Following the hiring of Promotores Leadership Development Coordinator, Anabel Hernandez-Mejia, the Promotores Program was developed and launched in the Spring of 2019 to increase individual skills, community building, overall understanding of and access to services, and to create a sense of advocacy within the wider community regarding issues that affect our communities of predominantly immigrant, low-income farmworkers and families.
A prerequisite 5-day training with the Ford Family Foundation finalized the recruitment, followed by a 3-day Promotores Initiation Training, leading to 7 Promotores formally entering the Program, all women from 6 of our Woodburn properties, eligible to receive stipends and skill-building opportunities to help them and their neighbors achieve their goals. To date, all Promotores have participated in between 10-20 events each, ranging from trainings in confidence and public speaking, affordable housing, health access, food and nutrition, educational access, and more.
Promotores now meet regularly to discuss their goals and the needs within the community, and frequently take on leadership roles at FHDC and community events to ensure families get their basic needs met. Promotores practice and learn effective communication skills which help them motivate and identify and advocate for the needs within the community.
We took an evening recently to catch up with 6 of the 7 Promotores — Josefina, Florinda, Maria, Maricela, Martha, and Minerva, our brave and dedicated leaders. Every week we will feature one woman, highlighting their dreams and goals until mid-January as we welcome a new year and a new decade.
This week we feature Maria, Nuevo Amanecer Resident, Mother, Promotora, and employee of a local floral shop.
On Being a Promotora:
“Mi parte favorita de hacer Promotora es de poder ayudar a mi comunidad en lo que necesita porque a mi, me hubiera gustado que me ayudaron asi me a hecho mejor persona porque me ha dado cuenta que tienen las mismas necesidades que yo y me a hecho until de poder ayudar a los demás.”
My favorite part of being a Promotora is being able to help my community in whatever ways are needed. I would have liked to be helped (in the past), so it has made me a better person because I realized that my community made me and has the same needs as me, and this allowed me to be able to help others.
When I Look in Mirror to Reflect…
“Miro que soy una persona que puede ayudar a mi comunidad; que puedo llegar más lejos, que puedo mejorar como persona y que tengo potencial
I see that I am a person who can help my community; that I can go further, that I can improve as a person and that I have potential”
Your Biggest Life challenge and how you overcame it?
Mi mayor desafío en la vida es sacar adelante a mis hijos como madre soltera y que no les falte nada. Siento que la supere porque ya no siento el mismo temor de no poder sacarlos adelante hasta ahora lo hecho bien
My biggest challenge in life is to move my children forward as a single mother and making sure that they don’t miss any opportunities. I feel that I overcome this because I no longer feel the fear of not being able to move them forward… So far I have achieved this.