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I heard about Mujeres en Acción, and it was interesting to know that there were only women in this group. The first year, it was very confusing, even though I enjoyed attending the meetings in person, it was something different for me, and I liked to listen to other women that talked about their goals, getting their diploma, or taking English classes. I wanted to be like them, but I didn’t know how to do it or where to start. I was very afraid to speak in public, I felt silly when I gave my opinion, and I thought I didn’t fit into that group where so many women learn to follow their dreams and goals. It was a totally different world that did not exist for me, my world was just work and being a housewife. I kept going because there was something that got my attention, I admired the coordinator, Mrs. Maria Elena Manzo, with her connections she knew how to connect us with informative workshops. All this caused me a lot of fear because it was something totally different from what I had done up to that moment, I had never had goals, I considered that it was not important that I learn to speak English. I only believed that women were meant to get married, to have children, obey and listen to their husband, but I have realized that this is not the case. When looking at the womens’ struggle to move forward, I wanted to be like them. The conversations that I had with Maria Elena were confusing and a totally different world. She was a woman with goals, achievements, and dreams. This was something that did not exist in my world, she is a fighter and entrepreneur woman, but I understood that “willing is power.” I can undertake, follow my goals, dreams, I’m the one who has to make those changes, and I have to work for those goals. Now, I have learned that we all have qualities and talents, I just need to focus on myself. This life is full of opportunities, I just need to interact with people who want to exceed themselves. I’m so happy to be part of the Mujeres en Acción group, and for the support, understanding, and commitment to this group, I have been given the opportunity to work as a Community Health Worker for Monterey County. Thanks to Mujeres en Acción, I am now a financially self-sufficient woman and entrepreneur, and I have an income that helps me cover home expenses. I have learned self-worth, to identify my virtues, and to know who I am. Today, I have the opportunity to motivate other women, feel identified with me and say to them: “you can do it”. Now, I can motivate my children, help them and motivate them to continue growing-up, continue their education, and let them know that they have the power to achieve anything in life; I learned that from Mujeres en Acción.

My name is Celsa Ortega, I am a mother of four children, I came to this country in January 2006. I am from Oaxaca a small town called San Luis Morelia, and here in this country, I had three of my children. I’m a farm worker. When I had my third child I did not work, I dedicated myself to my children’s education, and I began to attend all the school board meetings.
One day, a person came looking for women to join a pilot program called Mujeres en Acción, and it appeared interesting. I thought that perhaps they could give me some information on how to deal with stress, and how I can provide a better education for my children. I started to participate in the Mujeres en Acción group and realized that it offered much more information. The group provided information about the community resources on how to register for school. I thought that I could go to school to get my GED, how I could become independent, and how I would start my own business. Starting by getting my GED, but I couldn’t do it as I have four children and a job. I couldn’t do it; however, I took computer classes and managed to complete three levels, which were very important to me.

This program provided me with all the information, and I know that at some point I will have to achieve it because I know that it is possible. Thanks to this program, I began to be a positive person, and I have goals that I can achieve with effort. The women who were part of my group were very important in my life, and each of them contributed to improving my life: I began to have self-confidence, value my family much more, and respect my community. My community became part of my family. Currently, I am able to express myself in public, and I’m part of the Alisal Vibrancy Plan. Everything I’m doing is for my children, I want them to do what I do, as they grow up and mature, to value and learn from each person they encounter in their lives, and later down the road, they will figure out why this was important. Now, I know how to guide my children when they go to college and university.

In 2008 I began studying so I could start my own business and in 2019 I achieved my goal. I currently own a business in organic farming and I put into practice everything I learned in the group. At first, it was very difficult, but I attended several workshops to be a very successful businesswoman. Now, I am working with several organizations to create projects that benefit people in the community and farmer-owners like me to strengthen our businesses. I have found many people who have contributed to my development. I don’t know where this wonderful journey ends, but all I know is that I feel very fortunate to be in a group like MUJERES EN ACCION. Mujeres planted a seed in me and thanks to that I feel more confident. Mujeres taught me how important it is to participate in any event for my benefit and also for the benefit of my community. Despite the time that has transcurred I see them and I know that they continue to be my support and my strength. It is a joy to see my colleagues again and I am meeting more extraordinary people who have helped me along the way like MRS. MARIA ELENA MANZO who is an excellent person who trusts us and each hug is a gift of trust, strength, faith, and hope. and the strength to face the most difficult obstacles.


