Mamaroneck’s hosted a day of beauty for participants in Project Madres. The program—coordinated by the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound—runs monthly workshops from September to May that provide pertinent information on topics such as nutrition, health and domestic violence to immigrant women. The day of beauty was a culmination of their many months of participation in the program.
The women who take part in Project Madres are generally referred to the organization by Mamaroneck’s Community Action Program Center (CAP), past program participants, or by school social workers. (Many of the women have children who come to the CAP Center for its various programs.)
—an offshoot of Westchester Community Opportunity Program (WESTCOP)—provides a variety of services to at-risk members of the community.
“We got involved with Project Madres through one of our clients, who belonged to the Junior League,” said Salon Posh Owner and White Plains resident, Diane Cermele, 31. “It’s so refreshing to see the smiles on everyone’s faces when they are done with their makeovers, and great to see them sharing their enjoyment with others,” she gushed.
Seven of the salon’s stylists provided each of the 20 participants with a hair wash, cut, and blow dry, free of charge. Makeup artists put the finishing touches on each woman.
Mamaroneck CAP Center Director Guisela Marroquin, 28, gave some background on the program as each woman eagerly awaited her turn to sit in one of the salon’s chairs for her transformation.
“Mamaroneck has a good-sized Hispanic population, and we aim to educate these women—who are all Latina—and provide resources to help them acclimate to the community,” she said. “Project Madres holds its monthly workshops at here in town. We feature a different topic each month, and they range from domestic violence to financial management. We really aim to provide empowerment through information.”
Past Project Madres graduates frequently come and speak to current participants to give encouragement. “The highlight of the program really is that these women have a commonality so they don’t feel so alone in a new culture,” Marroquin said, about the bonding experience the program allows the women. She added that the CAP Center provides English classes as well, separate from Project Madres.
Project Madres’ Mamaroneck chapter started four years ago. “It grew from the original program that began 10 years ago at the Holy Rosary Church in Port Chester,” said Junior League committee member Margarita Barrera of Larchmont. “The workshops really do wonders and help give these women more confidence.”
One participant that gave the program a thumbs-up—while waiting for her hair styling and makeup session—was Antonia Valero, a Mamaroneck resident and native of Peru. “I like the variety of topics that Project Madres presents, and also that they give up-to-date information on important things,” she said, as Marroquin translated.
The women collectively beamed as they each marveled at their new looks in the salon’s mirrors. “Salon Posh has been very generous to open their doors for this event,” said Marroquin. “One of the things we remind these women is that their appearance and self care are very important. We all agree that this event underscores that in a really positive way.”