A place for women to be present for one another

The Circle’s full formation takes place Oct. 25


Joeanna Lopez

The altar at the top center of the "Circle," in room GE-105, for the first gathering of the Xinachtli Women's Circle on Oct. 11.

Joeanna Lopez, Times Staff

Finding oneself in a space that was made specifically in mind for them can be as overpowering to tears as it can be empowering.

SJCC once again offers a place where all women on campus can go to feel the empowering presence of others like them through participation in the Xinachtli Women’s Circle.

The inclusive Circle met on Oct. 11, for the first of five meetings this semester.

“This is more than a club,” said EOP&S counselor Olga Morales-Anaya to the circle of 11 participants that gathered in GE-105 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Morales-Anaya joins ethnic studies professor Jacqueline Gamboa in leading the Circle based on The National Compadres Network curriculum rooted in the indigenous Xinachtli healing practices, which are not religious based.

“The women will receive a certificate at the end of the training from SJCC / Los Compadres Network,” said Gamboa via email correspondence.

Gamboa wrote that the program helped her become a better teacher with a better understanding of their needs.

“I was on the school website looking for events to celebrate my Boricua heritage and through my mom I recognized the name on the flyer,” said Luv’Lee Caballero, 28, SJCC administration of justice and sociology double major.

Caballero is in her first semester at SJCC and moved to San Jose from Vegas in May.

“It was important to continue with the women’s group because it helped me build closer relationships with students and they also supported each other,” wrote Gamboa.

As a mother, Caballero said she will have advice and experiences to offer for some of the women that don’t necessarily relate at the moment but may in the future, just as much as she expects to learn from those who aren’t mothers.

“The students also wanted to continue with the group because they felt it was necessary to have a space to talk about personal struggles and triumphs,” Gamboa wrote.

The women that showed up had different backgrounds but one thing they all had in common was their honest interest to be present for the other women in the room.

All are encouraged to attend as the circle will “close” to those who wish to join after the group’s second meeting on Oct. 25.

For more information, contact [email protected]