FEMSA Foundation helps society meet some of its most pressing challenges, through a focus that enables us to change traditional problem-solving paradigms and contribute new methodologies from the private sector. We carry out social investment in two areas, water and early childhood development, generating long-term value in the communities where we operate. In 2016:
For every U.S. dollar
Our mission is to positively impact people and communities by promoting social investment projects on a sustainable basis.
Through social investment, we help generate sustainable, science-based solutions for the conservation and use of water and to foster early childhood development.
We empower communities so they can take the reins of their own development and thus generate a quantifiable return on investment.
We are a benchmark for those who know about and experience our initiatives. We energize the relationships we undertake and inspire people, encouraging a sense of motivation, pride and belonging in both our employees and our allies.
Our work centers on the simultaneous generation of economic, social and environmental value, in three spheres:
- Involving others in resolving social problems in an innovative way.
- Using the tools available to bring about change.
- Building significant, useful knowledge that results in best practices.
In our projects, we believe the participation of strategic partners from all areas is crucial, because with their economic investment, know-how and experience, we can multiply the positive impact we generate in communities of more than 10 countries of Latin America and the Philippines.
We quantify this exponential impact using the Direct Leverage Factor, an indicator that measures the resources our partners contribute to projects. In 2016, we guaranteed more than $279.9 million MXN in social investment, meaning an additional USD $2.39 for every U.S. dollar we invested.
During the year, at FEMSA Foundation we redefined some metrics and strategies in our areas of action, in order to better focus our efforts and those of our allies and achieve the results we hope for.
We support projects that provide safe access to water and sanitation, as well as initiatives that promote the conservation and sustainable use of water sources (watershed regions). We also foster scientific research to strengthen the water sector to improve water resource management.
Water and sanitation
In 2016, we completed the first phase of Water Links, a joint effort with Millennium Water Alliance and The Cola‑Cola Company Latin America, through which we brought safe water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education to more than 110,000 people in 196 rural communities of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Colombia. During three years of work, we empowered communities by giving them the tools to make the project sustainable once our intervention was complete.
Also, together with other partners, we promoted projects like Green Technologies in the State of Mexico, mobile water treatment plants in Colombia and Ecuador, among others.
Since 2011, in tandem with The Nature Conservancy, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), we contribute to the sustainability of water sources through the Latin American Water Funds Partnership.
Water Funds are financial mechanisms that contribute to the water security of metropolitan areas through investments in natural infrastructure. To date, we have provided technical and financial assistance for the creation of such funds in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and the Dominican Republic, impacting 195,937.44 hectares directly and benefiting 10,382 families that live in the watersheds.
The 3rd Funds Biennial was held in Colombia in June 2016, bringing together more than 200 Water Fund representatives, high-level executives from funding institutions and industry specialists. During this event, the Latin American Water Funds Partnership announced the results of its first phase and the signing of a commitment for the second phase, with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and singer Carlos Vives acting as honorary witnesses.
We feel so lucky to have a network of partner organizations with whom we share learning, projects and efforts. It is only through collaboration with them that we can fulfill our mission.”
Mariano Montero Zubillaga
Director of FEMSA Foundation
Applied scientific research
In 2008, together with the IDB and the Tecnológico de Monterrey, we created the Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean, an organization responsible for developing capacities and generating and disseminating knowledge to promote the sustainable management of the region’s water resources. In 2016, 269 professionals participated in our research and training programs. During the same year, we launched a technological and methodological tool called the Strategic Decision Hub (NED, for its acronym in Spanish), which supports the decision-making process for finding solutions to complex problems, with a multidisciplinary network of experts who guide the process.
Early Childhood Development
We want children, particularly those growing up in difficult conditions, to achieve their maximum potential for development in order to transform the communities where we operate. We promote early childhood development (ECD), which is a tremendously influential phase in the future course of an individual’s life. We also support applied scientific research for improving human health.
Ready to Play!
In an alliance with the Sesame Workshop, the Secretariat of Health of Mexico, the Carlos Slim Foundation, UNICEF, Canal Once, and Ecuador TV, we launched Ready to Play!, a multi-platform initiative with the aim of improving the health of Latin America children through educational entertainment. The project involves a 26-episode television series, 12 spots, social network content, a website, a mobile app, and community activities that promote physical activity, personal care, proper diet and emotional wellness for preschool children.
You can learn more about this program at
Eating as a Family
With the Mexican Food Banks Network and the Universidad de Monterrey, we empowered mothers to become agents of change and promote childhood development from the home. In 2016, more than 7,000 mothers who came to 15 food banks in Mexico received training in the form of healthy cooking workshops that encouraged family togetherness during the preparation and consumption of food.
We also worked on projects like the Colors Campaign, Ludonutrición, Mothers Empowered for Development, Healthy and Active, the Early Childhood Accelerator, and others, conveying education about healthy habits to 20,833 children 1,777 parents and 779 teachers.
Foundations for the Future
We organized an Early Childhood Development Symposium entitled “Foundations for our Future” with the IDB and Save the Children Mexico. With the Secretariat of Health and Televisa Foundation as conveners, and in collaboration with Un Kilo de Ayuda, we created space of dialogue with guests of honor like Dr. José Narro Robles, Mexican Minister of Health, and Carlos Salazar Lomelín, Chief Executive Officer of FEMSA. More than 200 specialists in the field from 9 countries analyzed the situation of early childhood, shared lessons learned, discussed the challenge facing the region and pursued collaborative synergies in this area.
Applied research in health and nutrition
We support innovation in applied research in order to help find new ways to address health challenges by developing projects and technologies. This year we collaborated in the development of a device for early detection of diabetes through a saliva indicator.
Total of benefited people accumulated per year
A productive, prosperous and sustainable society is built on the foundations of a healthy childhood. The earliest years of our lives (from gestation to age five) play a determining role in our development.
Early childhood development (ECD) is a comprehensive term referring to the physical, cognitive, linguistic and socio-emotional development of a child’s first six years, since gestation. It has been proven that the return on investment in projects focused on early childhood is greater than in any other phase of life.
In 2016, we expanded the focus and impact of our projects, from nutrition education to early childhood development. We directed our efforts toward children, but also toward capacity-building for parents, caretakers and teachers, who have a fundamental influence in their lives.
Focus evolution (2008 – 2016)
For more information about FEMSA Foundation’s projects please visit: