Hero’s name: Olivia Zarate
Home city: Mission, Texas
Organization affiliation: La Union del Pueblo Entero
How does the person’s work advance social justice? What is the person’s vision for an equitable world?
“Olivia has been involved with La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), a grassroots organization, since 2003, trying to better the quality of life of her family and community.
Even though Olivia has four grandchildren who are under her care every day, she still manages to participate and volunteer in many different events.
Olivia has done everything from attending marches, conferences and commissioners’ meetings. She has gone to Austin, where state lawmakers meet at the Capitol, because she knows the importance of participation and fighting to make a difference.
In 2014, Olivia participated in bettering the quality of life in her colonia by working together with LUPE and putting in a lot of work to get public lighting in her colonia.
Olivia hosted house meetings, passed out fliers, collected signatures and attended court, all in an effort to accomplish the goal of getting public lighting in an area where families live. She now successfully has public lighting in her colonia.
To continue gaining leadership skills, Olivia joined the ‘Health on Wheels’ program as a Community Health Educator. She also is assisting with promotora classes so more people can raise health awareness with community members.
Since becoming a Community Health Educator, Olivia has gained knowledge of many resources. She is now able to pass the information along to community members who are in need of those resources.
Olivia is a strong community leader. I truly believe she will continue to try to make a difference in her community for as long as she can.
Or, as Olivia says about the need for health care and equality: “Ay que seguir luchando con la comunidad mientras yo tenga vida para tener servicios que nos hacen falta. Tenemos que luchar por seguro medico para todos y igualdad para toda la gente.”
Honored by: Kayla Montano of La Union del Pueblo Entero
Note: This profile is part of Equal Voice News’ special Cesar Chavez Day Community Heroes edition. These submissions were edited for clarity.