Meet Erika, Our New Basic Needs Coordinator

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in El Salvador, and grew up here in Calgary. My family immigrated to Canada because of the war in El Salvador. I am a social worker by profession and have been in the field for over 10 yrs. I am passionate about supporting women in their journey to a better life.

What is your personal definition of feminism?

My personal definition of feminism is for everybody to have equal rights. I believe that nobody should be excluded from services, society, etc., based on gender, race, socioeconomic status, ability, or sexual orientation.

What brought you to the Women’s Centre of Calgary?

I came to the Women’s Centre because of the approach and impact they have in the community they serve. To empower a woman is to empower her community. I am a true believer of this statement and to work for an agency that practices this model is not only a plus, but a privilege.

What’s the one thing you hope to learn at the Women’s Centre?

It is difficult to pick one thing because there’s so many opportunities to learn, not only from the staff, and volunteers, but especially the women we serve. But if I have to pick one, it would be on how to engage more in social issues affecting women in our communities.

Describe a woman who you admire or who has influenced your life?

This is an amazing question! Especially because ALL the women in my life have impacted me in one way or another.

They are all wise, strong, resilient, kind and beautiful. But the one person that I consider my soulmate is my Grandmother (AKA Mama Chita). She has been my rock during difficult times and my partner in crime in adventures. Her love grounds me and her wisdom guides me. I have no words to describe how much I admire her. One nugget of wisdom that she continues to share with me is that “life is a school, and I should always learn from it, the good and the bad.”

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