Success Stories

Angel began attending Expresiones after-school program as a fourth grader when his family moved to one of Hacienda’s affordable rental housing communities. Before attending Vamos, Angel was at least one year behind in reading level and did not have many friends outside his immediate family. Typical of low-income city neighborhoods, Angel’s previous housing did not...

Carlos is friendly, sweet and considerate. His grades at school as a 7th grader are not so good. Carlos started coming to the Expresiones homework club and we worked with him for a few days to complete his math homework. At first he was hesitant to work on it, but after a few problems it was clear that he did understand the math, he just didn’t want to do it. The next day, after...

Guadalupe is a single mother of three. She is very busy holding down a full time job and raising her family which includes five year old twins and a 12 year old. For the past seven years she has lived in public housing. For many single parents in her shoes home ownership seems impossible. “My dream was to own my own home and provide a safe place for my kids,” Guadalupe said. She...

When I started working with Jorge, his teachers reported that he looked tired everyday and did not turn in his homework. I discovered that his family shared a two-bedroom apartment with another family. There were 8 people living in the apartment, and Jorge’s bedroom was the living room couch. He told me that he wasn’t able to go to sleep until 11:00pm because everybody else stayed...

Linda has overcome incredible hardships. After 32 years of marriage, her husband passed away. Because of exorbitant medical bills, collection agencies were knocking at her door. After steady work, her job disappeared. After 10 years of steady house payments, her bank began calling to take away her house. That is what brought Linda to Hacienda CDC, to an organization that, in her words, “...

Ludy Poox came to Hacienda in June 2010 looking for help starting her own business.  A survivor of domestic violence and mother of 3, Ludy told us her ultimate goal is to secure a positive future for her children by being able to afford a better education for them.  She did not feel she would reach this goal at her previous job working for a company that paid her minimum wage and...

Lydia is a 38-year-old mother of three and struggles with weight problems and high blood pressure. At every meal, she would pour a small mound of salt on a dish so she could dab her finger in it and place the salt on her tongue before every bite. But when Lydia began attending Portland Niños’ exercise group with her grandchild, she began learning about proper nutrition...

Margarita was born in Cuba and has been living in the Portland area for the last 4 years. As a Cuban immigrant she knew that her move would bring great opportunity, but she had no idea that in such a short amount of time she would be able to become the owner of a home.  In the fall of 2012 Margarita was introduced to Hacienda CDC’s Camino a Casa program which helps inform and...

Montiel's Cocina is owned by Graciela Montiel. Originally from Puebla, Mexico, she has lived in Portland for 20 years and notes that her greatest achievement has been to start and grow her own business, Montiel's Cocina. Graciela came to the United States knowing that she liked interacting with people and cooking food, but she did not know how to start a business. Then, she found...

Safia started attending Expresiones last October. Her family moved to Portland from Somalia to find a better life in 2008.  When I first started working with Safia she was barely skimming the surface of her homework after more than two hours of work. She had immense difficulty writing and reading in English. In the past few months, Safia has made incredible strides.  She is...

Hi, my name is Sandra Fonseca, and my daughter’s name is Gisel Dominguez Fonseca and she is 28 months old.  I am very happy and satisfied with the Portland Niños program because my family has experienced some surprising changes and we have learned how to have fun together as a family.

In September of 2009 my family was referred by the Multnomah County Health...

Suzanna brought her child that had some health problems to Portland Niños—Hacienda CDC’s child development and parent education program offered to Hacienda CDC residents and Latino parents. After the second class she felt comfortable confiding in the instructor and asked for help. Not yet a Hacienda resident, she invited the coordinator and instructor to...