Life at IFR

IFR provides community mental health and wellness services for the SF Latino community. We offer family support, early intervention, case management, youth services, & more.

Doña Mari

Doña Mari first came to IFR...

Doña Mari - IHW participant

Maria, or Doña Mari, as most people at Indigena Health & Wellness know her, is a sweet, joyful ever-smiling senior who frequents the center. Maria first learned about Indigena’s workshops by Dona Mari one at another agency. She was intrigued by the crafts the Promotoras showed her and was eeager to learn to do them herself. The crafts workshops embodied the cultural traditions of her country of origin. Being close to her culture, Doña Mari felt happier and more empowered. She began attending Indigena’s unique workshops years ago, and has stayed ever since. IHW’s workshops are a cooperative effort of clients and staff, so clients are often trained to teach the class, along with the staff. Since textile arts are very popular in Latin America, Maria began teaching the other workshop participants a certain type of stitching. In a community where the Indigena can often feel alone, disrespected, and misunderstood, Maria feels a great sense of accomplishment in sharing her skills with others. With the help of all the workshops’ members, Maria has also been able to work on several embroidery pieces that she plans to give to her children as gifts. The workshops have also supplemented her meager earnings. The biggest impact of Indigena’s workshops, however, is the opportunity to reunite with her cultural traditions and to share them with others. Maria has found a community at Indigena Health & Wellness where she is both teacher and student, and always welcome.

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