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Where do movements come from? Do they need some kind of trigger event or person — such as Rosa Parks with civil rights — or can they gain strength and glide into the spotlight?

I went on a mission recently, trying to find out whether Colorado Springs had a Hispanic movement that was slowly growing out of obscurity. I figured all the essential ingredients were there — the explosive issues like immigration, a significant local population, a storied history in the area.

I ran into a lady named Mary Ann Carter, co-executive director of Centro de la Familia, a nonprofit offering social services to a largely Hispanic population. I asked her if she had seen the movement. She leaned over in her chair.

"There's a movement?" she asked incredulously.

But Carter didn't completely discourage my quest. Later in the conversation, she told me about women who had come through Centro. Some couldn't speak English, and had abusive husbands. Many have bettered their lives. A few even went to college. (See story starting on p. 17.)

"They've created wonderful lives for themselves and their children," she said. "We see a lot of those stories. It's just a little opportunity and a lot of desire. The changes are pretty dramatic."

If it can work for individuals, can it work for a community?

— J. Adrian Stanley

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