|NEA Hispanic Caucus ESP Director
Maria Bennett - PENNSYLVANIA
NEA Hispanic Caucus Retiree Director
|NEA Hispanic Caucus Fund for Children Director
Born Ana Mercedes Murcia Rivas Madrid Prado in San Salvador, El Salvador I am a first generation Hispanic/Latina immigrant. My father was born in Copan, Honduras and two of my bothers were born in Gueguetenango, Guatemala. My father worked in the digs and restoration of local historical ruins with Swedish and American archeologist throughout Mexico, Central and South America. My maternal great-grandparents were from Madrid, Spain; however, I feel “at home,” and identify with Latinos from throughout Latin America.
It took my father seven years of diplomatic dealings and over $l0, 000.00 to obtain our permanent resident visa, plus our sponsors in Indiana made available 23,000 acres of land as collateral just in case we were not successful. Spanish is my native language and the country school where we attended did not have an English as a second language program. It was sink or swim. Our family’s “Americanization,’ was not without its trials, but we all succeeded. All five of the Murcia children and their children are college graduates and proud, productive Americans, as well as being very proud of our Hispanic/Latino(a) heritage.
I am a lifetime NEA member and have always been an educational activist/leader. I have served in all local leadership capacities, and in many state and national roles. The latest NEA roles include being a WLTP trainer for the last ten years and a Trainer of Trainer for five. I have also had the privilege to serve in EMAC as a Hispanic Caucus officer and to be appointed to the NEA Standing Committee on Legislation. At the present I also serve on the NEA Fund for Children as your Hispanic Caucus Representative. I am politically involved to affect policy. In my 35 year career as an educator I have been a passionate advocate for equal opportunity access, universal global literacy, inclusion for all, honesty, transparency of process, and the dignity of humanity. I continue to believe that education is the only equalizer, energizer and closer of opportunity gaps that we all have at our disposal.
It is my honor to connect and to serve our Hispanic/Latino(a) Community through NEA Hispanic Caucus and I remain su atenta servidora.