A Pause to Heal and Reconnect!
By Claudia Arroyo

What happens when we break out of the routine? What happens when we open our minds and connect with ourselves? What happens when a group of Latina women find each other, come together and open up to new possibilities? Inspired by these questions, the participants from our CRECE program (an incubator program supporting the growth of cooperative businesses) ventured to have their first annual retreat. With the support of The San Francisco Foundation the women took charge of the visualization, logistics and facilitation of this incredible first experience.

“Participating in Crece’s first ever retreat, with well-known colleagues and new ones, was a great reminder of a sense of belonging, admiration and pride for all the women around me. The retreat meant furthering my relationship with myself and growing my compassion and empathy for blood and chosen family alike. This retreat marks the beginning of strong relationships between us for a better and fairer future, accepting and learning from the past”. Ana Castano.

At this retreat, eleven fabulous women came with a commitment to honor the moment, take care of themselves and be open to unlearning. They created a sacred space of coexistence in the lush forest of Santa Cruz and they opened their minds to a journey of self-discovery, self-care, connect with one another and embrace everything that comes along when one fully disconnects.

“Patriarchal history and many absurd norms of society have made us believe that many of us still have invisible chains that limit us in thoughts, words and actions but a retreat like the one we had removes centuries of oppression and paralyzing fears. I know that I need to incorporate many things toward my personal development but knowing that we are a group of women that motivate each other to collectively continue to support our personal and professional growth encourages me to further this life project of sustainability with other women“. Jenny Conejo

I was taken aback by the coaching skills shared and the reflection of the ecological system. It’s important to me, since it will help me establish better personal and professional relationships. Better communication with my colleagues is key for the success of our cooperative business“. Brisia Rodriguez.

The crossroads these groups of women encounter on their daily routine helped us creates a magical and sacred space. Loudly, the women firmly confirmed that being “Prosperadora” entails:

Keep the company and at the same time be each other’s company!
Fight for your dreams, while paving the way for other women’s dreams!
Raise your voice and listen to each other’s voices!
Recognize and reconnect to your power in order to create collective power through cooperation!

We had the courage to challenge the status quo to “never stop to think” and in doing so, new perspectives, reflection and connections between all of these great human beings emerged!

Thanks for being Prospera!
We are all Prospera!

Check out this video to experience the magic of the retreat 
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