Brenda Ordaz

Born in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. The daughter of Zapoteco farmworkers, she was constantly on the move as a child until settling in Madera, California at the age of 11. Besides attending college and working as organizer for the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Brenda is also a committed cultural promoter. She spearheaded a youth dance ensemble to perform at the Fiesta del Pueblo, a yearly event in celebration of San Juan, the saint of her hometown. The Fiesta del Pueblo is not only a religious ceremony, but also the time of the year in which Zapotecos living in Madera have a space to play music, dance and display their art, culture and food. Brenda believes that this event gives a sense of belonging for youth and children of immigrants. She also wrote and performed in The Fandango Zapoteco, a play representing a traditional wedding. By attending and organizing cultural events, Brenda has discovered the great needs and the organizing potential of the Zapoteco community.