By Chuck Pollycutt
2:03 PM PST, December 28, 2012
Celebrating the path of MANA and it’s 20 years of dedicated service to the community.
As part of the national organization for women of Latina heritage, MANA’s Imperial Valley Chapter is alive and well. Formed in 1993, MANA’s goal to promote a better quality of life for women here in the Valley has literally touched hundreds of lives.
With 12 active board members meeting on a monthly basis, MANA’s primary function is to reach out and provide assistance to women striving to reach their full potential in life. Four distinguished board members, Alicia Armenta, Maria Peinado, Imperial County Superior Court Judge Ruth B. Montenegro and Juanita Salas have graciously offered a glimpse into MANA’s 20-year success.
“The networking opportunities through MANA are always at the fingertips of women determined to achieve personal success,” states Alicia Armenta. As president for the past two years, Armenta’s eyes reflect the passion for what MANA can offer. With unrestrained enthusiasm she expounds on the remarkable work MANA does. “One could write a ‘best seller’ based on the lives of many of the MANA members and the things they’ve personally accomplished,” beams Armenta. “It’s a beautiful thing seeing Latina women succeed in all walks of life. We’re comprised of business leaders, medical professionals, self-employed entrepreneurs, attorneys, even superior court judges. Best of all, having worked their way up the ladder of success, these women provide a tremendous platform for others to build on. The younger women of the Valley couldn’t find better role models.”
“All members are encouraged to attend the monthly board meetings where the ongoing planning takes place,” says Maria Peinado, MANA’s current secretary and former public relations officer. “Much is accomplished during those meetings, but the majority of non-board-member participation really takes place at mixers and special events. Our upcoming January mixer, for instance, is traditionally filled to capacity.”
Armenta dramatically leans in close, eyes twinkling, voice but a whisper, “Noche de Poesia. Write that down. It’s a night of poetry. It will bring tears to your eyes.” Her broad smile is captivating. “It’s a program we hold in the spring,” she continues. “Usually April, bringing members together for a heavenly experience with food, wine, music and an enlightening night of poetry readings, some published, some original. It’s an emotionally filled evening of splendor. Some of the women even recite lengthy readings from memory they learned as a child. There’s not a dry eye in the house. What a blessed event!”
Read more about MANA and three past scholarship recipients in the December 2012 edition of Valley Women Magazine in print or our online E-Edition.
Copyright © 2013, Imperial Valley Press