In 1995, three women were moved by the plight of Houston’s impoverished inner-city Hispanic females and together these civic-minded women devised a plan to provide assistance by forming an organization comprised of community-minded Mexican women.
Their strategy was to educate its members on the local socio-economic conditions, and to fundraise and provide volunteer services to improve the outlook for this growing population.
These three dynamic women – Almendra Perez Cardenas (wife of Houston’s former Counsel General of Mexico, Manuel Perez Cardenas), Leticia Fallick (a psychologist), and Cecilia De La Rosa (wife of a local cardiologist), conceived the idea to form a nonprofit organization called Mexican Women’s Initiative (MWI).
Initial efforts from the group included fundraising for health fairs (with some local hospitals offering support and information along with exams of children and adults to diagnose cholesterol, diabetes, etc.), and contributions to the community for various educational and abuse treatment programs.
Support for MWI continued to broaden to include the business community. In addition, a diverse group of Hispanics became involved which included representation from every Latin American country. One key individual, Patricia Herrera, spearheaded an idea that would change the dynamics of MWI forever. In 2002, Ms. Herrera helped bring to life, a first class fundraising event that was unique to the community.
Her vision of a “Fashion Show” highlighting Mexican designers was a success (the first designer to be highlighted was Armando Maffud); this was the beginning of an annual fundraising event that has since become one of Houston’s premier luncheon and fashion show.
Ms. Herrera’s vision flourished under the leadership of her daughter, Patty Dominguez. Not only did the annual Fashion Show continue to expand and thrive, but more importantly, Ms. Dominguez helped revolutionize the organization with a name change. In 2006, after careful consideration and discussion, MWI’s name was changed to Latin Women’s Initiative (LWI) to reflect the growing diverse Hispanic community.
Today, Latin Women’s Initiative has blossomed into one of Houston’s top Hispanic fundraising organizations that provide financial donations and volunteers to nonprofits that primarily assist Hispanic women and children. Since inception, Latin Women’s Initiative has donated over $1 million to local nonprofit organizations, making a significant difference in the lives of thousands. It is through these efforts that the legacy of Latin Women’s Initiative’s founders – Almendra, Leticia, and Cecilia, will leave an indelible mark on the Hispanic community for years to come.
Latin Women’s Initiative recognizes the numerous individuals that helped the organization grow to what it is today.
|1997- 1999||Leticia Fallick|
|1999- 2001||Bertha Flores|
|2001- 2002||Lourdes Martinez|
|2002- 2004||Patricia Herrera|
|2004- 2005||Diva Garza|
|2005- 2008||Patty Dominguez|
|2012-2014||Rosi F. Hernandez|