Founded in 2009, Enterprising Latinas set out to promote economic mobility among women to enable them to achieve their personal goals and aspirations, to teach skills and offer tools that lead to greater prosperity, and transform community challenges into new economic opportunities in places like Wimauma.
We know that we are realizing our mission every day when we see our members articulating their own vision of success and taking real steps to accomplish them. Women like Carmen Galarza, a mom of five that has lived in Wimauma all her life. Her parents migrated to the U.S. from Mexico to work in the fields of Wimauma and all around the country where crops grow. She was a farmworker and like many of her peers, a bridge between her parents and the rest of the world.
Carmen had dreams of her own that kept getting thwarted by too many circumstances in her life. But Carmen didn’t give up. While working in school lunchrooms to support her family, she taught herself how to bake cakes and decorate them too. She started selling her cakes one by one to make extra money. Carmen’s cakes are beautiful and so tasty and now with the coaching, training and support that she is receiving at Enterprising Latinas, Carmen knows that her cakes can be her bridge to prosperity. “I can see it now” she says, as she reflects on her goals and her potential. “I can see it!”
Carmen isn’t the only enterprising Latina in Wimauma. Like her, there are hundreds of women that are working every day to realize their goal of greater economic security and prosperity. As a result, Enterprising Latinas established the Wimauma Opportunity Center and in the last two years have helped over 280 mothers achieve personal and family goals for economic prosperity and convened over 2,000 residents through cultural and educational events and activities that are building community spirit and pride. We’ve trained over 140 women in workforce careers including health, food service management, childcare, and more. We created a community-based Wi-Fi network that is providing free internet service to businesses and neighbors along a stretch of State Road 674 and in 2020 expanded the network to serve 450 households. We are also helping to establish new businesses and bringing new service partners to the area, and so much more. These efforts boost local business and job growth in the community, allowing women to pursue their personal and economic goals.
Learn more about Enterprising Latinas on the website here.