In the midst of globalization, how do we, as women workers, defend our rights and build sustainable communities rooted in justice and human dignity?
In 1981, displaced women garment workers established La Mujer Obrera to broaden economic and educational opportunities for the South Central neighborhood of El Paso, Texas, particularly displaced women workers and Spanish-speaking community members. Our mission is to improve the economic, social, educational, health and living conditions of low-income Hispanic families, while helping revitalize the former Garment District where many women and their families worked, before global economic restructuring led to the loss of 35,000 jobs, mainly in the garment industry. The Chamizal Neighborhood of El Paso, where we are located, has been identified as one of the most impoverished in the country by the Federal Reserve Bank.
Today, La Mujer Obrera is an internationally acclaimed community-based organization creating cultural and economic development that recognizes Mexican immigrant workers’ heritage and contributions to El Paso. Our efforts to preserve, adapt, and present the diverse historic and living traditions of the Mexican people are integral to fulfilling the most basic needs and uphold the most basic human rights: access to education, work, health, housing and nourishment, the rights to live in peace and participate fully in civil society.
Our mission is to develop and use our creative capacity to express the dignity and diversity of our Mexican heritage, from indigenous Mesoamerican roots to contemporary expressions, and to develop and celebrate our community through economic development, community building, community health and civic engagement.