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After speaking to incarcerated women about the issues plaguing the Mexican criminal justice system, Daniela Ancira founded La Cana with the mission of transforming prisons into places of opportunity, rather than punishment. 

During her first visit to a prison as a law student, Daniela learned that many women in Mexico resort to criminal activities as a source of income to escape poverty and violence. These crimes, however, often lead women into a prison system that deepens disadvantages and inequalities. Daniela created La Cana to provide women with fair jobs and skill-building opportunities so they could earn an income and build a life away from crime and violence. 

La Cana is a social enterprise that works with incarcerated women by implementing social reintegration programs in women’s prisons for them to learn new skills, work on their self-development, and earn an income while serving a sentence. 

Each one of the products created by incarcerated women is 100% handmade, original, and unique. These products tell the stories of the women that work with the organization, generating empathy in La Cana’s clients, raising awareness, and thereby reducing the social stigma associated with imprisonment, while also meeting consumers’ demand for products that contribute to positive social goals. In addition to job training activities, La Cana has also created workshops and mental health programs that contribute to the well-being and empowerment of incarcerated women. 

Through her work with La Cana, Daniela has witnessed how working with prisons creates more gender-equal, inclusive, peaceful, and safer societies. She believes La Cana can play a role in a future where prisons are no longer places of punishment but of opportunity, transforming detention into a time of learning and hope. 

Daniela was a part of the 2021 VV GROW Fellowship.  

Learn more about Daniela and her purpose-driven business:

Twitter: @lacanamx
Instagram: @lacanamx