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At the end of 2023, VAMOS! said goodbye to Sara Dywer, a Social Work intern from the University of Alabama who had spent the previous 3 months working with VAMOS!  Sarah is a fluent Spanish speaker and we asked her to complete a survey of our women, asking them about the quality of services that VAMOS! provides and to compile her findings in a report. You can read parts of her report in OUR IMPACT.  Below are her reflections on the time she spent with VAMOS!


          My first few days in Mexico consisted of learning about VAMOS! and how it works by going to the different community centers, meeting the staff, women, and children, and just observing. I remember vividly one of my first visits to Calera Chica, one of the larger centers, and I was struck by what I was seeing. More than just a group of people from the same neighborhood, the women and children in the center were interacting as a loving family. This was evident to me my first few days with VAMOS!, and as I began to individually interview the women in each center and interact with the staff and children, I learned more about this VAMOS! family and grew a deep admiration for this organization and what it does to help so many people.

            In each center I went to, I got to know the people of VAMOS! and hear their stories. Many of these women and their families have endured, or are enduring, experiences that no one should ever have to. Yet, in talking to the women, I always heard more positivity than negativity and more gratitude than complaining. Some gifted me things they had made, like a crochet Frida Kahlo doll, or invited me to visit their home and eat dinner with their family. Each day my admiration and respect for these women, as well as what VAMOS! does for them and their families, grew. So many women shared with me how therapy with the VAMOS! psychologist has saved them from the depression and anxiety they felt before. Or how the loan program has helped them to be more independent and provide for their family. Or how they view VAMOS! as a second home and another family. When I asked each woman if they had anything they’d like to share with the administration of VAMOS!, complaints, questions, things like that, the majority shared that they only wanted to convey their gratitude for what VAMOS! has done for them.

          For so many of the people who come to VAMOS!, it serves as a lifeline and a connection to resources they desperately need, but are hard to find. By the end of my time with VAMOS!, I gained more hope for the future. When you’re aware of all the suffering in the world and aware that there’s even more you don’t know about, it can be easy to feel that things will never change or that no change will ever be big enough or important enough. VAMOS! taught me that change is possible, and it is happening every day in these centers. VAMOS! is changing the lives of individuals, families, and the communities they live in. Their impact will continue to affect the next generations and greater communities because they are empowering the women and children who come to these centers with the resources they provide. Working with VAMOS!, I saw and learned more about real generosity, gratitude, kindness, and love than I’d ever experienced before. The world is a better place because VAMOS! is in it, and I feel privileged to have been a part of something so good through and through.



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