Every One. All Ways.
Abriendo Caminos (Finding our Path), builds on decades of work to move us toward the goal of being one community.
Abriendo Caminos serves as a bridge between the Latino population and the larger West Marin community through thoughtful engagement. We aim to empower the Latino community while addressing the cultural divide and working toward the goal of being one community. By becoming one community we can progress towards a more beautiful, diverse, and equitable West Marin.
For over 35 years, dedicated agencies and individuals have accomplished much in bringing the local Latino population, often isolated on rural ranches, out of the shadows.
The bridges built through these efforts, as well as the collaboration and respect on all sides, resulted in Abriendo Caminos, a model program which has expanded to include the West Marin areas of Point Reyes, Tomales, Bolinas, and the San Geronimo Valley.
- To collaborate with the Latino community in order to provide opportunities for leadership and engagement
- Support our Latino neighbors to vocalize their needs and concerns and find solutions
- Allow the cultures from our minoritized communities to be shared freely in efforts to immerse themselves with the larger West Marin
- Commit to a bilingual way of sharing and receiving information in order to be inclusive to all
An important first step, empowerment trainings, imbues the Latino participants with a strong sense of self-respect, a realization of the courage it takes to emigrate, and a deeper connection to each other’s experiences. Through events where community members share food and culture, participants unanimously support the sentiment of Abriendo Caminos.
Latino focus groups identified key issues of labor rights, housing, education, cultural events, and immigration. Additional events and trainings have been held in these areas, with a particular focus on immigration since 2016.
Working with the heartfelt support of our whole community including West Marin Climate Action, Canal Alliance, and others, we are sponsoring “Know Your Rights” events, developing a Rapid Response Team, offering meetings with immigration attorneys, and helping to cope with stress and fear.
While continuing these trainings, the next step for this program will be to create a space for community-wide conversations to identify what systems and cultural aspects we can shift together. We can change the perception of who we are and find pathways to promote equity and mutual respect.