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Where we at now?

Heylin Rodriguez • Jan 28, 2021

In mid-August 2020 the organization (NOVALACIRO) had already achieved an alliance with the Beloved Community Incubator in Washington DC. BCI incubated Dulce Hogar Cooperative in Washington DC which today is a success. One day we sent them an email expressing our desire to start a cooperative in Virginia and a few days later they answered us and we set a date and time for a meeting. The meeting was a great success. They told us that they planned to create or help other cooperatives in the DMV area. Since then we began to put our project in motion with Bianca Vasquez as Heylin Rodriguez's mentor.

First Meeting with BCI

The community in northern Virginia knew of the plans to create a cooperative. Of course, we already had leaders that this project motivated them to be part of it. After the first meeting with Bianca Vasquez Heylin, he managed to gather six leaders of our Latino community in VA and held what would be her first meeting. Little by little the leaders and now the job owners have successfully advanced with the training and learning that Bianca and Heylin have provided.

After more than 3 months of training on the basics like;

  • What is a cooperative?
  • What is a cooperative?

What is the role of NOVALACIRO, BIC, and Dulce Hogar Washington in this project?

Also after having spoken and decided on the values, the mission, and the vision for the cooperative, Bianca Vasquez held her first meeting with the work owners. Bianca explained to them about the percentage that they have to leave for their own expenses and also about how to make decisions, decisions such as how many people will go to clean a house, what kind of cleaning fluids to use or not to use since the customer will provide them. Other things Bianca discussed were financial aid and how we can apply for loans or grants.

Bianca Explaining the Expenses

Now we can say that we are in the last stages of our project since Bianca has found us a lawyer for the legal process. Also, the leaders are prepared to make any decisions and ready to answer any questions about this process. On Saturday, January 23, we held a meeting with the Beloved Community incubator and the owners of the Dulce Hogar Washington DC cooperative. The meeting was very exciting as our leaders were able to interact with the leaders in Washington DC and ask and answer questions.

For example, our leaders in Virginia had doubts about how they carried out the work, how they traveled, how they managed their schedule, how often the cooperative meets, and how their clients pay them. Besides that, the leaders of Washington DC also gave them a lot of motivation and shared many of their experiences. They also gave many tips on how to maintain a pleasant environment for all the DueƱas.

When the meeting ended, they agreed that they will meet once a month from now on. The most important thing right now is that the leaders in Virginia learn how to handle decisions and learn from the experiences of the girls in Washington DC.

The Two Co-ops Together