Sí a la Vida was developed as a program of Instituto Familiar de la Raza (IFR) in 1985 in response to the lack of culturally-based services for Latinxs at risk for HIV/AIDS. As the epidemic changed over the years, Si a la Vida expanded its programs and services to address the needs of Latino/a LGBTQQ youth and Latina transgender/transsexual women through two culturally-positive programs—Promesa and Chicas Trans.
Promesa was a response to another unmet community need: the lack of programs for bilingual and bicultural Latino/a LGBTTQ youth. Because queer Latinx youth face high levels of bullying, rejection, and social isolation, Promesa fosters a safe and culturally welcoming space for youth to reflect on the intersections of their experiences and cultures, create dialogue, and build community.
Through Promesa’s weekly support group, youth receive the tools necessary to critically analyze and articulate their thoughts, feelings, and experiences while building community with each other. Workshops address topics relevant to self-care, healthy relationships, self-advocacy, life-skills development, and overall wellness. Promesa youth also receive counseling on relevant topics, including academic achievement, mental health and substance use, health care attainment, PrEP accessibility, rapid HIV testing, sex education and other issues related to LGBTQQ Latinx youth wellbeing.
Promesa encourages youth to become socially aware of the systemic effects that race, ethnicity, immigration, colorism, racism, and many other constructs play in their daily lives and in the cultures they navigate each day. All services are provided through a strengths-based client-centered approach in English, Spanish, and/or both languages.
Watch to learn more about PROMESA from our Latino/a LGBTQQ youth...
Chicas Trans is the transgender program of Si a la Vida. It is a unique, supportive space for Latina transgender/transsexual women and those who are in transition. Although one aim of the program is to reduce HIV infection among transgender individuals, Chicas Trans ultimately strives to support the healthy development of this valued segment of our community.
Using a holistic approach, Chicas Trans strives to empower our clients. We provide them with arts and crafts workshops, HIV testing, individual counseling, and referrals to social and legal services as needed. The program recognizes the many barriers impacting transgender Latinas/os at all levels of society. Recognizing that wellness is about the mind, body, and spirit, Chicas Trans works to address the wellbeing of the client as a whole.
Watch to learn more about CHICAS TRANS from Lluvia...
Today, Sí a la Vida, as with all of IFR’s programs and staff, remain committed to providing a seamless continuum of health and wellness programs for members of the Latino/a LGBTQQ community.
Please join us in supporting the Latino/a LGBTQQ community to live healthy, empowered, and productive lives.