Executive Director & Co-Founder
Dr. Ruth Zúñiga has a PhD in clinical and community psychology with a rural and indigenous emphasis from the University of Alaska. She has been working in collaboration with community-based organizations and community brokers such as promotores de salud, community health workers, and community leaders to address the mental and emotional health needs of the Latinx community. She has developed and managed multiple community-driven programs and grants focused on “bringing mental health” to the Latinx community, removing stigma and supporting mental health access and utilization of services by underserved communities. Dr. Zúñiga serves on several boards of directors and advisory boards of Latinx community-based organizations in Oregon. Dr. Zúñiga has been teaching, researching, consulting, and presenting on the subject of Latinx mental health and wellness and program evaluation for 10 years. She has been providing culturally grounded mental health services for over 15 years in the areas of resiliency, immigration, healing and trauma informed care, chronic disease management, and overall mental health concerns. She is a former associate professor, and founder of Sabiduría: Latinx Psychology Emphasis at Pacific University, an academic and clinical program focused on training culturally informed masters and doctoral level clinicians to work with the Latinx community. She is a licensed psychologist and serves as a senior health advisor for the Oregon Health Authority in the Covid Response and Recovery Unit.
Programs and Operations Director & Co-Founder
Bonnie began her career in mental health case management, serving individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. This experience fueled her passion to move upstream and promote emotional wellbeing using a public health approach. Prior to co-founding Raíces de Bienestar in 2021, she worked in state government and health systems to support policy and program implementation, advance the role of traditional health workers and cultural brokers, and managed community-health care partnerships & investments. Bonnie grew up in the rural southern California desert, which instilled a deep commitment to equity, sense of community, and a personal and professional passion to improve mental health outcomes. She moved to the Portland area in 2004 and was the first woman in her family to go to college. She has a master’s in public health management and policy from Portland State University. She deeply believes and embodies that what’s personal is public health and dedicates herself to working alongside the community to address systemic barriers and build upon assets to catalyze healing and transformation. She has relied on traditional health workers herself and has over a decade in recovery from drugs and alcohol.
Promotora de Salud
Fabiola graduated as a Health Promoter over 10 years ago and since then, she has collaborated in several projects. She is always looking for ways in which the community has access to fundamental medical services and through this time she has completed several training related to health, bringing her knowledge to the community. Fabiola has a certificate as a Medical Receptionist and trained in the area of mental health with Dr. Ruth Zúñiga and the students of Pacific University. From that training she discovered her passion for helping the community have access to mental and emotional health. For her personally, it is very important to be able to talk about mental health and inform the community about available resources they can access. Fabiola is originally from Michoacan, Mexico and was the first in her family to emigrate to this country.
Daisy Bueno has a PhD in School Psychology from Illinois State University. She is originally from the Chicago area and moved to the Portland area in order to pursue mentorship and supervision in culturally informed liberatory practices from Dr. Zuniga. With the support and guidance of mentors in the field, Dr. Bueno has developed a strong connection to community-centered and accessible approaches to mental health. She has been working with the Latinx/e community and communities of color for over 5 years. Dr. Bueno has experience providing individual, family and group therapy for children and adults as well as developing community spaces dedicated to learning, processing and overall empowerment. In congruence with her community centered approach to healing, Dr. Bueno also has a strong passion for engaging in consultation, teaching, and collaboration with colleagues engaging in systems level work. She has experience supervising students entering the field of psychology. Dr. Bueno is currently supporting our clinical efforts at Raíces de Bienestar and supervising our clinical team. She is also be supporting individuals affected by the illegal marijuana and hemp industry through our clinical and liberation efforts.
Program Manager-Community Liberation Programs
Gladys Alvarado-Martinez received her Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work from Warner Pacific College in 2017 and has been a leader in the Latinx community for many years. She is a first generation Mexican-American, Portland native, mother, wife and oldest of four. She deems herself a Promotora since birth and has been actively involved in her community in various capacities ever since she could remember; volunteering alongside her mom and siblings in community events. In 2011 she took her first Community Health Worker Training and has never looked back. She has used her education and lived experience to support community leaders, families and children to grow and prosper through self-sustainability, resilience and advocacy. Her previous work at Latino Network focused on leading their community health workers program, amongst others. She has worked alongside her family, community leaders and colleagues to bring access to services to the Latinx Community in mental and physical health, health literacy, equity and inclusion, advocacy, leadership, curriculum development, facilitation, mentorship, childhood development and parenthood. She actively seeks new opportunities to learn and has a wide array of certifications and training in the areas of public health and education. She is extremely honored and excited to be part of the Raices de Bienestar team and work towards improving the wellbeing of the Latinx community in Oregon.
Ruby Cabrera received her Bachelors of science in Sociology from Sacramento State University in 2019. She is a first generation Mexican- American and was the first in her family to attend college. After graduating, she worked as a legal assistant at an immigration law firm where she realized her passion in life was helping her community. In 2021, she transitioned into nonprofit work. Ruby is passionate about mental health advocacy and believes that everyone should have access to mental health services. She is excited to be a part of Raíces de Bienestar and be a part of empowering the latinx community here in Oregon.
