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Latina Women Honored for Contributions to the Community
Tuesday, March 30, 2021


Irma Reigle moved to the Wood River Valley 25 years ago, following her California-born husband whom she met when he came to her hometown of Mexico City as a missionary.

The exuberant woman instantly fell in love with the Wood River Valley, with her job as a housekeeper for a gallery owner and with the walks she took around her house in Hailey’s Woodside neighborhood.

And, as she raised three children, she began to plug herself into the community. She helped distribute food at The Hunger Coalition, volunteered at her church and, more recently, helped with the census and volunteering with St. Luke’s and Neighbors Helping Neighbors to address the COVID pandemic in the valley’s Latino community.

On Sunday, Reigle was one of 19 women inducted into the new Latinas Hall of Leaders during a brunch at the Limelight Hotel.

The event, held in conjunction with Women’s History Month, was designed to offer a message of hope, said community activist Herbert Romero, who co-organized it with Tammy Davis, who partners with him on Neighbors Helping Neighbors and the Hispanic-LatinUS Leadership Task Force.

Davis said she was inspired to honor Latina women after being nominated for Woman of the Year in the valley. As she researched the various events honoring women dating back to the Sun Valley Chamber’s Women of the Year celebrations, she realized that no Latina woman had ever been nominated.

“I was super honored to be nominated, but it’s not just me,” said Davis, who heads up the Crisis Hotline and serves as a Bellevue alderman. “My work is not just me. My work is all of you. It’s all of us.”

Berenice Crowder, a language translator at St. Luke’s Wood River, was among those honored.

“I love what I do because it means helping people understand what the doctor is saying so they can get better,” she said.

Crowder said it was worrisome having to don Hazmat suits to translate for patients who were sick with COVID-19.

“But, when you love what you do, you find a way to do it. And it got better over time,” she said.

In addition to a certificate, each woman was given a small porcelain duck pipe that symbolized the beautiful sound of women working together. Each was also given a bracelet, a symbol of strength and balance and a reminder that they need to care for their own emotional and mental health as they serve others.

“We always have to remember to heal ourselves to heal others,” Davis told them.

It’s hoped that the 19 that were honored on Sunday will bring another 19 women who exhibit leadership qualities into the fold, said Davis. The women would be offered community resilience training and other forms of support.

“We want to grow exponentially. We want them to know they have support,” Davis said. “We want to match and support the work they’re already doing. We want them to know they have a voice.”

Davis said that she often hears the Hispanic community labeled as vulnerable or marginalized. But it’s the system that creates injustices,’ she said.

“This reminds us of the work these women do, the impact they have. Si Se Puedo. We can work together as a community and accomplish great things,” she added. “Each of these women, whether they hold a formal title or not, can have an impact. It’s not the title, it’s the true commitment to our community to make a difference and the fact that each of these amazing women reach out and help very other woman with a hand up.”

Romero told the women that Sunday’s celebration was not a one-time deal.

“We’ll be coming around again,” he said. “We’ll be coming around every year thereafter.”


* Edith Lopez (kindergarten teacher, Alturas Elementary, Hailey)

* Pamela Donoso (I Have a Dream Foundation, Hailey)

* Ruby Garcia (Bilingual Outreach Coordinator, St.Luke Center for Community Health, Hailey)

* Margie A. Gonzalez( Executive Director,  Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, Boise)

* Blanca Romero (Community Care Coordinator, The Hunger Coalition, Bellevue)

* Berenice Crowder (translator for St. Luke’s Wood River, Ketchum)

* Dolores Vega ( Resource & Advocacy Coordinator, The Hunger Coalition, Bellevue)

* Susie Rios ( Statewide Outreach Director, Idaho Women Business Center, Twin Falls)

* Beatriz Guzman  (Career Agent, World Financial Group, Twin Falls)

* Martha Botello ( Business Owner, Novedades Angel, Hailey)

* Karina Espinoza ( Restaurant Owner. Jhony's Peruvian Restaurant, Hailey)

* Sandra Castillo ( Restaurant Owner, Lago Azul Salvadorean/Mexican Restaurant, Hailey).

* Stephanie Garibay ( News reporter, 6 on your Side)

* Jovita Pina (Associate Director, Senior Connection, Hailey)

* Estela Contreras ( Community Leader, Contreras Bros., Ketchum)

* Maria Garcia ( Community Leader, Ketchum )

* Irma Reigle ( Community Leader, Hailey)

* Vicky Fajardo ( Community Leader, Magic Valley)

* Maria Del Rocio Aguilar ( Community Leader, Ketchum)

* Micaela Rios Anguiano ( Director of Social Change & Resilience, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, Boise.



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