Rigoberta Menchu is the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. She has become widely known as a leading advocate of Indian rights, including land rights, and ethno-cultural reconciliation, not only in Guatemala but in the Western Hemisphere generally, and her work has earned her several international awards. Rigoberta Menchú was born on 9 January 1959 to a poor Indian peasant family and raised in the Quiche branch of the Mayan culture. She soon became involved in social reform activities through the Catholic Church, and became prominent in the women's rights movement when still only a teenager. Such reform work aroused considerable opposition in influential circles, especially after a guerilla organization established itself in the area.
In 1981, Rigoberta Menchú had to go into hiding in Guatemala, and then flee to Mexico. That marked the beginning of a new phase in her life: as the organizer abroad of resistance to oppression in Guatemala and the struggle for Indian peasant peoples' rights. In 1987, Rigoberta Menchú performed as the narrator in a powerful film called When the Mountains Tremble, about the struggles and sufferings of the Maya people.
In more recent years Rigoberta Menchu has become involved in the Mexican pharmaceutical industry as President of the company Salud para Todos ("Health for All"), with the goal of offering cheap generic medicines to indigenous people in Guatemala.
Source Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1992, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1993 ; http://nobelprize.org/peace/laureates/1992/tum-bio.html