By Stephanie Colorado, W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Latina Program Support Assistant
During the month of October, W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s survivor empowerment group, Echando Pa’lante (Moving Forward) worked once per week on a piece of art to donate to the Surviving and Thriving Event. The ladies were very happy to come to extra meetings and stay well after the meeting time, in order to create a work of art that was inspiring for them. Our MFT Intern, Daniel, co-facilitated the art group to help the ladies see what their inner strengths and inspirations were. The ladies engaged in retelling their story of surviving an abusive relationship and how they all now feel very supported and grounded in the present lives. One of the ladies shared that being a part of W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was one of the biggest support system she had come across. She felt grateful to have our agency’s support.
After some discussion, the ladies began brainstorming their vision for their artwork. What they had in mind included showing people their pathway to recovery. When they heard the word pathway, footprints came to mind. Without hesitation the woman took off their shoes and started creating a pathway of footprints in different colors and designs. The room was filled with laughter and joy as each woman literally left their footprint in the work of art. They added the phrase “Dar Un Paso Con Responsabilidad” meaning “Give a step with responsibility.” Another phrase that was added to the artwork included “Los Pasos que damos deven de ser con seguridad” meaning the “Steps we take must be taken with security” as well as “Adelante de cada paso vamas a encontrar una luz” meaning “Ahead of each step you will find a light.” These inspirational quotes came from the women themselves which they wished to share with others through their art.
The women were then inspired to have the footprints lead to something positive. They came to the conclusion that a bright sun would be appropriate since they their dark path are behind them. They created the sun out of their own handprints, making a circle signifying their relationship with each other and their support for one another. In the middle of the sun they wrote the phrase “Echando Pa’ Lante” which translates to “Moving Forward,” the name of their support group.
The art was collected and showcased at Surviving and Thriving, an fundraising event that took place on Friday, October 3rd to support W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and the San Francisco Women Against Rape.