Historias y Noticias


nov. 30, 2023

Where Do Changemakers Come From?

Claudia was still in utero when her mom escaped from an abusive relationship. Having recently immigrated from El Salvador, Claudia’s mom spoke little to no English. Unemployed and suddenly homeless, she became the sole provider for herself, her one-year-old son, and her unborn daughter.

Claudia’s mom was at an increased risk for complications if she didn’t get access to prenatal care quickly. Through La Clínica del Pueblo, Claudia’s mom received the high-quality prenatal and, later, pediatric care that she and her family needed and the support to access housing at a domestic violence shelter.

From there, Claudia’s mom got a job cleaning at La Clínica’s offices, and their family was able to move into an apartment, where they began putting down roots in the U.S.

Today, Claudia Guevera is the Health Center Manager at La Clínica’s Hyattsville, Maryland location, where she oversees the medical care of thousands of underserved Latinx community members facing challenges similar to those encountered by her own family.

“This is the reason I’m here” Claudia recently told us, “I came to work at La Clínica because of the ways that they supported me and my family. They were there for us when no one else was, and now I’m giving back.”

As you read this, thousands of Latine community members in the DMV area are facing challenges similar to those faced by Claudia’s family–domestic violence, joblessness, homelessness, language barriers, and a lack of access to high-quality, affordable healthcare.

Here are the facts. The Latine population in the U.S. faces significant health disparities including: a 30% higher teen suicide attempt rate; a 50% higher chance of dying from diabetes or liver disease; a higher prevalence of obesity; a higher likelihood of visiting the ER for preventable conditions like asthma; and the very highest risk of poor oral health. What’s more, Latine women are 80% more likely to receive no prenatal care.

For 40 years, La Clínica has been working with and through the local Latine community to identify needs, break down barriers, and find culturally and linguistically appropriate solutions to their unique challenges. We empower our clients to give back to their communities, and, most of all, they empower us.

We can’t sustain these critical services without our community partners and incredible supporters. Together, we’ve made significant strides in our fight to make healthcare a human right, but there’s a lot more work to be done.

Battling systemic inequity requires a multi-faceted approach that takes into account the particular cultural and linguistic differences that produce them. That means providing care that addresses the whole person and the ongoing challenges they face as Latine immigrants and community members in the U.S.

Community members like Claudia, who once received care from La Clínica, make up the majority of our workforce. They’re our reason for being, our talent pool, and the heartbeat of our organization. They motivate and inspire us to keep fighting for a better future. Washington D.C.’s next generation of Latine changemakers is making a difference.

How can support them and the tens of thousands they serve? We need partners like you for financial support, program collaborations, and to spread the word.

We are the solution. Let’s act now to create the change we know must happen.