¡Gracias MUJERES en ACCIÓN

Hello my name is Alma Oliveros. I’m 26 years old, and I am a single mother of a 7-year-old daughter. I started my journey with Mujeres en Accion in 2015, so I was about 19 years old, and my daughter was only a couple months old. Before starting to be a part of Mujeres, I was not in a good place in life. I was insecure, shy, and lacked self-confidence. I believed all the doors were closing on me as I had just graduated from High School and started to work in the fields. My school culture had taught me that if I did not have a university diploma I would be a nobody. I thought to myself that this is all I could do in my circumstances as my parents worked in fields as well, I would live from paycheck to paycheck. I soon joined Mujeres en Acción, hearing stories from other women with similar obstacles inspired me to change my mindset. The Mujeres en Acción group gave me the opportunity to start school to become a medical assistant, they helped pay for child care until I was done with school. Soon, I became a medical assistant and worked for the Monterey County Health Department for 4 years. I had the opportunity to buy a new car, and this was huge for me as I have reliable transportation now. Later down the road, I was once again given an amazing opportunity to work as a CHW Coordinator for the VIDA project. I truly believed no one would have thought of me for this position because I did not have the degree to prove I was ready; however, I got trained on the job, and I had support from Mujeres en Acción that believed in me, and I had the willingness to learn. I will forever be grateful to Mujeres en Acción, I would not be who I am or where I am today without their support. I went from being in the most vulnerable state in my life to feeling accomplished and looking forward to keep growing. Now, I am able to speak in public, I have developed leadership skills, I am able to facilitate meetings, and I feel physically and mentally healthier. I see a brighter future for myself and my family. I’m even looking into buying a home in the future and that was not even in my dreams before!

When I got invited to join Mujeres en Acción, I was in need of a change in my life and I decided to be part of the group in 2015.

I started attending once a week in a group of about 15 women, all with the need to be part of the group and learn new things. I enjoyed participating in the group and little by little I was working on my fears, insecurities and my goals on which I focused because I had the support of Mujeres en Acción. I faced challenges, such as not knowing how to ask when I needed something, such as information at School and information on how to get the GED.

Another obstacle that I have to face was my own limiting thoughts and frustrations. In the group, I felt listened to and respected, my colleagues always supported me and lifted my spirits. The most difficult obstacle that I had to face was when I had to look for childcare because my children were very attached to me and I had to leave them with a babysitter without knowing her. I trusted her because she was certified but my children cried every day when I left them and picked them up. That situation broke my heart, when I was at school tears came out of my eyes. It was hard to concentrate at School. Fortunately, I found a babysitter that I knew and trusted. I felt confident to leave my children with her. When I felt that my children were safe, that motivated me to continue with my goals. Despite all the obstacles, I managed to get my High School diploma (GED), enroll in College and pass the U.S. citizenship test.

Every time I accomplished a goal I felt that I was capable of doing more and my decisions were so important, that it was worth it working on myself.

Afterwards I was in different leadership trainings and I took advantage of all the opportunities that were presented to me to support the community and develop my leadership.

Thanks to all that growth, I am now fulfilling the mission of Mujeres en Acción because I am financially self-sufficient with a living wage and I am a leader in my community. Mujeres en Acción inspired me to continue supporting more women like me who have the concern to do something different for themselves and their families, now I am part of the Mujeres en Acción team!

Escuché sobre Mujeres en Acción, y fue interesante saber que solo había mujeres en este grupo. El primer año fue muy confuso, aunque disfrutaba asistir a las reuniones en persona, era algo diferente para mí y me gustaba escuchar a otras mujeres que hablaban sobre sus metas, obtener su diploma o tomar clases de inglés. Quería ser como ellos, pero no sabía cómo hacerlo ni por dónde empezar. Tenía mucho miedo de hablar en público, me sentía tonta cuando daba mi opinión y pensaba que no encajaba en ese grupo donde tantas mujeres aprenden a seguir sus sueños y metas. Era un mundo totalmente diferente que no existía para mí, mi mundo era solo trabajar y ser ama de casa.

Seguí adelante porque había algo que me llamó la atención, admiraba a la coordinadora, la señora María Elena Manzo, con sus contactos sabía conectarnos con talleres informativos. Todo esto me causó mucho miedo porque era algo totalmente diferente a lo que había hecho hasta ese momento, nunca había tenido metas, consideraba que no era importante que aprendiera a hablar inglés. Solo creía que la mujer estaba destinada a casarse, a tener hijos, a obedecer y escuchar a su marido, pero me he dado cuenta de que no es así.

