Meet Matilde Garcia - Re:Unite Program Manager

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Matilde is from Durango, Mexico and has been in Colorado for 15 years. She started as a Re:Farm program participant in 2010. Her sister, Antonia (Toña) Garcia, who is also a Promotora, used to have a small garden in their home and was always encouraging Matilde to join her in the garden. But it wasn't until Matilde attended a cooking class with Sisters of Colorado at nearby Munroe Elementary school, that she began to realize the impact a garden could have, not only on her health, but her family's health as well. After her first year participating in the Re:Farm program, Matilde became a Promotora. Her first year was a rocky one, as one of the largest hailstorms to hit Metro-Denver wiped out the majority of family gardens in the program. The Denver Post reported on the devastation that hit 38 Re:Farm families. 

Photo Credit: Jess Elysse Kornacki,  Art of Her

Photo Credit: Jess Elysse Kornacki, Art of Her

Six years later, Matilde is the Re:Unite Program Manager

Matilde seeks out training opportunities for the Promotoras as a way to build their capacity and confidence as local leaders. To help strengthen our Re:Unite program, please consider supporting our Summer Campaign.

"When I started the garden, I knew it was because deep down I was seeking a bigger change in my life. Sure, we started eating more fruits and vegetables, but I was seeking something more holistic. The garden kick started the process for me and I can say that every single day has been a learning opportunity." 

"Access to education is the key to improving ourselves"

On average, Promotoras receive 70 hours of professional development training per year. This includes English, GED, & computer classes along with Patient Navigator and Maternal Health Trainings with Denver Health

"Our trainings help us gain self-confidence, and through that we are able to make bigger changes in the community." 

In 2017, Promotoras spent 3,366 hours visiting community members

In those visits, Promotoras put their training into practice, helping families find solutions to their problems and connecting them with resources in the community. 

"Access to education is the key to improving ourselves"

Mujeres Emprendedoras

Matilde was particularly moved by her training around entrepreneurship and economic growth, so she started Mujeres Emprendedoras Cooperative. Mujeres is a group of 10 women, who cook, cater events, and make jewelry You can find their items in the Westwood Food Co-op! 

"I started Mujeres Emprendedoras because I know what doors training opportunities have opened for me, and I want to pay it forward to the community. When I started here, I didn't speak English and I had never touched a computer. Now I know how to use to use those tools and it makes me a better professional. That knowledge is power. Those trainings gave me power to run after my dreams. I want women to be able to dream and have the tools they need to make those dreams come to fruition. Can you imagine what our community will look like when that happens? 

Yes, we can.... Si, se puede. Help us to continue developing local leaders by supporting women like Matilde through our Re:Unite program by supporting our Summer Campaign.