In the coming year the Spanish Family-to-Family Education Program will take a giant step forward in reaching Spanish-speaking families. Pictured above are the new teachers recently trained in El Paso, Texas, who will offer free Family-to-Family classes in El Paso and in Juarez, Mexico. These NAMI volunteers were trained by Texas State Trainers Lupe Morin and Aurora Attel.
On another front, the Family-to-Family program is being inaugurated by NAMI Puerto Rico. Organized and promoted by Silvia Arias, NAMI board member and NAMI Puerto Rico executive director, a training was held in March for 18 new teachers eager to expand the program throughout Puerto Rico. This group was trained by NAMI’s national Spanish trainer Norma Garcia Bangs. The first classes will begin in San Juan and Dorado.in early April.
In Monterey, Mexico, classes for Spanish speaking family members continue to expand under the direction of Hugo Garza, founder of the advocacy organization Ingenium. Another branch of this organization is offering Family-to-Family classes in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
In May, NAMI will host the first national Spanish Family-to-Family Training of Trainers session, taught entirely in Spanish to Spanish-speaking teachers who have been selected to be state trainers. Fourteen Family-to-Family Spanish teachers from California, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Mexico will gather in St. Louis for a 3-day training session conducted by Norma Garcia Bangs. Gaining Spanish state trainers will mean that more teachers in these states can be trained in Spanish, and can in turn offer more Spanish classes in their communities.
We are looking forward to the day when all NAMI states with large Spanish populations will have Family-to-Family state teacher trainings and classes in Spanish, and we are very excited about the growth of the program in Mexico and Puerto Rico.