March 5, 2019

Adelante Mujeres keeps moving forward with education initiatives for Oregon Latinas

Meet the finalists for the 2019 Renewal Awards, a program of The Atlantic and Allstate. Five winners will receive a $20,000 prize from Allstate.

Editor’s note: Meet the finalists for 2019 The Renewal Awards. The annual program that honors nonprofits that are creatively solving problems in their communities is a project of The Atlantic and Allstate. This year, five winners each will receive a $20,000 prize from Allstate. Winners will be announced April 3 at The Renewal Summit in New York City. You can watch a live stream of the event, which begins at 9:30 a.m. EDT, on our Facebook page.

Adelante Mujeres is all about bringing the voices of Latina women to the forefront. Their name translated means, “Women moving forward,” and that’s just what they’ve aimed to do.

Founded in Oregon in 2002, the nonprofit provides services for about 8,000 marginalized immigrant Latina women each year.

“Through education, microenterprise, and leadership programming, participants have access to culturally-responsive and bilingual services to further their personal, financial, and academic goals to better serve their family and community,” said Andrea Chunga-Celis, Grants Manager for Adelante Mujeres.

[ Read: Meet the finalists for the 2019 Renewal Awards ]

Adelante Mujeres has a variety of programs, including their Chicas program, which currently works with 200 students ranging in age from 8 through 18 on developing leadership skills, building strong cultural identity and fostering academic success.

They also run a small business program, Empreseas, which currently helps 65 burgeoning entrepreneurs by providing them with business development courses as well as a support and advice network as they get their small businesses up and running.

“We never knew our dreams could come true so fast. With the help of Empresas, we were able to open our restaurant,” said program participant Lucia, who now owns La Mixteca Oaxaca restaurant in nearby Hillsboro, Oregon.

The organization has also developed a Sustainable Agriculture Program, which provides training and skills to local Latino farmers and their families. Farmers who participated in the program for the past five years saw a 300 percent increase in produce sales.

Over the past decade the program has grown and evolved by listening to their community members and providing solutions that fit their needs. While the nonprofit started off focusing on education, they quickly expanded to offer childcare, something that participants said they really needed.

A majority of the Adelante Mujeres staff identify as Latina and can relate to program participants on a personal and cultural level. Many staff members even started out as program participants themselves, which means organization stays rooted within the community it serves.

In the future, the organization hopes to strengthen their existing programs as well as fund more educational opportunities for everyone from infants to seniors.

“We’ll know we’ve succeeded when every Latina are leading, every child is receiving a high-quality education, young Latinas are reaching their dreams of going to college, and Latino entrepreneurs are flourishing,” said Chunga-Celis.

Follow Adelante Mujeres on Twitter @AdelanteMujeres. Donate to the nonprofit here.

Caitlin Fairchild

Caitlin Fairchild is the deputy editor of The Renewal Project.
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