Open Access Capstone
This research project addresses the empowerment processes of five Hispanic women from their perspectives of the family and community influences in their lives. One woman each from El Salvador, Colombia, Ecuador, and two from Puerto Rico, ranging in age from thirty-five to fifty-two years old engaged in interviews, listened to this content, and shared their feedback as to impacting influences in their lives. Throughout nine meetings they dialogued about discoveries and questions that emerged as a result of a reflective process that developed among us.
How do we reflect about our growth process? Do we know what strengths we bring to how we learn? How did we discover them? How has our family influenced us? How do we learn from the community? These questions motivate and accompany our joint experience.
The research process itself unfolds in an empowering style whereby the women mutually encourage each other to share on deeper levels where cultural, spiritual and gender related issues are explored. Moments of liberating personal disclosure are integrated throughout the study. Participation was key in this project design, as the listening experiences and our very interactive meetings clearly show.
Discoveries about different kinds of power, what impedes or energizes empowerment processes, as indeed, new indicators for empowerment as these women have experienced them spiritually, are presented here in the findings. Implications for community based adult education groups are examined.