6 posts

Nina Guzman Receives an Award

Ok ……..I am going to venture out into risky territory and take a moment to publicly congratulate our dear Nina Guzman.  Being that I do not have a paying position I can do this without fears of being fired (I think).  I KNOW I will get an ear full for directing the spot light on her but she totally deserves it! Nina our fearless  leader and tireless advocate who fights day (and sometimes night) to make Phoenixville a better place for all, got some well deserved recognition for a job well done and we want to celebrate with her!

Two weeks ago the Chester County Women’s Commission presented Ms. Guzman with the

2015 Empowered Women’s Award

This award has been established by the Chester County Women’s Commission (CCWC) to recognize individuals who have overcome major obstacles in their lives and have become inspirational role models for women in Chester County.

We are so proud of you Nina and all that you have accomplished and have yet to do! Thank you for your service and dedication! You an inspiration to all you meet!

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(Make sure you make a big deal about this next you see Nina….she would LOVE that 😉


Committee Members

Can I share with you something that I love about Alianzas????

Bueno hay MUCCCHHHOOO, but one of the many things that make Alinazas so wonderful is the collaboration of caring dedicated people.

Nina is the director and founder.  It is true.  She is the one in that office day in and day out working with her clients advocating for them making sure their voices are heard…. But you know what? She does it with team of people supporting her and cheering her on.  These are the people of the Alinazas Committee.  The committee is made up of community leaders working right  here in Phoenixville.   They are passionate about seeing the mission statement “to equip and enhance the Latino/Hispanic community with access to local resources, advocacy and intercultural communication” be carried out.  They bring to the table their expertise in the areas in which they work, weather it be education, planning, health care, social services and so much more.  Monthly the committee meets to go over issues surrounding the Latino community and Phoenixville at large.  They bring concerns and even more importantly solutions to discuss at the table.  I would like to introduce you to our wonderful committee and at the same time thank them for their faithful service to Alianzas and Phoenixville.

Even  more importantly community of Phoenixville we want to meet you.  If you ever would like to join one of our monthly meetings as a community member or leader please don’t hesitate to call the Alianzas office for time and location.  We want to hear your voice and have you help build this community stronger and better.  Como seimpre digo…juntos si podemos!

Guatemalan Consulate


One day Nina decided to call up the Guatemalan consulate and see if they would be interested in coming to Phoenixville to service the Guatemalan residence with applying for I.D’s and passports.

“Well Señora Nina we are not sure there is a big enough need for us to make the trip from New York to Phoenixville.” Was their reply

“Trust me,” answered Nina,  ” if you come you will have plenty of people here needing passports and IDs.”

So with that consulate decided to make the trek from New York to Phoenixville to see who would show up for their two day apperancce.

We spread the word to anyone that would want to know. The consulate is coming.  Anytime some one would show up to my office with no ID I would make sure they saved the date to be at the Friendship Fire house to apply for one with the consulate.

So the community was ready, volunteers were enlisted, and the Friendship fire house kindly made the space at their Church St location for the Guatemalan Consulate to arrive.

Still weary that anyone would show up the employees starting setting up a few chairs.  We assured them more chairs were needed and set up a MUCHO MAS!

Saturday August 11th 2013 came and before the sun even rose people were lined up around the building waiting for the consulate to open up for citizens to start applying for passports.  By the time I showed up an hour before they were to open every chair inside the firehouse was taken and the line went around the block.

Over 800 people showed up over the two days  August 11th and 12th! They traveled from all Chester county and surrounding area even as far as New Jersey.   The event albeit tiring was an overwhelming success and such a positive experience.   The consulate was so efficient in processing everyone and it was a sight to be seen.

I stood their for hours making copies of everyone’s documents front and back on a small dinky copier that took for ever and you know what…no one complained.  Although the lines were long and their were hardly seats to sit in the mood was so cheery and the people so friendly.   Even the employees of the Consulate commented on how great everyone was to work with.We at Alinazas were not surprised in the least.

