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Colorado Latinx Non-Profit

Cultivating Change: How One Non-Profit is Empowering Latino Communities

Harnessing the power of community leadership, Cultivando is revolutionizing the non-profit model to empower Latino communities

Cultivando's Olga on Ted Talks

Cultivando, a purpose-driven non-profit organization, is on a mission to cultivate positive change within Latino communities.  Their innovative approach, championed by Executive Director Olga González in a recent TED Talk (link to YouTube video here:,  challenges the traditional non-profit model, fostering a more equitable and impactful way to serve these communities.

The Problem with the Traditional Non-Profit Model

The current non-profit model often fails to leverage the inherent strengths and leadership potential residing within the very communities they aim to support. This top-down approach can create a barrier of trust and understanding, hindering the effectiveness of implemented programs.

Cultivating Change Through Promotoras

Cultivando proposes the "promotora model" as a powerful alternative. Promotoras are trusted community members, trained to deliver education, outreach, and vital services directly to their peers.  Sharing a common language and background fosters a deeper connection, allowing promotoras to build trust and effectively bridge the gap between communities and crucial resources.

The Power of Promotoras in Action

The TED Talk highlights the success of promotoras in educating farmworkers, a predominantly Spanish-speaking immigrant population, about COVID-19.  Distrustful of outside information sources, farmworkers readily embraced guidance from promotoras within their own communities. This resulted in a significant increase in vaccination rates and a testament to the power of culturally-sensitive outreach.

Beyond Education: Promotoras as Advocates for Change

The impact of promotoras extends far beyond education.  The TED Talk shares the story of Reyna, a promotora who became a powerful advocate for her community.  Her voice championed immigrant rights, educational equity, and healthcare access, leading to positive policy changes on a local and state level.

A Call to Action: Cultivating a More Equitable Future

Cultivando's promotora model presents a compelling blueprint for a more equitable and effective non-profit landscape.  Olga González urges other organizations to:

  • Embrace Collaboration: Work alongside communities, fostering partnerships and shared decision-making.

  • Invest in Promotoras: Recognize the value promotoras bring and compensate them fairly for their expertise.

  • Empower Local Leadership: Fund and support community-led organizations, placing the power for change directly in the hands of those most affected.

By cultivating a model that empowers Latino communities and leverages their inherent strengths, Cultivando is paving the way for a brighter future.


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