Esperanza Logo with flowers, hand, the world and text: 'Esperanza: Nuestra Cultura De Salud

Our Work

Reciprocity with our communities:

Have you benefitted from plant medicine and want to give back? Are you interested in making a difference by supporting ancestral work and Indigenous practices? Please join us in supporting the initial stages of the Ancestral Cacao Reclamation Project. Every donation makes a difference! Please share with your network!


Esperanza Highlights:

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Current Projects

  • Salud, Comunidad y Amor Latine (SCAL): Centering staff wellness through Participatory Action Research (lead: Danya Soto) Interested in engaging with this project? Click here: This project aims to develop a curriculum that integrates spiritual, radical, and psychological healing for Centro Hispano’s staff and the overall Latine community in Madison. In collaboration with Centro Hispano staff and UW Madison academics, the curriculum hopes to expose what healing looks like for the Centro community, and envisions becoming a powerful healing tool for the Latine community.
  • Momentos de Esperanza Podcast (leads: Natalie Rivera, M.S. & Sara Sanchez Santana) Interested in engaging with this project? Click here:Introducing a new Spanglish Podcast focused on Wellness and Mental Health in the Latinx Community: ¡Momentos de Esperanza! We hope for this podcast to be reflective of our own journey’s healing together as we share our testimonios which we hope will connect with people’s stories in our Latine communities. Testimonios offer us a form of resistance and a way to expose the complexities within the Latine community’s lived experience of oppression and systemic injustices. When we combine our individual stories with others it can help us create a collective critical consciousness. What do we mean by this? We are stronger, more whole, together! We have gotten through so much as a diverse community of cultures, values, languages. 

  • Healing Ethno-And Racial Trauma (HEART) Santuario (leads: Evelyn Cruz & Alyssa Ramírez Stege, Ph.D.): This community of practice has transformed to “support the helpers” –community members who provide any type of support in mental health, health and wellness to local Latine populations. The HEART Community of Practice first targeted helpers in Madison and Dane County and has since grown to currently include people across the U.S. and Latin-America. The mission of the HEART Santuario is to promote healing ethno-racial trauma, and advance radical healing models in our Latine communities. We build understanding of the effects of ethno-racial trauma, and build practices that promote health and well-being, collaboration, and a critical transformation of our systems to align and promote our collective impact, intervene in the social determinants of health, and change oppressive conditions. This is a bilingual group in Spanish and English where we ask participants to use their language in the way that most connects with their heart. In 2022, Ana Paula Soares and Alejandro Cerda who have developed “Despertar del Camino Sagrado” (Reawakening the Sacred Path) are co-facilitating this space with monthly workshops inviting indigenous elders to share ancestral ways followed by monthly healing and dialogue circles (“círculos de palabra”) where participants can integrate ancestral teachings into our cosmogony and practice.
  • Multilingual Psychotherapists’ Experiences and Training Needs in New-Growth Latinx Communities (lead: Gabriella Gaus Hinojosa): We aim to explore the experiences and training needs of psychotherapists who graduated from English-only training programs and learned how to serve Spanish-speaking communities independently. There is a paucity of research on the experiences of multilingual psychotherapists serving emerging new-growth communities: small, rapidly growing Latinx communities where mental health providers are scarce (Lanesskog et al. 2015). Multilingual psychotherapists in established Latinx communities and nationally report challenges when learning to adapt services independent of training (Biever et al. 2002; Estrada et al. 2018; Teran et al. 2017). As our field continues to enhance contextually embedded multicultural competencies and the demand for bilingual and culturally competent psychotherapists is projected to grow by 30% (APA 2021), it is imperative we adequately respond by exploring how to address this problem in professional neglect.
  • Translanguaging in Psychotherapy (lead: Natalie Rivera, M.S.): This research integrates a translanguaging framework into psychotherapy to pursue linguistic affirmation for multilingual members of the Latinx community and to provide a more dynamic & ecological way to conceptualize therapist-client pairing experiences in the therapeutic encounter. Translanguaging, originally introduced by bilingual education scholars (see Coronel-Molina & Samuelson, 2017; Creese & Blackledge, 2010; Garcia & Lin, 2017) expands how we think about multilingual individuals through the different language systems they are navigating socially, politically, culturally, and linguistically and provides us the means to conceptualize the multilingual as someone who may be able to transcend externally defined and socially constructed boundaries of language systems (Wei, 2018)

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  • Cruz, E. & Ramírez Stege, A. M. (2022, September). HEART at Esperanza: Healing ethno-racial trauma from the inside out. Presentation at Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialists Communities of Practice.  
  • Quintana, S., Gaus Hinojosa, G., Garza-Noriega, J. (2021, November). Esperanza (hope): Community-University Partnership to Reduce Mental Health Disparities in Latinx Communities. Symposia presented at the Wisconsin Counseling Association Convention, Madison, WI.  
  • Quintana, S., Gaus Hinojosa, G., Ramirez Stege, A., Cruz, E. (2020, October 28). Centro-Hispano-School of Education Partnership: Linguistically and Culturally responsive training to increase metal health and well-being of Latinx communities, panel presentation for Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement Diversity Forum, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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  • Gaus Hinojosa, G., Rivera, N., Robledo, D., Cervantes, J., Ramirez Stege, A., Quintana, S. (2022, July). Necesidades de Formación para Psicoterapeutas Multilingües sirviendo a comunidades Latines emergentes en los Estados Unidos. Poster presented at the Sociedad Interamericana de Psicología, Concepción, Chile. 
  • Rivera, N., Gaus Hinojosa, G., Quintana, S., Ramirez Stege, A. M. (2021, August). Translingualism: A Model of Language Usage for Psychotherapy. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, Online.
  • Gaus Hinojosa, G., Rivera, N., Robledo, D., Cervantes, J., Ramirez Stege, A., Quintana, S. (2021, August). The Experiences and Training Needs of Multilingual Psychotherapists in New-Growth Latinx Communities: An Update. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, Online.
  • Quintana, S., Ramirez Stege, A. M., Gaus Hinojosa, G., Rivera, N. (2021, April). Esperanza (hope): Community-University Partnership to Reduce Mental Health Disparities in Latinx Communities. Poster presented at the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture Annual Convention, Online.

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  • Esperanza, Nuestra Cultura de Salud. (2023, March). (Ahrens, V., Cruz, E., Ramírez Stege, A. M., Rivera, N., Sánchez Santana, S., & Quintana, S.). Centering reciprocity and mutuality: Best practices for interacting with researchers in a community-based context [Workshop]. Wisconsin Idea Conference. Madison, WI.   
  • Ramírez Stege, A.M., & Robledo, D. (2021, March 29). Youth HEART (Healing Ethno- And Racial Trauma) Workshop: How can culture heal? [Workshop]. Latinx Youth Summit. Madison, WI.
  • Ramírez Stege, A.M., Rivera, N., & Robledo, D. (2020, November). Post-election youth program diálogo. [Workshop]. Centro Hispano of Dane County Youth Program facilitators. Madison, WI.
  • Quintana, S., & Gaus Hinojosa, G. (2020). Centro Hispano-UW School of Education Partnership & Compassion Fatigue. [Workshop]. Centro Hispano of Dane County Staff. Madison, WI.