As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we want to recognize a woman who for decades has not only been involved in the Hispanic community but has also embraced the culture.
“I feel proud, I’m very proud to be a part of the community, proud that they have faith in me as a healthcare professional, for the longest time I was there and still am for many of them their doctor even though I’m a nurse practitioner,” said Rosa Lucas, a nurse and Coachella Valley resident.
Lucas is a 77-year-old nurse who was born in Beverly Hills and moved to the Coachella Valley almost 40 years ago. She’s been a strong advocate and worked tirelessly for social justice from a young age.
"What attracted me to social justice always is seeing how people were not treated humanely, but especially in the Coachella Valley, seeing the difference between the economic, educational, medical and just opportunities for people of color, especially Spanish-speaking people here compared to the rest of the community and they are the majority of the community here," Lucas said.
Aside from her tireless work, Lucas is also part of several organizations that look out for the health and well-being of the people of the valley.
"I was a “madrina” godmother of Lideres Campesinas, farmworkers women leaders and now Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, National Organization of Farmworkers women leaders," Lucas said.
14 years ago, Lucas co-founded Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine, the only clinic that provides free health services to the uninsured and underinsured in the valley.
She’s also a team leader for the homeless medical outreach called Street Medicine, both clinics were particularly fundamental during the pandemic.
When she's not working, she helps organize food distribution in the East Valley.
"The third Saturday of every month we do a very large distribution of fruits and vegetables donated by Food Forward in Los Angeles," Lucas said. "And we feed approximately two thousand families that are farmworkers."
For her work, the community thanks Rosa Lucas, her passion, dedication and big heart.