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Need: Future partners for annual Girls empowerment conference in Costa Rica

I am helping organize a conference for young women in San Jose, Costa Rica that will coincide with International Women's Day.

The conference is the work of a group of Peace Corps volunteers in Costa Rica. We have been leading workshops for girls on topics of self-esteem, sex ed, domestic violence, human rights, and economic justice. At the end of each workshop, the girls complete creative homework assignments (poetry, short stories, drawings, collages, etc.) The best assignments are selected by a panel of judges and compiled into a magazine. The winners are then invited, along with their mothers, to the Voces Valerosas conference where they receive the copy of the magazine and participate in empowering panels and workshops.

We are looking for future partners to help finance this project so it can become an annual event. If you would like to help support the conference in any way please contact me through PulseWire.

Note: Thank you to all the women who have responded to this post, I appreciate all of your support. We have found all of the panelist, they will be Professional Costa Rica women who can donate their time to attend the event.


Nusrat Ara's picture

Let me know if I can help in

Let me know if I can help in any way. I will be more than glad.



Starland's picture

Sounds interesting


My dear friend Nusrat gave me this post. I would be most interested in being a presenter. I work as an International Human Rights Advisor in the area of Conflict/Violence (extensive living and work in Domestic Violence) and Peace Planning. (When I lived in Phoenix I had a business partner and we would go to the schools and teach dating violence through skits and such. I live in Central Texas now). Please visit and World Pulse member 3709. My business email is: I hope to hear from you soon.


K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

chamisa's picture

Wow thank you

Hi K-lee thanks so much for your interest in supporting us, that is amazing, and thank you for the work that you are doing. The only thing is that we cannot help you in any way financially to travel to Costa Rica nor the costs associated with the travel, and the conference will be completely in Spanish. But if neither of those are deterrents and you are still interested please let me know.

Starland's picture


Hi Chamisa

While I am willing to donate my time, I always require that travel and lodging be provided. Sorry. Also, I speak little Spanish. If you have one in French or Arabic, I'd be a little better off. :)

Thanks any way. Please keep in touch and let me know how it goes.


K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

Hi, Chamisa I would love to go to talk to the yougn women. I have my own program for yougn women here in NY for the past 13 years. I would need support with travel adn lodging so please let me know what the next steps are. I am attaching my bio so you can get to know me better. If you think I can support please let me know. My email is

I have dedicated my life’s work to the transforming communities and the people who live and work in and for them because I have experienced first hand the impact of the lack of proper care, injustice, human right violations and continuous poverty and neglect on poor immigrant communities in NYC, across the United States and the world. I am a lesbian, teen mother of two, immigrant, working class, Dominican woman living in Washington Heights and I have learned via the passing down of information from the women in my family to take my community and our health into my own hands.

As a result I have developed a race, class and gender analysis, prevention and response healing model to violence in communities of color and the impact that poverty and internalized oppression has on the mental, spiritual and physical health of communities families, activist, organizers and everyone on the frontline. My goal is to support individuals, non profits and social justice movements in building sustainable long term impact by having health and wellness and spirituality at the core of their work. I believe that our communities can only be as strong as the people within them.

Dayanara Marte Expertise:
I am a healer, curandera, practitioner in emotional release and hands on healing, organizer and activist and I provide Consulting, Life Skills and Self Empowerment Coaching and Training Services Leadership Coaching, Capacity Building, Self Care for Strategic Planning , Spirited Activism for Team Building, Health and Wellness for Organizational Development and Staff Training, Self Empowerment Workshops and Retreats, Emotional Release Healing Circles and Support Group, Reproductive Health and Wellness, Violence Prevention working through internalized oppression, Youth Development and Life Skills Planning

