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There are just 54 days until the

Nuestras Voces National Bilingual Sexual Assault Conference and only 23 days remain until the
Regular Rate registration ends!

El ValleThe Texas Secretary of State defines a "colonia" as a residential area along the Texas-Mexico border that may lack some of the most basic living necessities, such as potable water and sewer systems, electricity, paved roads, and safe and sanitary housing. While colonias can be found in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California; Texas has the largest number of colonias and the largest colonia population, with more than 2,294 Texas colonias, located along the state's 1,248 mile border with Mexico. Arte Sana is honored to showcase our three Nuestras Voces conference planning partners from the Lower Rio Grande Valley or "El Valle" -- home to 1,383 colonias according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Office of Border Affairs.

Friendship of Women 

The Mission of Friendship of Women, Inc. is to provide leadership, support on family violence and sexual assault issues and a safe place for victims and their families. Based in Brownsville, the southern point of Texas and within Cameron County.

The Family Crisis Center

Established in 1981 by volunteers, the Family Crisis Center is a non-profit organization that provides shelter, sustenance, education, and counseling services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Center also provides extensive educational and violence prevention programs for residents of Cameron and Willacy Counties.

Mujeres Unidas / Women Together

Women Together Foundation, Inc., a non-profit agency, has been in operation over thirty years. The mission of the organization is to provide shelter and crisis intervention programs for women and children who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. The agency maintains a 45 bed shelter facility, Transitional Supportive Housing consists of 16 apartments, staff provides supportive services and crisis intervention counseling. Our staff is available at the Family Justice Center, and two Outreach Centers located in McAllen and Weslaco.




 Rosemary Welsh
Border Showcase Presenter:
Sister Rosemary Welsh

Sister Rosemary Welsh, RSM, RN, a Sister of Mercy in Laredo, has devoted her life to advocacy for those who are in need along the US-Mexico Border as Executive Director of Casa de Misericordia, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, and as Director of Outreach for Mercy Clinic, a primary healthcare clinic. Both ministries use education as a tool for empowering the victims to break the cycles of violence, poverty and poor health.  


Sister Rosemary Welsh will be part of a border panel at the Nuestras Voces conference together with Estella De Anda from Mujeres Unidas/Women Together, and Lillie Champion from Friendship of Women.   


Elizabeth BalcarcelElizabeth Balcarcel

Elizabeth works for the IowaCASA as a legal assistant to victims program. She provides legal assistance to sexual assault victims and technical assistance to local and state sexual assault centers and other service providers on legal remedies for battered immigrant women. She also provides awareness workshops; know your rights, sexual violence prevention, seeking safety Spanish supports groups at the women correction center (to Spanish speaking inmates) and the latino community, and life skills. Prior to that she worked for 5 years at LUNA (Latinas United for a New Dawn) the domestic violence and sexual assault project in Des Moines, as an advocate providing direct services to victims including community education on sexual assault awareness, one on one counseling, support groups, crisis calls, and court advocacy.


Lumarie OrozcoLumarie Orozco

 Lumarie is a community psychologist and the Community Initiatives Manager at Casa de Esperanza, in MN. She is responsible for all local community engagement initiatives including Fuerza Unida, Líderes - Leadership Development Initiative for Latinas, and Youth Initiatives. Prior to this, Lumarie worked as the Youth Initiatives Coordinator for 6 years and was responsible for peer education initiatives-with Latin@ youth and adult Latinas (Líderes)--as well as adolescent mothers' support initiatives. Her work has included peer educator training and curriculum development, oversight of all workshops provided by peer educators, psycho-educational support group facilitation, comprehensive youth advocacy services, and coordination with partner organizations in the community.  



National Timeline Invitation!timeline
Arte Sana is finalizing a national timeline of statewide and national milestone actions to eliminate language barriers for Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual violence.

Please review the timeline draft and contribute any verifiable national or statewide actions that should be added to this timeline to make sure that nuestras voces are heard and nuestras acciones are recognized! Please send information to

Unless otherwise requested, all timeline contributors will be honored in the Nuestras Voces National Bilingual Sexual Assault Conference booklet and on the Arte Sana website--where this timeline will be posted.
Nuestras Voces conference image

November 1-2, 2011

Isla Grand Beach Resort

South Padre Island, Texas

 Join Latin@ victim advocates, prevention specialists, survivors, promotoras, and allies, to promote the engagement of Latin@s as agents of change in addressing gender-based violence, and to celebrate our collective wisdom & leadership en los movimientos.

The conference will offer a complete Spanish language track for bilingual victim advocates wanting to develop their Spanish-language outreach and professional
training skills.  


More information about the conference.

Workshops and Presenters  

Register now  
Hotel Reservations
Conference Hotel Be sure to make your reservation as soon as possible to receive the discounted $85 (plus tax) conference group rate. Limited rooms available.
For hotel reservations call the Isla Grand Beach Resort Hotel at: 1-800-292-7704.
Let the hotel staff know you would like to register under the "Arte Sana Group."

Hotel shuttle provided from the Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas to the Isla Grand Hotel by South Padre Shuttle at $40 for a round trip pass. 

altar dia de los muertos

Day of the Dead Collective
Art Installation:  

In honor of Día de los Muertos, attendees are invited to participate in a collective altar art installation.
group of calacas

Ad support Ads in Conference Booklet

Arte Sana needs your support to help cover costs and make this event a success!


Since its very first national conference Arte Sana has always supported the professional development of state coalition and direct service victim advocates and promotoras through full and partial scholarships. However, the current economy and non-profit budget cuts have meant less available funds for professional training and this has led to more requests for scolarships.


Your support can assure the attendance of community outreach workers in some of the most impoverished regions of the United States / Mexico border.

You might consider placing an ad if you are planning a conference in 2012. Personal listing options are also available to honor someone special. 
Nuestras Voces Co-sponsors
naesvalasfriendship of women
mujeres unidasmoving forwardnmcsa 
Join Arte Sana on FaceBook
Follow conference developments and join the bilingual conversation on Latin@ victim/survivor advocacy and prevention!