Executive Director Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education On the first day of the Mujeres de HACE program I came in taking deep breaths and repeating to myself to be open, to smile and to relax. I’m fifty one and I have some experience under my belt so I wondered what would I learn through this process and I questioned how this would benefit me. Nonetheless, in the course of 12 weeks I was transformed. I know that being Latina in a nation with 56 million other Latinos is a powerful fact. HACE taught me how to leverage being Latina both in and out of the workplace. I learned to remember the riches that exist in me given my culture, upbringing and the legacy of women who sacrificed so much so we could be where we are and that we have a responsibility to also continue to push so that future generations could benefit as well. As Puerto Rican Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor said, “Although I grew up in very challenging and modest circumstances, I consider my life to be immeasurably rich”. Thank you HACE for showing us all how immeasurably rich we all are in being Latina. For demonstrating the treasure we have in being bicultural and bilingual. For making evident that living between two worlds is an asset and for inspiring us all to romper barreras.

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