Proud of their Hispanic heritage, Maria Goeser’s parents and grandparents shared with her what they believed and treasured, including dichos (sayings), costumbres (customs) and consejos (advice).
Maria is equally proud of her roots and hands down those gifts to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchild.
“I want to let them know where we came from and what we have been able to accomplish through hard work, continuous education and our ability to always help our community, giving always a hand up to your neighbor in need,” Maria says.
As Maria celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, she will enjoy Hispanic food, music, dancing and various festivals in the region. She’ll also take time to reflect on the collective talents of Hispanic men and women, whether they’re working in the field to put food on our tables, working in construction to build our communities or working as teachers who are devoted to developing children’s minds.
“I think of the gifts left to us from our past generations, who gave us wisdom, hope and the ability to embrace society because of its diversity,” she shares. “They’ve taught us about working hard, standing up for injustices and to advocating for those who can’t. Our heritage, our herencia!”
Maria has a long history of serving those in need. She has served the past two years on the board of directors in our Springfield market, where our Mission is to improve the health of well-being of the community and bring good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underserved.
Maria, who is bilingual, retired three years ago from the Ohio Department of Development and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Among her many roles was migrant and seasonal farmworker outreach worker as well as bilingual customer service representative. In her last five years, she served as the state monitor advocate for the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Services Program.
“I was blessed to have been able to work with Hispanic workers, leaders and advocates my entire state career,” she adds. “A lot of them I consider friends and family.”
Maria was involved with starting the Clark County Latino Coalition nearly three decades ago because of a need to connect service providers to the Hispanic families living and working in Clark County. She continues to serve as a coalition member, scheduling meetings and collaborating with local, state and federal agencies, organizations and service providers.
All of those efforts earned her the Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan honor in 2018.
“My family has always supported me, has even joined me in walks, fundraisers, health fairs, educational events and justice rallies,” Maria says. “They believe in what I do, support the many causes, and I believe someday they will pick up where I will leave off, the advocacy for justice and equality for all of God’s people.”
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