Al observar la lucha de las mujeres por avanzar, quería ser como ellas. Las conversaciones que tuve con María Elena fueron confusas y un mundo totalmente diferente. Era una mujer con metas, logros y sueños. Esto era algo que no existía en mi mundo, ella es una mujer luchadora y emprendedora, pero entendí que “querer es poder”. Puedo emprender, seguir mis metas, sueños, soy yo quien tiene que hacer esos cambios, y tengo que trabajar por esas metas. Ahora, he aprendido que todos tenemos cualidades y talentos, solo necesito concentrarme en mí. Esta vida está llena de oportunidades, solo necesito relacionarme con personas que quieran superarse. Estoy muy feliz de ser parte del grupo Mujeres en Acción, y por el apoyo, comprensión y compromiso con este grupo, Me han dado la oportunidad de trabajar como Trabajadora de Salud Comunitaria para el Condado de Monterey. Gracias a Mujeres en Acción, ahora soy una mujer emprendedora y económicamente autosuficiente, y tengo un ingreso que me ayuda a cubrir los gastos de la casa.

He aprendido a valorarme, a identificar mis virtudes ya saber quién soy. Hoy tengo la oportunidad de motivar a otras mujeres, sentirse identificadas conmigo y decirles: “tú puedes”. Ahora puedo motivar a mis hijos, ayudarlos y motivarlos a seguir creciendo, continuar su educación y hacerles saber que tienen el poder de lograr cualquier cosa en la vida; Eso lo aprendí de Mujeres en Acción.

Mi nombre es Celsa Ortega, soy madre de cuatro niños, llegué a este país en Enero del 2006. Soy oaxaqueña de un pueblito llamado San Luis Morelia, y en este país tuve a tres de mis niños. Soy trabajadora del campo. Cuando tuve a mi tercera niña no trabajé, me dediqué a estar al pendiente de la educación de mis niños, y empecé a asistir a todas las juntas de la escuela.

Un día llegó una persona buscando mujeres para un programa piloto que se llamaba Mujeres en Acción, me pareció muy importante, pensé que quizás me pudieran dar más información de cómo llevar el estrés y de como puedo dar mejor educación para mis niños. Empecé a participar en el grupo de Mujeres en Acción y me di cuenta de que ofrecían mucha más información. El grupo empezó a llevar información que la comunidad ofrece de cómo registrarse para el colegio. Pensé que podía asistir a la escuela para sacar el GED, cómo llegar a ser independiente y como podría iniciar mi propio negocio. Comencé por sacar mi GED pero no lo pude lograr ya que tengo cuatro niños y trabajo. No lo pude lograr pero tomé clases de computación, logré tres niveles y fue muy importante para mi.

Este programa me dio mucha información, para poder lograr mis metas. Las mujeres que pertenecían a mi grupo fueron muy importantes en mi vida, cada una de ellas aportó para mejorar mi vida. Empecé a tener confianza en mí misma, a valorar mucho más a mi familia y respetar mi comunidad. Mi comunidad empezó a formar parte de mi familia. Actualmente, puedo lograr expresarme en público, y formo parte del comité directivo del Plan de Alisal. Todo lo que estoy haciendo es porque quiero que mis niños, mientras están madurando hagan lo que yo hago, aprendan a valorar a cada persona que se encuentran en su camino, y en su momento sabrán el porqué y para qué. Ahora sé cómo dirigirlos cuando lleguen al colegio y a la universidad.

En el 2018 comencé a estudiar para comenzar mi negocio y en el 2019 lo logré. Actualmente soy dueña de un negocio en la agricultura orgánica y implemente todo lo que aprendí en el grupo. Al principio fue muy difícil, pero asistí a varios talleres para ser una empresaria con mucho éxito. Ahora, estoy trabajando con varias organizaciones para crear proyectos que beneficien a personas de la comunidad y a dueñas agricultoras como yo para fortalecer nuestros negocios.

