As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s an honor to shine a spotlight on remarkable individuals within the Latinx community who are making a profound impact on the lives of others. Silvia Corado, a doula extraordinaire and supervisor of the AMAR Community Doula Program within the Children’s Home Society of New Jersey, embodies the spirit of empowerment, compassion, and love. Her story is a testament to the beautiful fusion of her Latinx heritage and her unwavering commitment to serving her community.
A Fusion of Culture and Love
Silvia’s journey began in Guatemala, a place of vibrant traditions and deep cultural roots. Raised by a family with a strong tradition of community service, Silvia’s grandmother played a pivotal role in shaping her values. “My grandma helped her community too,” Silvia fondly recalls. “She wasn’t a doula or a midwife, but they had a big business in my country. Whenever someone in the community needed something, they were there. So it’s something that I say, ‘Okay, I can translate this into being a doula.'”
Silvia’s move to New Jersey with her husband marked the beginning of a new chapter. She left behind the comfort of family and familiarity but carried with her the legacy of her grandmother’s community spirit. Little did she know that her own experiences as a mother-to-be would set her on a path of service and empowerment.
“I came here with my husband, no family, nobody else, just my babies,” Silvia reminisces with a warm smile. She soon discovered the Children’s Home Society’s Cuna program, which offered prenatal classes. These classes not only prepared her for motherhood but also ignited a passion within her. Silvia reflects on this pivotal moment: “All the information I received there impacted my life. It made my life easier.”
Silvia’s journey from expectant mother to doula is a story of giving back. After her children started school, she returned to the Children’s Home Society as a volunteer, eager to share the love and knowledge she had gained. Little did she know that this volunteer experience would set the stage for her transformation into a doula.
From Volunteer to Supervisor
Silvia’s journey as a doula wasn’t just about providing support to expectant mothers; it was about becoming a beacon of light in her community. She worked with the AMAR Community Doula Program and then rose through the ranks to become their supervisor.
Her eyes light up with pride as she recalls her journey: “It’s beautiful when I do the intakes for the new moms. It’s beautiful for me because I let them know that I was in that place. It’s so nice.” Silvia’s journey has come full circle, from being a beneficiary of the program to leading it.
Challenges and Triumphs: A Path Paved with Love
Working as a Latinx doula in an environment where diversity can be a challenge has not deterred Silvia. Her approach is a testament to her unwavering commitment to making a difference. She emphasizes, “If you do everything with love, with respect, showing them that you are there to support them and not make their job more difficult, it makes all the difference.”
Silvia has witnessed the transformation in how her presence as a doula is received. She states, “It’s beautiful how they receive us now. They know we are there to support them, to help them with the clients. It’s different.”
The Power of Information and Advocacy
Empowering Latinx birthing individuals and families is at the core of Silvia’s mission. She believes in the power of knowledge and information. Silvia empowers her clients by providing them with information about their rights, choices, and the resources available to them during childbirth.
She also offers practical advice to Latinx birthing families: “Enjoy your environment, relax, breathe, take a bath, and walk around. Make the most of your time at home because once you’re in the hospital, the environment changes.”
Expanding Horizons: A Future of Empowerment
Silvia’s dedication to her community extends beyond her current role. The AMAR Community Doula Program recently received support to expand its services, and they plan to train more doulas and extend their support to multicultural communities.
Silvia’s story is not just about being a doula; it’s about being a beacon of hope, a reminder that cultural heritage can be a powerful force for positive change, and an inspiration for all of us during Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond. Her journey is a testament to the power of love, passion, and unwavering commitment to empowering Latinx families during one of life’s most transformative moments. Silvia Corado, a doula extraordinaire, is a true embodiment of empowerment, compassion, and love, just like her grandmother before her.
This blog was authored by Tiwani Oseni, Community Engagement Coordinator at HealthConnect One