Mercedez Alpirez Ramon

Community Organizer

Mercedez Alpirez Ramon

Where did you grow up, and how long have you lived in Rice County area?

I grew up in Guatemala and came to Faribault in 2003. Since then, I have lived in Le Center and Arlington, Minnesota. In April 2017 I decided to come back to Faribault.

What is your educational and/or work background?

In Guatemala I graduated in 2001 with a degree in commercial secretary specializing in computers. That same year I graduated to be an auxiliary pharmacist. In 2002 and 2003, I went to the university in Guatemala to study legal sciences, and I came to the United States in 2003. When I lived in Le Center I did a lot of volunteering, giving people rides and helping families with resources they might need. I also worked in a restaurant, El Tacazo. When I came back to Faribault in 2017, I met Natalia Marchan (former Growing Up Healthy staff member) and started doing volunteer work for Growing Up Healthy – recruiting families, spreading the word about events, and collaborating with Sharing Our Roots.

Why did you take this job with GUH?

These past couple of years I helped with food distribution and Evenings in the Park as a volunteer. I worked for HCI as a contractor from September 2021 to mid March 2022, helping with recruitment for community organizing workshops and co-facilitating the workshops with Jennyffer Barrientos. I also helped families with furnace repairs and mobile home-related issues. I started officially working for Growing Up Healthy in March of 2022. I like to work with the community, to help them and bring resources to them. There have been a lot of cases where families don’t know what resources they might be eligible for, and I like to bring those to them.

What are your main job responsibilities?

My main responsibility is being out in the community, listening to the community; being discreet with the information that is being shared with me, all while still being able to share their stories.

What do you like most about the job?

When I have a person come up to me and ask if they can confide in me, trust in me, and tell me about an issue they have, and I can in return help this person with their need.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

The biggest challenge or barrier I face right now is not being able to speak English fluently.

What are your hopes and dreams for the community where you work?

Having a community where everyone is united. Having driver’s licenses for all, and finding a way to help people who are here and who are willing to work get jobs.

What do you do for fun?

I like to go out for walks, and I like to cook.