He encontrado muchas personas que han aportado en mi desarrollo, no se donde termina todo este maravilloso viaje, pero lo único que sé es que me siento muy afortunada de estar en un grupo como lo es MUJERES EN ACCIÓN. Mujeres, sembró una semilla en mí y confío en mí. Me mostró lo importante que es participar en cualquier evento para beneficio mío y de la comunidad y que a pesar de tanto tiempo que ha pasado mi grupo de Mujeres las veo y sé que siguen siendo mi soporte y mi fuerza. Es una dicha volver a ver a mis compañeras y estoy conociendo más personas extraordinarias que me han ayudado en el camino como la SEÑORA MARIA ELENA MANZO que es una excelente persona que confía en nosotras y cada abrazo es un regalo de confianza fortaleza, fe, esperanza y la fuerza de enfrentar lo más difícil.


¡Gracias MUJERES en ACCIÓN

Hola mi nombre es Alma Oliveros. Tengo 26 años y soy madre soltera de una niña de 7 años. Comencé mi viaje con Mujeres en Acción en 2015, tenía unos 19 años y mi hija solo tenía un par de meses. Antes de empezar a ser parte de Mujeres, no estaba en un buen lugar en la vida. Era inseguro, tímido y carecía de confianza en mí mismo. Creí que todas las puertas se me estaban cerrando ya que acababa de graduarme de la escuela secundaria y comencé a trabajar en el campo. La cultura de mi escuela me había enseñado que si no tenía un diploma universitario sería un don nadie. Pensé para mis adentros que esto es todo lo que podía hacer en mis circunstancias, ya que mis padres también trabajaban en el campo, viviría de cheque en cheque. Pronto me uní a Mujeres en Acción, escuchar historias de otras mujeres con obstáculos similares me inspiró a cambiar mi forma de pensar. El grupo Mujeres en Acción me dio la oportunidad de empezar la escuela para convertirme en asistente médico, ayudaron a pagar el cuidado de los niños hasta que terminé la escuela. Pronto, me convertí en asistente médico y trabajé para el Departamento de Salud del Condado de Monterey durante 4 años. Tuve la oportunidad de comprar un auto nuevo, y esto fue enorme para mí ya que ahora tengo un transporte confiable. Más adelante en el camino, una vez más tuve la increíble oportunidad de trabajar como Coordinador de CHW para el proyecto VIDA. Realmente creía que nadie habría pensado en mí para este puesto porque no tenía el título para demostrar que estaba listo; sin embargo, me capacité en el trabajo, tuve el apoyo de Mujeres en Acción que creyó en mí y tuve la disposición de aprender. Siempre estaré agradecida con Mujeres en Acción, no sería quien soy ni donde estoy hoy sin su apoyo. Pasé de estar en el estado más vulnerable de mi vida a sentirme realizada y con muchas ganas de seguir creciendo. Ahora puedo hablar en público, he desarrollado habilidades de liderazgo, puedo facilitar reuniones y me siento física y mentalmente más saludable. Veo un futuro mejor para mí y mi familia. ¡Incluso estoy pensando en comprar una casa en el futuro y eso ni siquiera estaba en mis sueños antes!

When I got invited to join Mujeres en Acción, I was in need of a change in my life and I decided to be part of the group in 2015.

I started attending once a week in a group of about 15 women, all with the need to be part of the group and learn new things. I enjoyed participating in the group and little by little I was working on my fears, insecurities and my goals on which I focused because I had the support of Mujeres en Acción. I faced challenges, such as not knowing how to ask when I needed something, such as information at School and information on how to get the GED.

Another obstacle that I have to face was my own limiting thoughts and frustrations. In the group, I felt listened to and respected, my colleagues always supported me and lifted my spirits. The most difficult obstacle that I had to face was when I had to look for childcare because my children were very attached to me and I had to leave them with a babysitter without knowing her. I trusted her because she was certified but my children cried every day when I left them and picked them up. That situation broke my heart, when I was at school tears came out of my eyes. It was hard to concentrate at School. Fortunately, I found a babysitter that I knew and trusted. I felt confident to leave my children with her. When I felt that my children were safe, that motivated me to continue with my goals. Despite all the obstacles, I managed to get my High School diploma (GED), enroll in College and pass the U.S. citizenship test.

Every time I accomplished a goal I felt that I was capable of doing more and my decisions were so important, that it was worth it working on myself.

Afterwards I was in different leadership trainings and I took advantage of all the opportunities that were presented to me to support the community and develop my leadership.

Thanks to all that growth, I am now fulfilling the mission of Mujeres en Acción because I am financially self-sufficient with a living wage and I am a leader in my community. Mujeres en Acción inspired me to continue supporting more women like me who have the concern to do something different for themselves and their families, now I am part of the Mujeres en Acción team!

