Feed the soil, and the soil will feed the plant.


Álvaro has been farming since he was a child in Mexico. For as long as he can remember, growing vegetables has been his true passion. He and his wife, Edna, immigrated to the U.S. over 20 years ago in search of a better life and more opportunities. They now own a small, sustainable farming operation on land that they lease in Beaverton, Oregon. Álvaro grows a beautiful array of vibrant, organic vegetables. He's especially known for his beets, carrots, cilantro, lettuce, and bell peppers.

When they first began successfully growing produce, they gave away all of their harvests to local churches. Although bringing in extra money for his family would be helpful, Álvaro began this venture simply because he loves doing it. But when they got the opportunity to sell their produce through our CSA and Distributor program, they realized that farming could not only be an enjoyable experience, but it could help support their family.

On Mondays, Álvaro and Edna carry large tubs of their freshly harvested produce into our CSA space. Álvaro gently sets down a few buckets of lush basil and a mouth-watering aroma fills the entire room. Edna peeks into the first tub to find perfect stalks of crispy kale. From here, the fresh herbs and vegetables will be distributed across Portland and Washington County communities. Some of the produce ends up in schools, restaurants, or small food businesses, while others get delivered to the doorsteps of our individual CSA members. It doesn't get more local than that.


Liliana Morgan, our Distributor Sales and Marketing Coordinator, starts weighing vibrantly green tomatillos and plump lemon cucumbers. By connecting with local restaurants, schools, and CSA members in our community, Liliana ensures food grown by Latino-owned, sustainable farms gets out into the community.


Liliana explains why she loves working at Adelante. "I love seeing how proud our participants are to be providing healthy food to members of the community, especially knowing that we focus on reaching low-income clients. For many of the farmers we work with, growing food and working with plants is not only a means of supporting themselves financially, but a healing practice through which they find great joy."


Álvaro didn't always know the intricacies of sustainable agriculture, which can be complex and sometimes overwhelming when starting out. He knew he wanted to grow pesticide-free produce, but since the farming techniques he learned in Mexico involved using chemical treatments, he was struggling to keep pests off of his plants without using pesticides.

Then he heard about our Sustainable Agriculture class and he immediately signed up. Since Álvaro only speaks limited English, he says having the class be conducted in Spanish was a tremendous help.


Alejandro Tecum runs our Sustainable Agriculture program where he teaches a 14-week class to local Latinos who aspire to own a sustainable farming business, or who would just like to start a vegetable garden in their back yard. In the class, he covers everything from how to maintain proper soil to how to market their final product. Alejandro explains, "In Sustainable Agriculture, soil is the most important component in the food production. Our motto is "feed the soil, the soil feeds the plant."


"Sustainable Agriculture is important because through it we teach and show people how to grow healthy, delicious, and fresh vegetables. So while they are providing food for their families and high quality produce for their customers (if they have a farm business), they are also taking care of the environment." says Alejandro.


Instead of using chemicals to keep pests away, Álvaro now plants flowers nearby that deter the pesky insects. Although his operation is small, he has his sights set on someday saving up enough money to buy his own farmland and turning his passion of sustainable farming into a full-time career.

The education Álvaro received in our Sustainable Farming class enabled him to take his love of gardening and turn that into the ability to help feed his own community, as well as support his family, all while using farming techniques that are kind to the earth. Much like taking the time to cultivate nutrient-rich soil in a garden, education will always be an invaluable investment in the future for budding entrepreneurs like Álvaro.

Meet Yanet and See How Produce RX Changed Her Life

smaller 6.jpg

For many Latina women and their families, Produce RX, a program we offer in partnership with Virginia Garcia, is changing what they eat and the way they think about food. For Yanet (pictured below), this couldn't be more true. When Yanet's daughter passed away, she dealt with her grief by turning to unhealthy food. During this difficult time in her life, her weight went up to over 200 pounds. Instead of cooking healthy meals at home, her family ate takeout food about two to three times a week. Emotional eating had taken over Yanet's life. So when she heard about our Produce RX program, she jumped at the opportunity to get her family's health back on track.

smaller 2.jpg
smaller 3.jpg

Latinos are disproportionately at risk for diet related diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and Produce RX is working to change that. Through cooking classes and vouchers for fresh produce at our Farmers Market, Produce RX is making healthy diets more accessible to low-income Latino communities in Oregon.

