Puentes Executive Director, Angela Ramirez, debuts in a video discussing Hispanic Heritage Month. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage month with Puentes at Tia Maria's Kitchen on October 12th!
PUENTES NEW ORLEANS
Bridging Economic, Racial, and Cultural Divides
PUENTES NEW ORLEANS
BRIDGING ECONOMIC, RACIAL, AND CULTURAL DIVIDES
Why build walls when you can build bridges instead?
Puentes is a Spanish word meaning “bridges.” Since 2007, Puentes has been building bridges connecting Latin American immigrants and their children to the greater New Orleans community. Our work is dedicated to overcoming economic, racial, and cultural divides and to providing Latin American youth with the resources, knowledge and hands-on opportunities they need to thrive.
Escalera is a national program that promotes economic mobility for Latinx youth through education and strategic career planning. We support students on a personal and academic level, helping them with career paths, college, and leadership development.
L.U.N.A. (Latinx Unidos de Nueva Orleans en Acción) is a grassroots youth coalition focusing on advocacy in civic engagement, organizing, and coalition building. We aim to build a community of Latinx artists and activists, inviting our youth to come together and share their experiences.
Puentes aims to provide our youth with knowledge and resources to build bridges to better futures for themselves and their communities.
Our youth lead at Puentes, as such, their experiences are central to our mission. These are their experiences:
“Puentes is a place of activism and expression. A place where you can set your own path or represent the path of others. This organization embraces all emotions and different opinions; we think diversity is a gift and should be shared. We learn that thinking with our heart is as good as thinking with our minds, that the only limit is your own and you get to decide how far your voice will reach and what impact it will have. It is a place where your voice is heard, and where everyone involved matters - it makes you feel like a part of something.”
-Boris Alarcon, 18
Escalera graduate, LUNA Member
YOUTH ADVOCACY TESTIMONIES
“Every time I talk about my story and the challenges I went through as a young Latinx immigrant, I highlight how lucky I was to find Puentes. This organization has had a huge in pact on my identity, my education, and my sense of expression through art. I moved to the U.S when I was fifteen years old, I did not know a word in English or how to navigate the new me, a Latinx immigrant. I often felt as if I did not belong to this new life of mine because of who I was. I was sometimes ashamed of my citizenship status, of my color, of my accent, and many other things that come with being an immigrant. It was difficult for me to find the value that exists in who I am and my story, and I do not think I could have ever done it if it would have been for the support, love, and inspiration I found in the community Puentes has brought together through their programs.”
-Rebeca Sauly Santa Maria, 22
Escalera Graduate, LUNA Member