For the month of September, Border Eco selected a community leader who has dedicated herself to working with victims of sexual abuse, and domestic violence. Lourdes Suarez is an advocate for Su Voz Vale. Her role is to provide support, and guidance to women, children, and men who are victims of abuse. “My role of work is to help reduce trauma, assess the needs of the victims, and connect them to resources that will help stabilize the family unit,” said Lourdes Suarez.
She hosts a support group called “Cafecito” every Friday from 10:00 am.-12:00 p.m. at the Nogales Family Resource Center. The purpose of this support group is to inspire individuals to achieve their goals through empowerment. Some of the topics discussed are related to personal growth, changes, self-esteem, values, and finding stability in their lives. The support group also do art and crafts activities. Every month the group celebrates members birthdays to demonstrate their support.
“I always want to encourage my clients to continue learning, and working towards their goals. Education is crucial to their success. Our program does not only provide support,and guidance but it empowers them to find employment, and seek local resources, so they are able to be self-sufficient. Learning to speak English is important too,” said Lourdes Suarez.
Ms. Suarez has been working in the field of social services for more than 24 years. Before she started working with Su Voz Vale she had been working with Child and Family Resources, and Mariposa Community Health Center Platicamos Salud. Ms. Suarez enjoys working with families directly she believes her work makes a difference in their lives.
Lourdes Suarez was born, and raised in Nogales Sonora, Mexico. She is one of 14 siblings. She immigrated to Nogales, Arizona after marrying her husband Hector Suarez of 43 years. Together they raised 6 children, Hector Fernando 42, Oscar Omar 40, Christian 36 , Eric 33, Karin Celeste 31, and Bernadette 29. They now have 8 beautiful grandchildren, Hector 18, Vianney 17, Ithalia 15, Oscar Daniel 14, Alexandro 11, Victoria 7, Laila 6 and Sunshine 4 years-old. “I have been very blessed. I want to also share my good fortune with others. I want my clients to also have the same opportunities to succeed this is the main reason why I enjoy the work I do. I want to make a difference in their lives,” said Lourdes Suarez.