Bilingual Mental Health Clinician
Bianey Jiménez is the new Clinical Social Worker for Raices de Bienestar and is honored to be part of the Raices team. For the past 15 years Bianey has worked with the Latine/o/x community from Southern Oregon and has experience in advocacy in many social work sectors, including domestic violence, immigration, and education. In her new role with Raices she will be providing direct mental health services and community liberation services to the community around Oregon. Bianey enjoys serving the community and is aware of the importance of using culturally appropriate approaches, as well as person centered therapy, attachment theory and liberation psychology.
Bianey was born and practically raised in Southern Oregon. Though there were a few years, she and her family spent time living in Northern California and Nayarit, Mexico.
Bianey loves spending time with her partner, dogs and family.
Bilingual Mental Health Clinician
Marisol Beaulac has a PsyD in Clinical Psychology from Pacific University with an emphasis in
Latinx psychology. She is originally from San Francisco, California and moved to the Portland area for graduate school. While attending graduate school, Dr. Beaulac was a member of Sabiduria where she met Dr. Zúñiga and Dr. Bueno. Throughout her time in graduate school, Dr. Beaulac participated in community outreach events that centered around decreasing mental health stigma in the Latinx community. She has experience providing individual, group therapy for adults, and engaging in community empowerment work. Additionally, she has engaged in research focusing on the emotional health and wellness and resiliency of Latinx migrant farmworkers. Dr. Beaulac is passionate about providing clinical services that are culturally congruent and have been adapted to meet the needs of the community. She is excited and honored to be a part of the Raíces de Bienestar team.
Contracted Clinic Practice Manager
Alejandra Ferris has a PsyD in Clinical Psychology from Pacific University with an emphasis on health settings as well as Latinx psychology. While in graduate school, she was a member of Sabiduria and began working with Dr. Zúñiga to help create an emotional health and wellness workshop series aimed at promotes de salud to combat mental health stigma in the Latinx community living in the Portland, OR metro area. She completed her internship at the Southwest Consortium/New Mexico VA Healthcare System in Albuquerque and is currently completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Baylor Scott and White Health in Temple, TX. As a bilingual and bicultural clinician, Dr. Ferris is passionate about bringing mental health to the people and ensuring that services are appropriate and accessible to our community’s underserved groups. Dr. Ferris was born in Venezuela and raised in Miami, FL. Growing up in a predominantly Latinx immigrant community made Dr. Ferris feel empowered by her Latina identity her entire life and provided her with the lived experience and understanding of nuances and idiosyncrasies of culture that are so often overlooked in psychological services and health settings in general. Because of this, she strives to educate and encourage her colleagues on how to reflect on their diverse identities, how their identities influence the services they provide in clinical settings, and how to creatively reduce systemic barriers to ensure equitable access to care for all patients served in the health settings she works in.
The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) of Raíces de Bienestar (Raíces) is composed of Latinx community health leaders, promoters and workers. It is intended to inform all Raíces de Bienestar activities, programs, services and projects, ensuring that RdB programs are culturally appropriate, based on the needs of the Latinx community and focused on community strengths and resilience.
Edith Arriaga-Flores is a health promoter, native Peruvian, mother of two children and wife. She trained as a health promoter through her parish. Edith's motivation and passion is her family and community, and she volunteers in several organizations and activities in her community. She has trained and provided several educational workshops on various topics, including mental health. Edith is grateful to be a participant in the Raíce’s Community Advisory Committee, for in this organization she has seen that through “speaking in simple language about mental health in our communities and understanding that we are not alone, barriers and stigma surrounding mental health can be broken.” She hopes that through this committee she will be able to continue her commitment to serve and meet more people, sharing and learning more every day. In her free time Edith enjoys walking with her two dogs in the park.
Delfina Andrade is a certified health promoter and worked for 6 years at the Oregon Latino Health Coalition as a community health worker. She is a board member of the Community Alliance of Tenants and is currently engaged in her business in the city of Hillsboro. Her passion is to support and advocate for her community. Her reason to join the Raíces Community Advisory Committee is to bring her knowledge about the community and its needs, so that the programs of this organization can provide the best service and support to the Latinx community. In her free time, Delfina enjoys spending time with her family and walking to the beach.
Veronica Gallardo Salmeron is a certified health promoter from Guerrero, Mexico who studied at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon. She has experience providing training and working with the Latinx community with the Hispanic Catholic Program where she serves as a Health Promoter. Being part of the Community Advisory Committee in Raíces de Bienestar has been very important to Veronica, as her passion is to educate the community about the importance of preventive health care, nutrition, exercise and mental health, as well as informing and connecting them with resources.Veronica believes that self-care is an important part of health and well-being. His favorite activities are spending time with her family, enjoying nature and discovering new places.
