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Women at Spanish support group find comfort and holiday cheer

The group is described as a place where Hispanic women discuss topics such as self-esteem, relationships, and more in terms of their traditions and cultural expectations.

Posted: Dec. 19, 2018 3:36 PM
Updated: Dec. 20, 2018 9:14 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The YWCA Spanish Reflections Support Group may be going on years of existance, but it still continues to impact the lives of the women who rely on it.

"We want this group for them to know that they are not alone, that they can support each other, that there are people who are going through difficult times just like they are," said Nohemi Lugo, Hispanic Advocate at the YWCA of Greater Lafayette.

Lugo said the purpose of the group is so that Hispanic women living in this area have a place to make friends, feel supported, and find resources to help them through tough situations. 

In a YWCA brochure, the group is described as a place where Hispanic women discuss topics such as self-esteem, relationships, and more in terms of their traditions and cultural expectations.

They have been meeting twice a month, every month, for the past 20 years. Lugo has been leading the group for the past 17 years.

"They can be vulnerable, they can be transparent, and they can be themselves," she said. "When you come to another country as an immigrant a lot of times you leave your family behind so we want this group for them to know that they are not alone."

For Angela Cruz, who is originally from Puerto Rico, coming to America and joining this group has helped her out of a dangerous situation.

"They help me with my situation in the past of 17 years of domestic violence," said Cruz.

She says she also came here to be with her son, who is teaching at Purdue. At the group's Christmas party on Wednesday, this was Cruz's first time decorating a ginger bread house.

Lugo said that several members of the group have faced similar circumstances as Cruz.

"They feel that they belong, it's good for them to know other people and that they aren't the only ones going through domestic violence," said Lugo.

"The ladies need something to improve their lives," said Cruz. "It's so important for women to find someone who can help them."

Lugo emphasized the importance of celebrating the Christmas holiday. She said Lafayette has a strong and well connected Hispanic community in Lafayette. Cruz said it's very important to her to get to celebrate the holiday with her community.

"Christmas is a huge celebration in the Hispanic countries, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and it is a really big deal in our countries," said Lugo. "I know for the ladies who don't have family here, this is their Christmas."

And Lugo said they hope to continue to impact the lives of these women for the next 20 years.

Any woman who is 18 or older and speaks Spanish is welcome to join the group. They meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at the YWCA Advocacy Center. 

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