La Voz de Nuestros Lideres: Guadalupe Yanez, LULAC National Intern

By Guadalupe Yanez on 10/21/2011 @ 02:50 PM

Tags: intern

LULAC national intern Guadalupe Yanez reports on her findings at a recent Senate health hearing.

There is no doubt that just as our economy is suffering, so is almost every other social service program in our nation. One such program is health care and, while a controversial topic, it is at times that very controversy which impedes change or prevents discussion of any sort to occur. In order to develop a cohesive and educated environment to engage in health care dialogues, the Alliance for Health Reform organization, along with The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, conducted a hearing. The hearing was organized to discuss not only the difficulties that health care has and is still encountering, but also to address the large percentage of the nation’s population that currently lacks health insurance.

Since 2010, 49.9 million people in the United States are living without health insurance, and that number is only increasing as time passes by. For the most part, the majority of those who are insured receive health care through their job or a family member’s job. Even in such cases, however, several other factors, such as the type of job or not being in the workforce at all, jeopardize an individual’s ability to receive health insurance. While the main reason for not having health insurance is affordability, geographic as well as certain profile characteristics tend to become key determinant factors as well. For instance, geographic factors that come into play are the nature of poverty, the nature of industry, and the availability of a safety net. Similarly, the characteristics of profile of the uninsured are family status, family income, and family work status. All in all, these characteristics are what ultimately describe the faces of the millions uninsured in our country.

While there are still changes to be made in our current health care system, there is an immediate need to develop not only an effective and comprehensive plan, but to also build the necessary relationships and strategies across all levels. Likewise, there is an effort to work towards a mutual goal: to provide affordable access to health care, especially for the millions that are currently uninsured. No individual, regardless of whom they are or where they come from, should be deprived of having medical insurance due to their lack of economic or financial stability. Therefore, with the forming of cooperative and effective alliances, new ideas and solutions will be able to emerge insofar as we work around the same objective of providing health care to the citizens of this nation. By doing so, we will be investing not only in the citizens’ health and overall well-being, but also in the betterment of this country as a whole.

For more information about LULAC's health initiatives, please visit the Latinos Living Healthy website.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the country's oldest and largest civil rights organization, recruits highly talented and dedicated interns year-round to work with our national office in Washington D.C. Interns can choose to collaborate with any one of the following departments: policy, programs, communications, membership, special events, development, fiscal or executive. For more information, or to apply for a LULAC internship, click here to learn more!

La Voz de Nuestros Lideres: Natalia Valencia, LULAC National Intern

Posted on 10/21/2011 @ 02:50 PM

Tags: intern

Hello everyone!

My name is Natalia A. Valencia and I’m a recent graduate from American University with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Studies and a certificate in Spanish Translation. Like many recent graduates, I was faced with the decision of what to do next and which road to take.

Unfortunately, the state of the economy and the job market has made the search for what one truly wants in life – which for me is to be a translator – a lot harder. My lack of work experience didn’t help me either with finding a job and I finally understood that an excellent education is not the only thing you need to catch the eye of a potential employer.

Because I couldn’t find any full time jobs, besides babysitting, I decided to volunteer my translation skills to Hispanic organizations in the area. I knew this would give me the experience that I need it, while at the same time helping the community. During these volunteer experiences, I translated four articles for the Guatemala Human Rights Commission, and I also began to help the communications committee of a newly formed non-profit organization called Somos Colombia.

While I was searching for other organizations, I came across LULAC. It was the first time I had heard of this organization, but, as I kept reading more about it, my interest grew. I took a chance and I sent an e-mail to someone at LULAC to see if they had a position available. Although they didn’t have any, they did have an internship program. I didn’t hesitate to accept it because I knew that what I would learn there would be invaluable. I started my internship in September and, after a month of being at LULAC, I have not only helped with the translation of different documents, but I’m also learning about different topics that are important to the Hispanic community in the United States. I still have 2 months left with LULAC and I plan to make the best of them.

I want to keep learning about the different programs and do things that I wouldn’t normally do (for example: writing a blog), and help the Hispanic community as much as I can with my work during this internship. I may not have my whole life figured out at the moment, but I know that I’m on the right path. Being a translator is my ultimate goal: how I get there is still a mystery but I’m looking forward to unveiling it one opportunity at a time.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the country's oldest and largest civil rights organization, recruits highly talented and dedicated interns year-round to work with our national office in Washington D.C. Interns can choose to collaborate with any one of the following departments: policy, programs, communications, membership, special events, development, fiscal or executive. For more information, or to apply for a LULAC internship, click here to learn more!

