Madres emprendedoras, entrepreneurial mothers: Reflections from a community-based participatory action research course with Mexican immigrant madres in the Silicon Valley

Document Type


Publication Date



American Psychological Association


In this paper we present and discuss the creation and implementation of a community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) university course, and corresponding action projects, developed in collaboration with 11 Mexican immigrant madres (mothers). The Greater Washington community constitutes the setting for this project, as it is characterized by growing economic disparities reflective of the gentrification that characterizes the Silicon Valley (California, United States). We begin with a discussion of CBPAR, the community context, and the development of the CBPAR course, and associated projects. Furthermore, we discuss and highlight how the lived experiences of Mexican immigrant madres surfaced in the development of their action projects. All three projects were interconnected and inherently tied to the Mexican immigrant madres’ community experiences, which reflected their personal, political, and economic challenges. The action projects included identifying resources for students with special needs, affordable housing, and public safety. Via these projects, the Mexican immigrant madres demonstrated their leadership, agency, hope, and resilience in the face of increasing systemic inequities, and gained an increased ability to address long-standing issues in their community. We conclude with implications for engaging in CBPAR, as well as lessons learned from this community-based collaboration.