Maricela’s Story
I heard about Mujeres en Acción, and it was interesting to know that there were only women in this group. The first year, it was very confusing, even though I enjoyed attending the meetings in person, it was something different for me, and I liked to listen to other women that talked about their goals, getting their diploma, or taking English classes. I wanted to be like them, but I didn’t know how to do it or where to start. I was very afraid to speak in public, I felt silly when I gave my opinion, and I thought I didn’t fit into that group where so many women learn to follow their dreams and goals. It was a totally different world that did not exist for me, my world was just work and being a housewife.

I kept going because there was something that got my attention, I admired the coordinator, Mrs. Maria Elena Manzo, with her connections she knew how to connect us with informative workshops. All this caused me a lot of fear because it was something totally different from what I had done up to that moment, I had never had goals, I considered that it was not important that I learn to speak English. I only believed that women were meant to get married, to have children, obey and listen to their husband, but I have realized that this is not the case.

When looking at the womens’ struggle to move forward, I wanted to be like them. The conversations that I had with Maria Elena were confusing and a totally different world. She was a woman with goals, achievements, and dreams. This was something that did not exist in my world, she is a fighter and entrepreneur woman, but I understood that “willing is power.” I can undertake, follow my goals, dreams, I’m the one who has to make those changes, and I have to work for those goals. Now, I have learned that we all have qualities and talents, I just need to focus on myself. This life is full of opportunities, I just need to interact with people who want to exceed themselves. I’m so happy to be part of the Mujeres en Acción group, and for the support, understanding, and commitment to this group, I have been given the opportunity to work as a Community Health Worker for Monterey County. Thanks to Mujeres en Acción, I am now a financially self-sufficient woman and entrepreneur, and I have an income that helps me cover home expenses.

I have learned self-worth, to identify my virtues, and to know who I am. Today, I have the opportunity to motivate other women, feel identified with me and say to them: “you can do it”. Now, I can motivate my children, help them and motivate them to continue growing-up, continue their education, and let them know that they have the power to achieve anything in life; I learned that from Mujeres en Acción.
Celsa’s Story
My name is Celsa Ortega, I am a mother of four children, I came to this country in January 2006. I am from Oaxaca a small town called San Luis Morelia, and here in this country, I had three of my children. I’m a farm worker. When I had my third child I did not work, I dedicated myself to my children’s education, and I began to attend all the school board meetings. One day, a person came looking for women to join a pilot program called Mujeres en Acción, and it appeared interesting. I thought that perhaps they could give me some information on how to deal with stress, and how I can provide a better education for my children. I started to participate in the Mujeres en Acción group and realized that it offered much more information. The group provided information about the community resources on how to register for school. I thought that I could go to school to get my GED, how I could become independent, and how I would start my own business. Starting by getting my GED, but I couldn't do it as I have four children and a job. I couldn't do it; however, I took computer classes and managed to complete three levels, which were very important to me. This program provided me with all the information, and I know that at some point I will have to achieve it because I know that it is possible. Thanks to this program, I began to be a positive person, and I have goals that I can achieve with effort. The women who were part of my group were very important in my life, and each of them contributed to improving my life: I began to have self-confidence, value my family much more, and respect my community. My community became part of my family. Currently, I am able to express myself in public, and I’m part of the Alisal Vibrancy Plan. Everything I’m doing is for my children, I want them to do what I do, as they grow up and mature, to value and learn from each person they encounter in their lives, and later down the road, they will figure out why this was important. Now, I know how to guide my children when they go to college and university. In 2008 I began studying so I could start my own business and in 2019 I achieved my goal. I currently own a business in organic farming and I put into practice everything I learned in the group. At first, it was very difficult, but I attended several workshops to be a very successful businesswoman. Now, I am working with several organizations to create projects that benefit people in the community and farmer-owners like me to strengthen our businesses. I have found many people who have contributed to my development. I don't know where this wonderful journey ends, but all I know is that I feel very fortunate to be in a group like MUJERES EN ACCION. Mujeres planted a seed in me and thanks to that I feel more confident. Mujeres taught me how important it is to participate in any event for my benefit and also for the benefit of my community. Despite the time that has transcurred I see them and I know that they continue to be my support and my strength. It is a joy to see my colleagues again and I am meeting more extraordinary people who have helped me along the way like MRS. MARIA ELENA MANZO who is an excellent person who trusts us and each hug is a gift of trust, strength, faith, and hope. and the strength to face the most difficult obstacles. ¡Gracias MUJERES en ACCIÓN
Alma’s Story
Hello my name is Alma Oliveros. I'm 26 years old, and I am a single mother of a 7-year-old daughter. I started my journey with Mujeres en Accion in 2015, so I was about 19 years old, and my daughter was only a couple months old. Before starting to be a part of Mujeres, I was not in a good place in life. I was insecure, shy, and lacked self-confidence. I believed all the doors were closing on me as I had just graduated from High School and started to work in the fields. My school culture had taught me that if I did not have a university diploma I would be a nobody. I thought to myself that this is all I could do in my circumstances as my parents worked in fields as well, I would live from paycheck to paycheck. I soon joined Mujeres en Acción, hearing stories from other women with similar obstacles inspired me to change my mindset. The Mujeres en Acción group gave me the opportunity to start school to become a medical assistant, they helped pay for child care until I was done with school. Soon, I became a medical assistant and worked for the Monterey County Health Department for 4 years. I had the opportunity to buy a new car, and this was huge for me as I have reliable transportation now. Later down the road, I was once again given an amazing opportunity to work as a CHW Coordinator for the VIDA project. I truly believed no one would have thought of me for this position because I did not have the degree to prove I was ready; however, I got trained on the job, and I had support from Mujeres en Acción that believed in me, and I had the willingness to learn. I will forever be grateful to Mujeres en Acción, I would not be who I am or where I am today without their support. I went from being in the most vulnerable state in my life to feeling accomplished and looking forward to keep growing. Now, I am able to speak in public, I have developed leadership skills, I am able to facilitate meetings, and I feel physically and mentally healthier. I see a brighter future for myself and my family. I'm even looking into buying a home in the future and that was not even in my dreams before!
Maria’s Story
When I got invited to join Mujeres en Acción, I was in need of a change in my life and I decided to be part of the group in 2015.

