGO which would value traditional knowledge to ensure sustainability. Naturally this desire lead her back to Mexico, in Tulum. After meeting Anais, it was obvious that their backgrounds where complementary and hence the perfect match to start their common dream answering to the need of the local indigenous population.
Cover picture by Movida Maya A.C / Others pictures by Movida Maya A.C