How Intercambio Empowers Women in the Classroom and Beyond

Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day! Intercambio is proud to welcome women from all over the world. Did you know that the Intercambio community of volunteers and students is 71% women? Each and every day women empower themselves through Intercambio, whether that’s by learning English, discovering new skills, or engaging in the community. Here are just a few of the amazing stories that have happened this year.

Rocio and her son.

When Rocio found out she was pregnant with her first child, she knew that learning English would open doors to easier communication with doctors and nurses throughout her pregnancy. She found Intercambio and eagerly started classes. When her son was born with Down Syndrome, English became more important than ever. In her two years of classes with Intercambio, she has built up the confidence to advocate for her son’s needs and find support in the community. Rocio was one of the first students to jump into online classes when COVID-19 hit, and continues to sharpen her English skills in a new way.

Tara has been a volunteer teacher with Intercambio for years. When Intercambio made the switch to online classes, she wasn’t sure if she could still teach in the new normal. With the help of our staff, Tara was able to master the technology needed to continue English lessons virtually. The skills she learned through Intercambio helped carry over into other parts of her life: “Now, I am able to resume my job of giving music lessons too, all because of what Intercambio taught me!” she said.

Iris and her son.

Iris began classes with Intercambio in 2012 and has since become a star in the local community thanks to the mentorship she found with Norma Fuentes, Intercambio’s Director of Student Services. As a cultural broker, Iris ensures the needs of her community are understood and met. She is involved with everything from her local Parents in Education chapter, to advocating for environmental measures with a local climate group, to working with Amistad Boulder to meet the needs of the Latino community in Boulder County. “I didn’t even realize I was becoming a cultural broker. I started by saying yes to Intercambio and now I am connecting our community to its resources,” she shared. She has found her calling as an advocate, and credits the Intercambio community, saying, “[Norma] has always been there for me in every way possible, not just with resources but emotionally too. All of my friends I have met through Intercambio, and I feel really lucky to be part of it.”

These are just a few of the incredible stories that happen every day. These women sought out the tools Intercambio provides, and have since gone on to bloom in their own ways. We are so proud to have these and so many more extraordinary women in our community.