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Don’t wait until you die to be reborn.  Your past does not define who you are; it’s only muscle that you are building for your future.”  

- Mayra Rubio

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Spanish-language capacity building for Latine FFN’s (Friends, Family & Neighbors) who provide childcare services in their homes.

“It is our duty and responsibility to become the person we are intended to be.”

–Luz Maria Caro

La Cocina’s community-codesigned initiative for building professional and social-emotional capacity with Latine Friends, Family & Neighbor (FFN) caregivers who provide childcare services in their homes is the beloved ¡Somos las FAVAS! community learning collaborative.


FAVA is the acronym used at La Cocina for our Latines Familias, Amigues y Vecines Apoyandose (FFN’s in English).  In Spanish, the words fava, faba, or haba all refer to a bean–a seed that, when planted and cultivated, provides nourishment for many of our Latine communities.  FAVAS are similar in their roles as community caregivers who lovingly care for and nourish their families’, friends’, and neighbors’ children in their homes.  They are, in fact, gardeners cultivating our future Latine assets.


¡Somos las FAVAS! employs a human-centered approach to codesigning the FAVAS training curricula with them as the primary knowledge recipients and experts, with the parents of the children they care for as critical stakeholders, and even the FAVITAS, or children themselves, as FAVAS “speak for” ways of meeting their complex needs.  ¡Somos las FAVAS! is a comprehensive capacity building program that integrates experiential, didactic, and reflective learning processes through the following activities:

65 hours of intensive didactic training, including eight, day-long intensives focused on skills-acquisition that supports relationship-based childcare practices.

24 hours of LiBRC (Liberation-Based Reflective Consultation) and supervision with La Cocina’s Maternal, Infancy & Early Childhood Mental Health (MIECMH) team.

Ongoing clinician-supervised social-emotional screenings and home evaluations conducted by the FAVAS-in-training and in collaboration with children’s parents and/or caregivers.

Toolkits and manipulables provided as part of the training program’s approach to teaching hands-on relational scaffolding through play.

A unique emphasis on reflective processes that promote healthy relationships across systems boundaries and that generate healthy communications between the FAVAS and the parents or caregivers of the children in their care.