‘Vamos echarle ganas y seguir adelante’ (Let’s give it all we’ve got and keep moving forward) are the words that embody the attitudes of the Texas Latina Advocacy Network organizing for reproductive justice in the Rio Grande Valley, TX. Their momentum cannot be deterred, despite the many challenges faced while trying to bring about change in the communities of “the Valley.”
In August, my colleague, Liza, and I visited the Valley. From being a guest at a radio station to attending a community meeting under the shade of a trailer, I witnessed their work and saw how it transcends through the hearts and minds of the women and children they educate and empower on a daily basis. Their community organizing efforts combine aspects of direct interaction with women on the ground to advocacy efforts. Their advocacy efforts extend from getting transportation services to the colonias to getting more funding for promotoras in The Valley, both being crucial to achieving reproductive justice.
Working in communities that that most people do not even know exist, says a lot in and of itself, but with the efforts and passion of the activists in the Valley, I have no doubt that this will soon change and their voices and needs will be heard and met.