Two new faces at Prospera
Prospera has had a wonderful start to 2015, and we have two people to thank in particular. Claudia Arroyo and Maria Rogers Pascual joined Prospera’s staff in January, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them! Here’s a little bit about these two extraordinary women who are expanding our work in new and innovative ways.
Why did you join Prospera?
Maria: I joined Prospera because I want to be part of making the organization’s vision a reality. I truly believe that investing in Latina leaders will result not only in the health and well being of their families and communities but also in all communities. Supporting women to launch and grow their own worker-owned co-ops is a powerful way to achieve this vision.
Claudia: I joined because I believe in the power of Latina women and I see how the mission and vision of Prospera recognizes this power. I really respect the resiliency of the mujeres who face tremendous challenges and do not give up. Developing a partnership with these types of women impacts not only the life of the participants but creates a ripple effect in their families, friends, relatives, neighborhoods and their whole community!
What is your background and what experiences do you bring?
Claudia: I have many hats but being a woman, Mexican, Latina, poor, and an immigrant are strong marks that permanently impact who I am and how I see life. I bring love and respect to other Latina women like me. I bring my passion to generate social change through democratic practices like popular education and theater of the oppressed. I bring 15 years of community work. I bring empathy and cultural competency since I have certainly been there!
Maria: I grew up in a bilingual and bicultural family. I grew up in Cuernavaca, Mexico and Austin, Texas and spent much of my young adulthood in South America. I bring a deep connection with the Latino community and also an appreciation for the many ways that immigrants contribute to the vibrancy of this country. I’ve dedicated a great part of my professional life building leadership capacity in low-income immigrant communities as a researcher, a non-profit director, an organizational development consultant, trainer and coach. I’m also bringing over 2 years of direct experience with worker owners from Prospera and other cooperatives in the Bay Area.
What is a fun fact about you?
Claudia: Tengo la energía de 10 tazas de café pero sin café!!!
Maria: I love to do collage and mosaic murals
What is one of your favorite quotes?
Maria: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” ― Maryanne Williamson
Claudia: “Seamos Realistas y hagamos lo imposible” ― Ernesto Che Guevara
What are you looking forward to most at Prospera?
Claudia: I’m looking forward to partnering with “mujeronas,” amazing women, who are awaiting opportunities to succeed and generate change for themselves and their communities!
Maria: The many unexpected ways that Latina owned coops impact our communities. For me, this work is about catalyzing the amazing power that low-income Latina leaders and their communities already have. Our new programs are tapping all the strength, the creativity, the wisdom, the compassion… that comes from a lifetime of living on the very edge of livelihood. I am looking forward to our next training because I know that their words will once again inspire me and give me fuel for the next cohort and the next.
What message do you have for the Prospera community?
Maria: Thank you for believing in the possibilities of this work. Your contribution makes a difference!
Claudia: Individual change is important and brings happiness to one person and maybe some people who surround that person… Social change is essential if we want to survive as a human species! Dare to BE and join the Prospera Community!!!
To learn more about Maria and Claudia, please visit our staff page.