This year ALAS has been working closely with community partners to build new bridges of relationships and Tocayo's with one another. In Spanish when you have the same name you use the word Tocayo, meaning you are my other. Dr. Cristobal Salinas uses Tocayo to represent a soulful connection with one another- that we are all connected when we reach out and witness the humanity in each of us, regardless of barriers that often get in the way. As the year began Half Moon Bay groups opened doors to begin building bridges within our own community to strengthen communication, advocacy and friendship. Immigration Action Group rallied to make themselves visible with a mission to let our Latino community know they are present and in solidarity with each of us. The Methodist Church One Love Campaign spent eight weeks building opportunities to gather together to share stories, to witness each other's journey and to grow in learning about one another. The Latino Advisory is preparing our second Community Posada where we will all come together to walk and ask for doors to be open for our DACA youth, for our immigrant families and for all of those who at time are invisible. ALAS leaders have been part of planting seeds of love in our community- growing new ways to increase communication and build stronger safety nets of care for our Latino community and all of us that live together under the same moon. We are grateful for all those that have stood up to say we are here for you. These are the moments and actions that heal fear and grow one love as we become Tocayos to one another.
Belinda is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in California and Founder of A.L.A.S. She also is Faculty at the University of San Francisco, where she teaches in the Counseling Department. She has a doctorate in International and Multicultural Education. Her research is focused on the psychological trauma experienced by many in the immigration system as well as understanding healing spaces in the Latino community.