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Maria has been a driving force behind the success of the Day Worker Center of Mountain View for nearly two decades. She joined the Center as a house cleaner in 1999 and began organizing the workers on the street when its original Los Altos location closed in 2001. In 2005, she became Executive Director of the Center, which became a thriving non-profit with its own building, staff, and community-wide support. Known for her contagious passion and dedication to helping others, Maria has inspired others to want to help, causing the Day Worker Center to have many dedicated volunteers.
Born in Mexico, Maria immigrated to the US with her son over two decades ago. She had worked as a teacher’s union organizer in Mexico City and has since become a strong advocate for day laborers and human rights. In the US, Maria has worked tirelessly to organize and advocate, build community alliances and work for reforms on the national, state, and local level.
In 2003, Maria was named “Woman of the Year” by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber and received SIREN’s “Immigrant Advocate of the Year” as well as the “Mexico Award” from the Mexican Consulate in 2006. She helped strengthen the leadership at Peninsula Interfaith Action (PIA) as a member of their Board of Directors for several years. In 2013 Maria was named “Local Hero” by KQED. In 2015, she received an award from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors “for promoting kindness and supporting human rights.” In 2016, she received the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce Athena International award for leadership. She recently received the “Covid-19 Outstanding Service Award” from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, District Five.
Currently, Maria serves as part of the executive committee and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON). She also serves on the Board of Directors at the Community Services Agency (CSA) and the Self Development of People Presbyterian Church (SDOP). She also is a member of SDOP’s West Coast grants selection committee.