Dayanara Marte Experience
For the past ten years, I have worked at Casa Atabex Ache and have been the Executive Director since 2004. I have been with the organization since its inception in the Mott Haven community of the South Bronx, the poorest congressional district in the United States with the highest teen pregnancy and infant mortality rate. As the Executive Director of Casa Atabex Ache I have had the opportunity to develop an organization rooted in spirituality, healing and health and wellness, reclaiming a communities innate ability to restore itself within it ancestry, culture and political climate. Additionally, I have over ten years experience supporting communities in NYC, nationally and internationally in reclaiming their reproductive and community health. I have worked on various projects and developed models integrating complementary healing modalities, alternative health and social justice; these include self healing retreats for child sexual abuse and domestic violence survivors & days of healing for HIV/AIDS and cancer survivors. I have also traveled to Cuba Vieques, Puerto Rico& New Orleans; facilitated a weeklong holistic conference for young and adult women sexual assault and rape victims. In addition, I researched their reproductive health education models, trainings, and health care systems. In January of 2006, I organized the first Women of Color Delegation comprised of 21 young women activists and leaders of NYC, to Chiapas, Mexico. Together we spent ten days in dialogue, research, practice and touring of indigenous communities More recently, I organized a healing team of women to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina and Haiti for Disaster /Trauma Relief.

My work is impactful with lasting change because I use my life story as a platform. This includes single motherhood, child sexual abuse, adoption, being a lesbian, domestic violence, abortions in my youth, HIV/AIDS, alcohol, prostitution, drugs, the prison industrial complex, teen parenting and pregnancy, raising a son and a daughter, being a Dominican Latina immigrant and many more. My life story is about healing self love, sisterhood, justice, and transformation. My life has many lessons and stories that every women can relate to, so through my work I share my lessons, successes, challenges and what’s to come.

I am available to do consulting, workshops , presentations, conferences, speaking engagements, empowerment and healing retreats, organize support groups with young and adult women, youth, LGBTQ community and immigrants on any topic that has been a part of my life.

I am a recent graduate in the Masters of Public Health program at Columbia University currently attending NYU School of Social Work for a certification in Clinical Approaches to Addiction. My areas of study was in the Reproductive, Adolescent and Family Health where I focused on research and evaluation methods, program planning and systems mapping to strengthen my ability to develop a theoretical framework that integrates self healing and community organizing. It was important for me to identify the interconnections and impact of poverty, oppression, violence, neglect, abuse and trauma on community’s mental physical and emotional health while findings alternative ways to address the root causes for inequitable health outcomes within a human rights framework and social justice analysis for a communities survival.

With your support, I want to be able to bring to you and your community, a model where the individual is responsible for her own healing process. By this is meant that mental/ emotional healing is an act that the client looks within herself to find the answers. This is contrary to Western models of Classical Clinical counseling or therapy in which the client seeks answers from an authority outside of herself. Using this model the participant becomes empowered because she is taking an active role in her healing.

A model that fosters collective healing between women breaking the pattern of individualism, isolation and self-blame—creating effective and successful alternative models of training's, which have collectivism, holistic health and spirituality at its core.

A model that counters the existing models of health institutions & address the serious healthcare problem in our community, where people are not clients or patients, but active participants in their well being.

A model that challenges the accepted societal norms that only acknowledges “experts” or “credentials” and not the right to handing down knowledge—the way of many immigrant cultures and their human right to create liberated and autonomous communities.

In Bold Rebirth

chamisa's picture

thank you

Thank you Dee for sharing your story, I am really very impressed you sound like an amazing woman. And I would love to meet you someday to learn more about all that you have done and are doing. I would also love to have you speak at the conference, I am sure you would be sensational but we are not able to help financially in any way for lodging, travel, meals etc, because this is actually a very small event that is being supported by local Costa Rican instituciones on a donation basis. We are volunteers ourselves putting on the event and looking for future partners to help make this project an annual event.

I hope that we can remain in contact though, I am considering following the public health and social work route myself after I finish serving as a Peace Corps volunteer and would love to learn from your experience!

Thanks again for reaching out!

pouline k's picture

Young women taking control

This sounds a very interesting and empowering session.I will be glad to assist you in any way,My email add is,I would highly appreciate if we can get in touch to see how concretely i can give my time and skills to this cause

Pouline Kimani
"Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.

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