We we know our community here in Phoenixville rocks and we love working with you all.  Thanks for making us proud!

Sincerely Amanda…and all the Alianzas crew.

Interpreting Training 2014

Imagine your daughter or son in sick and you try to make an appointment but the person that answers the phone can’t understand you.  When they ask you the symptoms your child is experiencing you can’t give an answer that they can comprehend. How frustrated and frightened would you feel???  The same issues can happen when parents try to go into the schools to talk to teachers or even trying to call the police  This scenario happens time and time again here in Phoenixville as well as other places around Chester county and beyond.

Well I am so happy and proud to say we here in Pheonixville are doing something about it!  Phoenixville Community Health Foundation in a continual effort to break down barriers that prevent people from accessing the health services they need has funded an interrupter training class presented by Maternal Child Health Consortium of Chester County.

Fourteen brave bi-lingual community volunteers and workers stepped up the plate to take the training taught by Nelly Jimenez.  They experienced three days of intense training on what is necessary to properly serve as an interpreter.    I had taken the class a couple of years ago and knew what was in store  for the class.  Just like I had remembered they emerged tired but enlighten (I am serious when I say intense) at the end of class.  Bravo students, for  putting in the work and saying” I want to make make my community better!”

Alianzas was so happy to play a role in getting the classes together and we are so grateful to Phoenixville Community Health Foundation for funding it they are behind so many things here in Pheonixville and their support in invaluable to Alianzas. Also a great big thanks to Nelly and her staff at Maternal Child Health Consortium for the great hands on training we received.

This is not the end! Next Nelly is going to have a class aimed at  those who work in agencies and services here in Phoenixville and are NOT bi-lingual.  They need understand how to work with an interpreter. There is so much one needs to understand when wanting to communicate effectively while using an interpreter.  If you are inter10557676_10152697872056609_8910318148874846908_oested please call us here at Alinazas to register.


Hispanic/Latino Heritage Day in Phoenixville

A joyous occasion in Phoenixville as Alianzas is delivered Mayor Mike Speck’s Proclamation making July 19th Hispanic/Latino Heritage day!

 Latinos/Hispanics were recognized for their contributions to the fabric of our community and culture both locally and nationally.

We are encouraged to continue to serves as an organization that fosters intercultural exchanges and appreciation for Latino Culture as is experienced every year at our FERIA LATINA. “Together we can do more!” “Juntos Podemos Mas!” 


Feria Latina 2014


WOW que dia increidlble!!!! First of all we here at Alianzas want to thank you all! Every vendor, volunteer, and person from the community that came out to celebrate this day. You all are what made it so successful.  So many great moment through out the day to talk about.  First of all we were so honored to have Mayor Speck proclaim the day as Phoenixville Latino/Hispanic Heritage Day.  This is what Feria Latina is really all about, coming together with all of Phoenixville and surrounding areas to share in experiences of the Latino Culture.

Mayor Speck, Nina Guzman, and Edwin Soto
Another moment that was touching and made me so proud was to see young people from our Alianzas youth get up and speak to the large crowd.  We all know speaking in front of hundreds of people is no small matter, ESPECIALLY  if you are amoung poloticians and people twice your age, but that is exactly what they did.  With grace and courage they spoke about their experiences as immigrants and what they hope for the future.

10522573_851080458249981_3389027828833042870_nBesides for the inspirational stories and information there was Zumba, salsa dancing and of course one of my favorite parts of the latino culture…COMIDA!  There were a raffle and tons of prizes given out through out the day.  If you were one of the lucky ones that won felicidades! But know even if you didn’t win a prize with your ticket you were supporting the great work that we do here at Alianzas with the purchase of that ticket, so that is basically a win in my book!!!!

It was a special day and we are already looking forward to next year and continuing the tradition of the Feria Latina here in Phoenixville! Gracias!!!!!!!!!!!!