Like many Latina women, Yanet was worried that her family wouldn't be interested in eating a diet heavy in vegetables, and she wasn't sure how to cook them. But since taking the Produce RX cooking classes, she has gained the confidence to cook a healthy, balanced diet. And her husband and three daughters are excited about it as well. Her husband now brings mixed vegetables to work for lunch instead of fried meat. 

smaller 9.jpg
smaller 5.jpg
smaller 8.jpg

Since Yanet's family lives on her husband's income, she says money can be tight. The vouchers for produce at our Farmers Market gives her the ability to buy local, organic produce. Now, her whole family enjoys trips to the weekly market. She says her family feels better now and they have more energy. They even have fewer trips to the doctor since they don't get sick as often. Yanet says she now has the tools necessary to battle emotional eating and keep her whole family's diet as healthy as possible. 

smaller 12.jpg
smaller 13.jpg
smaller 11.jpg

119 individuals and 21 families have benefitted from the Produce RX program. Our qualitative research shows that the program has greatly reduced health care spending for participants. Thanks to supporters like you, programs like Produce RX are changing lives.

For Yolanda, School Wasn't Always Easy (VIDEO)

When Yolanda was a young girl, her first language was Spanish. So when she entered Kindergarten and everyone spoke English, everything from learning to making friends was a struggle. But she was determined to do well in school so that she can make a difference in the world. She dreamed of doing big things with her life, including having a professional career, so she couldn't let her obstacles stop her. Watch our newest video to see Yolanda's amazing journey. 

Click here to support our life-changing Chicas Youth Development program. 

Feeding families & strengthening bonds with our Adelante Mujeres CSA

Feeding families & strengthening bonds with our Adelante Mujeres CSA

For Brian and Harper, CSA membership was so much more than just the food. 

When Brian found himself temporarily unemployed, he worried about how to provide healthy food for his 4-year-old daughter, Harper, on a limited budget.

Then he saw an advertisement for our Adelante Mujeres Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Our CSA allows community members to buy fruits and vegetables directly from local farmers by paying in advance to receive a weekly share of produce throughout the growing season.

Although he had tried CSA once before, he did not think he would able to afford it this year. 

Read More

Ocean sound engineer inspires Chicas at OMSI's Designing Our World

Ocean sound engineer inspires Chicas at OMSI's Designing Our World

Written by Raquel Stewart, OMSI

One of the most important part of our Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) Designing Our World program is giving the young girls we interact with a chance to meet female role models who can have a positive impact, no matter how big or how small, in their lives.

Throughout our program, we have invited women in the field of engineering to share their stories and help guide the Chicas students through various engaging engineering activities.

Read More

Building a business, building confidence

Building a business, building confidence

Growing up, Angelica dreamed of following in her father's footsteps to become an entrepreneur. 

But when her husband Salud began to develop a chorizo business, she was content to simply support him from the sidelines. After all, in her culture, women are taught to be humble.

Read Angelica's inspiring story to see how she found the strength to rise up as a leader in her family business and make a donation to empower more women like her to reach for their dreams.

Read More

OMSI’s Designing Our World opens doors to engineering for Chicas students

OMSI’s Designing Our World opens doors to engineering for Chicas students

Written by Raquel Stewart, OMSI

Designing Our World (DOW for short) began as a way to bridge the gap between young girls and engineering. It was a project funded by the National Science Foundation and born out of the need for more female engineers in our world; a project that sought to make this line of work one that felt more attainable and relatable to girls who will soon face the beginning of many career-related life decisions.

Read More

We can't do this alone!

We can't do this alone!

On January 9th, our staff, participants, and other community members packed City Hall and stood in solidarity to urge the Forest Grove City Council to designate Forest Grove a Sanctuary City.

Despite our strong advocacy efforts and overwhelming community support, the Forest Grove City Council turned down the Sanctuary City Resolution drafted by Mayor Truax with a 3-3 vote.

This means that we need your help now more than ever.

Read More

We made our voices heard! But we can do more!

We made our voices heard! But we can do more!

Thank you to all who joined us as we stood up for the rights of immigrants, Latinos, and women to be treated as equals in our community! 

Seeing so many allies gathered together peacefully gave us hope for the future!

The march was a great success, and it sent a message to the nation that we will not stand for hatred and injustice against women, immigrants, minorities, or any other marginalized community. 

Read More

Urge City Council: Make Forest Grove a Sanctuary City

Take action today! 

This past Monday evening, a powerful representation of Adelante participants, staff and other community members testified and bore witness in support of declaring Forest Grove a Sanctuary City. We packed City Hall! 

Now we need to bring this effort home by flooding the City's email box with our strong support for a Sanctuary City declaration. 


Read More

A vision and a partnership

A vision and a partnership

How the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus & Mary (SNJMs) helped us grow

In February of 2002, a group of twelve immigrant Latina women came together to create change in our community with the guidance of Bridget Cooke and Sister Barbara Raymond of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus & Mary (SNJMs).

Through their work with the Latino community at Centro Cultural, Bridget and Barbara found that Latina women faced very unique challenges. 

Together, they began to hold weekly meetings where these women could share their stories and dreams while developing skills. They called their group Adelante Mujeres, Spanish for “women rise up, move forward.”

Read more to see how the SNJMs helped make Adelante's vision a reality.

Read More