I started attending once a week in a group of about 15 women, all with the need to be part of the group and learn new things. I enjoyed participating in the group and little by little I was working on my fears, insecurities and my goals on which I focused because I had the support of Mujeres en Acción. I faced challenges, such as not knowing how to ask when I needed something, such as information at School and information on how to get the GED.

Another obstacle that I have to face was my own limiting thoughts and frustrations. In the group, I felt listened to and respected, my colleagues always supported me and lifted my spirits. The most difficult obstacle that I had to face was when I had to look for childcare because my children were very attached to me and I had to leave them with a babysitter without knowing her. I trusted her because she was certified but my children cried every day when I left them and picked them up. That situation broke my heart, when I was at school tears came out of my eyes. It was hard to concentrate at School. Fortunately, I found a babysitter that I knew and trusted. I felt confident to leave my children with her. When I felt that my children were safe, that motivated me to continue with my goals. Despite all the obstacles, I managed to get my High School diploma (GED), enroll in College and pass the U.S. citizenship test.

Every time I accomplished a goal I felt that I was capable of doing more and my decisions were so important, that it was worth it working on myself.

Afterwards I was in different leadership trainings and I took advantage of all the opportunities that were presented to me to support the community and develop my leadership.

Thanks to all that growth, I am now fulfilling the mission of Mujeres en Acción because I am financially self-sufficient with a living wage and I am a leader in my community. Mujeres en Acción inspired me to continue supporting more women like me who have the concern to do something different for themselves and their families, now I am part of the Mujeres en Acción team!
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Maricela’s Story
I heard about Mujeres en Acción, and I was interested to know that there were only women in this group. The first year was very confusing, even though I enjoyed attending the meetings in person it was something new. I listen to other women that talked about their goals, how they got their diploma or taking English classes. I wanted to be like them, but I didn’t know how to do it or where to start. I was very afraid to speak in public, I felt very silly when I gave my opinion. I thought I didn’t fit into that group where so many women learn to follow their dreams and goals. My world was only working and being a housewife. All this caused me great fear because it was something totally new for me. I had never had goals. I believed that women were meant to marry, have children, obey and listen to their husbands. Today I realized that this was not the case. The conversations that I had with Maria Elena seemed like totally different worlds. She was a woman of goals, achievements and dreams. This was something that did not exist in my world, she being such a fighter and a woman that takes risks, but I understood that “willing is power”. I can also follow my goals and dreams. I’m so glad to be part of Mujeres en Accion, and for the support, understanding, and commitment to this group. I have been allowed to work as a Monterey County Community Health Worker. Thanks to that, I am now an economically self-sufficient and enterprising woman where I have a decent income to cover the expenses in my home. I have learned self-worth, to recognize my talents and to know who I am. Today, I facilitate Mujeres Support groups and I have the opportunity to motivate other women that feel identified with me and say to them: “you can do it”.
Celsa’s Story
My name is Celsa Ortega, I am a mother of four children. I arrived in this country in January 2006. I’m from Oaxaca, and I’m a farmer worker. When my third daughter was born, I didn’t work. I dedicated myself to take care of my children’s education. One day a person came looking for women for a pilot program called Mujeres en Acción. I thought maybe they could give me more information on how I can provide a better education for my children. I began participating in the group.

