Arte Sana Staff

Arely Sulvarán-Achenbach, Bilingual Victim Advocate Trainer

Arely Sulvarán-Achenbach recently joined Arte Sana's staff and will work for Arte Sana's new, state-wide Latina Outreach Project which will focus on reaching Spanish speaking victims of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. She will provide bilingual training to Promotoras or Community Health Workers and allied professionals along the Texas/Mexico border, focusing on the colonias. In addition, Arely will provide training to rape crisis centers and dual center staff and volunteers on effective outreach with Hispanic victims. The 2007 Girl Empowerment Festival for young women from 14 years to college age will be coordinated by Arely to address healthy dating and sexual violence prevention in Austin, Texas. She will offer phone, face-to face, and e-mail referrals for Spanish-speaking victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She will also collaborate with groups for the collective creation of Spanish language outreach materials.

Arely has an extensive experience with the Spanish speaking community, particularly the immigrant community in Austin, TX. Arely was born and raised in Mexico City and has lived in Austin, Texas for 10 years. Before joining Arte Sana, she worked for Casa Marianella and what it used to be The Central Texas Immigrant Workers' Rights Center/Centro de Apoyo para Trabajadores Inmigrantes, a project of The Equal Justice Center.

She started as a volunteer at Casa Marianella and where she was given the opportunity to work and develop a women's program. Arely took that valuable opportunity to develop, implement and teach what became a very successful, eight week job training course for immigrant and Spanish speaking women. The intent of this course was to empower women by strengthening their relationships with their employers, improve their interpersonal communication skills, increase the likelihood to be hired and acquire the knowledge on how to use the resources available to them.

The job training course included a class on sexual harassment at work. The class proved to be the first source of information on the subject and on the resources available for women taking the course who had also been victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault and intimate partner violence. The sexual harassment class at work allowed Arely to recognize the GREAT NEED for information in Spanish about the subject, particularly about the legal rights of the victims and the services available to them.

Her work at The Central Texas Immigrant Worker's Rights Center focused on the advocacy for immigrant workers rights which are also human rights, the recuperation of workers' unpaid wages, through friendly negotiation and legal tools and procedures, workers organizing, and the empowerment of immigrant workers through education and leadership. She also assisted in the review of an eight week leadership course curriculum and taught the course. She also participated in an innovative educational tool developed by the organization's staff called “Street Theater” which allowed them to reach young immigrant workers and empower them by teaching them their rights.
Arely received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

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