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

By Melissa Faith Ramirez on 10/14/2011 @ 07:00 PM


In the United States, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has adversely affected Hispanic/Latino communities. Hispanics/Latinos progress to AIDS faster than any other racial or ethnic group with 42% being diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months after learning of their positive HIV status compared to 34% late diagnosis among white non-Hispanic and 35% among blacks. And according to CDC 20% of new HIV infections are Latinos/Hispanics.

Every October 15th, since 2003, National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) is commemorated in response to the devastating impact HIV/AIDS has on Hispanic/Latino communities across the country. It was established to draw attention to the critical role HIV testing and prevention education plays in stemming the spread of HIV among Hispanics/Latinos. It is a day during Hispanic heritage month that organizations around the country use to promote and sponsor activities that respond to the state of HIV/AIDS among Hispanics/Latinos in their specific communities. Every locality will organize an activity that will address the epidemic in their communities and make the public aware of what must be done to prevent new infections. Additionally, advocating for and ensuring proper care for those who are living with HIV/AIDS is also a major component of awareness activities. Each participating locality is responsible for raising funds needed to sponsor their own activity. NLAAD is the only grassroots nationwide social marketing campaign focused on promoting HIV/AIDS as it impacts Hispanic/Latino communities in the U.S.

This year’s theme, “Latinos Unite! Let’s stay Healthy! Get Tested for HIV”/ “Latinos Unidos y Saludables! Hazte la prueba del VIH” speaks to the importance of us uniting in order to promote HIV testing to the Latino/Hispanic community and to, one day, erradícating AIDS.

For more information on National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and NLAAD events taking place in your area, please visit .

Latinos Living Healthy: LULAC Committed to Ending Hunger and Obesity in the Latino Community

By Lisa Pino, Deputy Administrator of the SNAP Program at the Food and Nutrition Service of the US Department of Agriculture on 07/25/2011 @ 07:00 PM

Tags: USDA, Lisa Pino

It was an honor to join LULAC and represent USDA at the 2011 LULAC National Convention in Cincinnati last month for their “Latinos Living Healthy” workshop. LULAC led a great discussion as I joined other speakers from HHS, the National Park Service, and community organizations to share valuable information and resources available at the federal, state, and local level that can make a difference in the everyday health and nutrition of Latino families across the country.

As Deputy Administrator of the SNAP program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, I shared how USDA’s 15 nutrition assistance programs comprise the nation’s critical safety to combat huger. At a time when 40% of Latino children are either overweight or obese, and a third of Latino children are living in poverty, it is important that Latino families know that USDA programs can make the difference in providing good food on the table.

USDA’s SNAP program is now serving over 44 million people each month. USDA’s National School Lunch program serves 32 million children per year, and USDA’s WIC program serves more than 9 million pregnant and post-partum Moms, infants, and children, 42% of which are Latino. But these figures are not just numbers. They represent children, people, and families all over the country who need an extra hand to put food on the table.

USDA and the Administration have been working hard to address how USDA’s nutrition assistance programs serve all communities, including Latinos. The President issued a goal of ending childhood hunger and signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act last December, which will improve school meals. The First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative is getting everyone to work together to end childhood obesity. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, where I work, has partnered with USDA’s Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to launch La Mesa Completa, our Latino outreach initiative. SNAP released its new online retailer locator in English and Spanish.

USDA programs help families get healthy meals, and access to healthy food is critical as 26.9% of Latinos continue to be food insecure. Latinos experience both hunger and obesity at higher rates. This dynamic seems like a paradox, but when stretching dollars at the supermarket becomes a challenge, it may be easier to afford caloric dense foods, rather than nutrient dense foods.

But SNAP can help. SNAP can provide that financial cushion so that families have more nutritious food options. To learn more about how to apply, call the bilingual SNAP hotline at 1-800-221-5689 or visit . To learn where kids can get free USDA meals this summer, call the bilingual Hunger Center at 1-866-3HUNGER.

Call or visit us today, because no should go hungry in America, especially our children.

Lisa Pino is Deputy Administrator of the SNAP program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, at the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She was appointed in her role by the President and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak in May, 2009.


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