I began to have confidence in myself, to value my family much more and respect my community: Currently, I am able to express myself in public, and I’m part of the steering committee of the Alisal Plan. Everything I’m doing is for my children. Now, I know how to direct them when they arrive at college and university. Thanks to this program, in 2008 I began studying to start my business and in 2019 I succeeded. I currently own a business in organic farming and implement everything I learned in the group. At first it was very difficult, but I attended several workshops to be a very successful businesswoman. Now, I’m working with several organizations to create projects that benefit people in the community and farmer owners like me to strengthen our businesses. I feel very lucky to be in a group like MUJERES EN ACCION. Ladies, you planted a seed in me and trusted in me. Mujeres showed me how important it is to participate in any event for the benefit of myself and the community. I am meeting more extraordinary people who have helped me along the way, such as MRS. MARIA ELENA MANZO, who is an excellent person who trusts us and each hug is a gift of confidence, strength, faith, hope and the strength to face the most difficult things.

¡Gracias MUJERES en ACCIÓN!
Alma’s Story
My name is Alma Oliveros. I'm 26 years old, and I am a single mother of a 7-year-old daughter. I joined Mujeres en Accion in 2015, so I was about 19 years old, and my daughter was only a couple months old. Before I was insecure, shy, and lacked self-confidence. I believed all the doors were closing on me as I had just graduated from High School and started to work in the fields. My school had taught me that if I did not have a university diploma I would be a nobody. I thought that this is all I could do in my circumstances as my parents worked in fields as well, I would live from paycheck to paycheck. I joined Mujeres en Acción, hearing stories from other women with similar obstacles inspired me to change my mindset. The group gave me the opportunity to start school to become a medical assistant, they helped pay for child care until I was done with school. I became a medical assistant and worked for the Monterey County Health Department. Later down the road, I was once again given an amazing opportunity to work as a CHW Coordinator for the VIDA project. I got trained on the job, and I had support from Mujeres en Acción that believed in me, and the willingness to learn. I will forever be grateful to Mujeres en Acción, I would not be who I am or where I am today without their support. I went from being in the most vulnerable state in my life to feeling accomplished and looking forward to keep growing. Now, I am able to speak in public, I have developed leadership skills, I am able to facilitate meetings, and I feel physically and mentally healthier. I see a brighter future for myself and my family. I'm even looking into buying a home in the future and that was not even in my dreams before!
Maria’s Story
When I got invited to join Mujeres en Acción, I was in need of a change in my life and I decided to be part of the group in 2015. I started attending once a week in a group of 15 women, all with the need to be part of the group and learn new things. I enjoyed participating in the group and little by little I was working on my fears, insecurities and my goals. I faced challenges, such as not knowing how to ask when I needed something, such as information at School and information on how to get the GED. Another obstacle that I faced was my own limiting thoughts and frustrations. In the group, I felt listened to and respected, my colleagues always supported me and lifted my spirits. The most difficult obstacle that I faced was when I had to look for childcare because my children were very attached to me and I had to leave them with a babysitter without knowing her. I trusted her because she was certified but my children cried every day when I left them and picked them up. That situation broke my heart, it was hard to concentrate at School. Fortunately, I found a babysitter that I knew and trusted. When I felt that my children were safe, that motivated me to continue with my goals. Despite all the obstacles, I managed to get my High School diploma (GED), enroll in College and pass the U.S. citizenship test. Thanks to all that growth, I am now fulfilling the mission of Mujeres en Acción because I am financially self-sufficient with a living wage and I am a leader in my community. Mujeres en Acción inspired me to continue supporting more women like me who have the concern to do something different for themselves and their families, now I am part of the Mujeres en Acción team!
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