Engaging the Next Latinx Allies for Change and Equity


Global Inspiration

ENLACE was inspired by work at the Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association, which mobilizes communities by raising critical consciousness and solidarity. Their asset-based approach promotes pride based on sexual diversity and gender fluidity in youth leaders’ own communities and provides the skills to confront stigma, discrimination and social isolation.

Based on the Pedagogy of the Oppressed developed by the Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, ENLACE provides effective communication that draws on youth’s own cultures, symbols, and language to reflect critically and take action.

Telenovelas or (Spanish for soap operas) are important in Latin American cultures. Telenovelas have been used to motivate public discussions about contemporary social issues like bullying, family rejection, homelessness, and substance use.

Check out our article about social isolation among LGBTQ+ youth globally.


Community engagement

We engaged 45 community advisors – including LGBTQ+ Latinx youth, 4-H alumni, Latinx parents, health providers, and educators – to develop ENLACE’s themes. Parent and youth champions got communities excited about addressing social isolation as a systemic problem.

Lights, camera – take action!

The ENLACE program builds solidarity and amplifies youth voices, connecting Latinx and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth in fighting social isolation.

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By Youth for Youth

Latinx LGBTQ youth created telenovela-inspired videos as part of a Summer Intensive workshop with Outside the Frame, an NGO that amplifies the voices of marginalized youth based in Portland, OR. Youth learned to develop scripts, film, direct and edit. Youth transformed their own stories about social isolation into tools to help other youth know that they are not alone.

Michelle Funez

Michelle’s story:
Giving Tree

Nat Diaz

Nat’s story:
Their Love


Magnus’s story:
Inconvenient Identity

Kevin Espinoza

Kevin’s story:
Looking back

Nat Diaz

Maria’s story:


ENLACE workshops

We piloted ENLACE workshops to connect Latinx youth from throughout Oregon remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To begin, we talked with 58 mothers and 63 youth (13 years and older) about social isolation, LGBTQ+ allyship, COVID-19, vaccine hesitancy and other important topics.

50 youth completed our workshop and learned to be allies for their LGBTQ+ peers. Many of them made posters to demonstrate their solidarity!

Queer Latinx Youth Amplify Their Voices Using Telenovelas

A new digital telenovela aims to put queer Latinx youth in charge of telling their own stories.

Isolate the problem

CPHHS faculty, students and alumni addressed how COVID-19 has made isolation and health disparities even worse for Latinx communities

Medical mistrust, misinformation factor into Latino vaccine hesitancy

Lack of trusted medical sources, traumatic past experiences with medical care and widespread misinformation have contributed to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Latino communities.

ENLACE Program Team