Adriana Lopez Garcia was born in Oaxaca, Mexico and moved to the United States more than 20 years ago and is a certified health promoter. Since then, she has worked to support the Latinx community in how to access education, health and social services available in the area. Adriana currently works at EPHC in the development department supporting bringing more services and resources to the community. Adriana decided to join the Community Advisory Committee because she has seen the positive impact that community talks have on the community. Additionally, through these talks we can combat the stigma of mental health in the community while recognizing and promoting strengths of our traditions and ancestral values. In her free time she enjoys swimming and hiking with her family.
Maria Samayoa es Guatemalteca and a promotora de salud de la Iglesia. She is registered with the State of Oregon as a Community Health Worker (CHW) and has volunteered as a Health Promoter since 2008. Her regular job is also serving the community as a community liaison person for a high school in Oregon. There she supports youth, families and school staff, facilitating communication to help students achieve academic success. Her motto is: “Learn to share, and you too will receive the benefits”. Maria knows firsthand the needs of her community and therefore decided to be part of the Raíces de Bienestar’s Community Advisory Committee, because she believes that together with this committee and professionals who have the same interests, you can improve the lives of individuals and together create healthy communities. His hobbies include singing, connecting with her family, and playing board games with her family.
Rosareli Sotelo De Los Angeles is originally from Guerrero, Mexico. She has lived in Oregon for 16 years, with 13 of those years as a farm worker. She has a great passion for serving the community, and being a voice for those who have been excluded or neglected, such as Latinx fieldworkers. She has done volunteer work through organizations such as Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN). Her interests in joining the Raíces Community Advisory Committee are due to her passion and motivation in learning about mental health, bringing ideas to the committee, and bringing resources to his community. Her favorite self-care activities are walking and listening to music.
Zoraya Uder was born in Salem, OR and is a Certified Health Promoter working for the organization Families in Action. Zoraya loves working with the community and providing education about better health and lifestyle. She volunteers at parish events and many other community activities. Her motivation to be part of the Raíces Community Advisory Committee is to learn how to help the community identify mental health challenges and provide resources and information. She also wants to help inform Raíces about what the community needs, what they are facing in their daily lives, and how to find ways to meet those needs. Her desire is to act as a bridge between the two, because “she is from the community to serve her community” In her free time, she enjoys nature, reading and cooking.
Guadalupe Beltran was born in Mexico City and emigrated to the United States 23 years ago. She first started working as a bilingual teacher's assistant for a preschool in Seaside Oregon for 15 years. This is where she developed the skills of social work and used her second language not only to translate but also to advise latino / hispanic families about the importance of early childhood education. During her time there she also informed them about the local resources their community had to offer for help them during difficult economic times. When working at the preschool, Guadalupe was able to see the needs and barriers that existed in his own community Latina/Hispanic, which led her to want to do more. Guadalupe began to work as a Community Navigator for the Hispanic Council in Astoria, Oregon. There she participated in organizing Covid-19 vaccination clinics for the Latino/Hispanic community.
Guadalupe volunteers at her local parish where she organizes events to raise funds for her church. Guadalupe is also certified as a Community Facilitator. She is passionate about promoting early childhood education, physical activity and emotional health of parents and their families. Her motivation to be part of the Raices Community Advisory Committee is aligns with the work she has been doing. She wants to continue helping her community by contributing knowledge about the community and its needs. She wants to empower the community by re-educating parents, strengthening our resilience as a community, breaking cycles and taboos, promoting well-being, emotional, equity and inclusion for all.
My name is Liliana Acosta, I am originally from Guanajuato, Mexico. I am a student in the Bachelors of Social Work program at Portland State University. (BSW). I have been a Community Health Worker for 8 years. I work at Kaiser Permanente as a Community Health Navigator. I also teach chronic disease management and prevention classes in different organizations and clinics for the Spanish-speaking community. Mental health is as important as any other illness. Being part of the advisory committee gives me the opportunity to be the voice of my community and echo the needs regarding mental health. Also to receive the appropriate education and information to share with my community and break the stigma of mental health illnesses.My passion is advocating and helping my community access resources and healthcare. In my free time I like hiking and traveling.
My name is Maria Erika Ojeda Mejía. I was born in Mexico Federal District. In Mexico I helped the community with the opportunities program, it was an unforgettable experience. But my children wanted to be with their father in the United States. When they were 3,5,10,11 years old we came to the US. Arriving in this country, I learned that there was a program called “health promoters.” It caught my attention, thinking that I could graduate as a nurse. But I started taking the workshop and little by little I began to see how different the program was from what I thought. I continued to be interested and have continued to take many workshops such as taking control of your health, taking control of diabetes, Grandma Mom and I, walking with pleasure, empowering yourself and the Raíces de Bienestar programs. The thing I have liked the most is helping the community by providing oral health and vision services, but the happiest thing that makes me happy is that I am certified by the state. In my free time I like to knit and dance, I am a sonidera at heart.
Washington County Public Health
Trauma-Informed Oregon | Portland State University
Oregon Health Equity Alliance
Innovator Agent | Oregon Health Authority
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