Christine Torres continues connecting Latinos with Spanish Networking

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Photo by Karlha Velásquez / Hola America News
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By Karlha Velásquez, Hola America

The city of Fremont has become an epicenter of connection for the Latino community of Nebraska, which has found in the Spanish Networking Group meetings a space to exchange information about orientation and jobs for Hispanics.

This meeting space emerged 7 years ago when Christine Torres had the need to provide more information to the Latin community.

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“When I came here (to Fremont) I didn’t know anyone. There wasn’t much of a Hispanic community,” said Torres, who for two years has been the membership and development director of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, an institution that currently supports the cause.

At the beginning, all the meetings had few members, but since the pandemic began in 2020, technology played an important role as the group grew and they could connect through video conferences. More people joined from Omaha, Grand Island, Lincoln and Norfolk in Nebraska. Also Council Bluffs and Des Moines in Iowa.

Photo by Karlha Velásquez / Hola America News

What are the meetings like?

Torres organizes the one-hour agenda. Send emails and text messages to guests. No membership fee is required and anyone who wants to connect can attend. So far they have more than 150 attendees.

Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 10 am, either in person (at the Fremont Chamber of Commerce headquarters) or virtually. Although many speak English, many of the members speak Spanish. Everyone collaborates with the translations.

As a prelude, an introduction is made about what the Spanish Networking Group is and, in the form of a round table, members are invited to introduce themselves and say what they do and how they can contribute to others. Whether it is adult education, domestic violence counseling, jobs, health care, events and others.

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Other Fremont institutions have joined in, such as the mayor’s office, public schools and the local police department.

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Assistance can be in person or online. If you would like to attend and learn more, you can contact Torres at [email protected].

About Christine

Torres told Hola América that she tries to balance her family and work life. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters 10 & 16 years of age.

She was born in Los Angeles, and her parents are from Michoacán. She commented that she feels very proud of speaking two languages ​​because this way she can help Hispanics more.

“When I started working here, Latinos thought that the Fremont Chamber of Commerce was some kind of service to which they had to pay a bill, there was a lot of unfamiliarity. Now my job is to educate Latinos and small businesses to be part of the Chamber of Commerce since it has many benefits for them,” she commented.

Torres is the only and the first Hispanic at the chamber, so for her it is an achievement to be able to provide information to the community with both the Chamber of Commerce and the Spanish Networking Group.

“I want to continue informing, that is my goal, to make connections. I love knowing that people come together to do good things in the community. This year I want to move the meetings to other parts of Fremont because I think people can feel welcome. That they recognize the city and the people who live in it,” she said.

She added that the culture of acceptance towards the Hispanic community is already growing. “Many of the places here in Fremont have been very supportive of us with space, coffee or other things. The good thing is that many Americans want to get to know Hispanics,” she commented.

Christine has aspirations to continue connecting with other communities and people, and leave institutionalizations aside, since for her the Spanish Networking Group is a way to grow a family.

 

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