We’re on a mission to empower educational NGOs in Latin America with contextually-relevant sexuality education programs that tackle their communities’ most pressing sexual and reproductive health and rights concerns.
TabuTabu was started by Laura Ramos Tomás (she/her), a white, cisgendered, heterosexual woman who was born into a Spanish family in Germany. Laura grew up as a third culture kid, aware only in theory of her privileges, and comfortably distant from the far less comfortable realities many people live in. After graduating from high school and university, she worked in the luxury beauty industry for 5 years, and grew increasingly uneasy at the realization that she wasn’t involved in helping solve some of the world’s bigger problems.
Hence, at 24, she left her corporate job and Europe, drawn to Latin America due to its historical connection with Spain and because of its cultural breadth and richness. But it was the specific work of Honduras Child Alliance, a grassroots NGO promoting educational enrichment and healthy living in a socially vulnerable rural community, that led her to El Porvenir, Honduras. There, her work as a resident educator exposed her to the intersection of poverty, lack of access to quality education, gender-based violence, and sexual abuse.
Intent on further understanding the interplay between these dynamics, and now extremely aware of the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in some of the most vulnerable contexts, she volunteered and worked in Guatemala, Colombia and Brazil for NGOs supporting youth, young mothers, survivors of trafficking and sex workers living in social vulnerability. Throughout these experiences, she fell in love with community development work — specifically that of grassroots organizations empowering their communities through social outreach — and learned the importance of taking a human rights-based approach in all social development action. Thanks to these experiences she also saw the potential of digital tools in educating people at scale.
In parallel to her work in development, Laura completed the University of Michigan's year-long Sexual Health Certificate Program, and was awarded the Sallie Foley Scholarship for her commitment to working with underserved populations in the area of sexuality education.
Throughout this ongoing journey, Laura has had the privilege of learning from incredibly inspiring people: young adults, children, adolescents and the elderly, social entrepreneurs, students, mothers, therapists, educators, and volunteers from all walks of life. Thanks to these connections, Laura determined that TabuTabu programs’ learning content should not be dictated by her and her own lenses, but rather be directed by individuals from the communities themselves, including those who are often sidelined due to their intersecting identities.
This is why TabuTabu counts on the collaboration of people from a wide range of gender identities, sexual orientations, social backgrounds and nationalities. We seek the input of relevant perspectives for every program we create – first and foremost from within the communities we develop content for – as well as from other educators, youth workers, and others who are aligned with our mission.