Caminando Juntos, sponsored by the Aberdeen Presentation Sisters, is a ministry with the Latino population in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area. Inspired by the zeal of our foundress, Nano Nagle, and her deep love for those made poor, Caminando Juntos responds to the Gospel mandate to “welcome the stranger.” Our primary purpose is to help create a welcoming presence and respond to the needs of newer Latino immigrants as they seek to integrate into a new culture and make a home among us.

Caminando Juntos began in 2002, due to the rapid rise of the number of Latinos locating in this eastern area of South Dakota. It is staffed by Sisters of the Presentation and a lay woman from Guatemala. Over these past years, this ministry has served thousands of Latinos.

Ministry in Action

The team at Caminando Juntos works to respond to the infinite needs and concerns of our Latino community, by reaching out to them daily and accompanying them in whatever way we can. The language of love heals. The language of love is the Body of Christ. Every day, the staff at Caminando Juntos serves our newly arrived Latino brothers and sisters, mirroring Christ’s love as they work to offer a welcoming presence to all providing acceptance, love and hope for each person’s journey.

PROVIDE IMMIGRATION LEGAL SERVICES

Sister Janet Horstman, the only bilingual accredited representative in the state, educates her clients on their immigration legal options, advises them how to proceed, and accompanies them through the process of filing USCIS forms. She is especially blessed to be present at her clients’ naturalization ceremonies and witness them as they become fully-participating members of our society. In the last year, we have conducted over 1,500 legal consultations and 150 immigration cases have been filed.

 Immigration Facts

REUNIFY UNACCOMPANIED MINORS WITH FAMILIES

In recent months, Sister Pegge has helped more than a dozen families navigate the complex system of applying for sponsorship and finding their children in shelters on the border. Through her accompaniment, separated families are joyfully reunited and resettled into the community as one family unit. We have reunified 25 families this year!

TEACH ENGLISH TO ADULTS

Three levels of daytime and evening classes are offered to Spanish-speaking adults, who are eager to learn English. Learning the language enables them to adapt more quickly to U.S. culture, secure employment, and participate more fully in the broader community. There are 125 students enrolled in our English Language Program.

2019 Fall Class Schedule

CREATE CULTURAL CONNECTIONS

Each year Caminando Juntos sponsors the Cinco de Mayo festival at Falls Park in Sioux Falls. There, families and community members come together to celebrate the Latino culture through food, music, and family-friendly activities. Each year over 8,000 people come together to celebrate the Latino Cultures among us.

ASSIST THOSE IN NEED WITH RESOURCES

Our Office Resource Manager, Astrid Rosario, welcomes people who come to our door daily. She helps them  complete a variety of forms and applications, connects them with basic needs and social services, and most importantly, listens with her heart to each person’s needs and situation so that she can respond compassionately. Caminando Juntos assists 1,200 walk-in visitors annually.

Ways to Get Involved

Seeking partners to assist with funding for the following needs:

ESL Instruction

  • Instructor stipends
  • ESL workbooks and dictionaries

Immigration Legal Services

  • Updating legal resources
  • Ongoing legal training
  • Citizenship application fees and preparation materials

Domestic Violence Services

  • Short-term crisis fund for immediate temporary placement of individuals and families
  • Sponsorship of one woman enrolled in domestic support groups for one year

         Immigration Facts

volunteer opportunities at Caminando Juntos:

For opportunities at the office, we do ask that volunteers be at least 18 years of age and are committed and passionate about working with the Latino population.  Ability to communicate in Spanish is helpful. Volunteers are needed for English tutors (summer) or English teacher (fall / Tuesday and Thursday evenings), computer instructors, computer lab assistant, conversation class facilitator (Saturday mornings), educational workshop presenter, front desk receptionist (summer), classroom teaching assistant, language and citizenship lab tutor, book club facilitator and children’s story time facilitator.  If you have extra time to give and interested in learning more about any of the above opportunities, please email April Ross: aross@midconetwork.com

Other volunteer opportunities are available throughout the year to help support the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and special projects. All ages are welcome to volunteer for these events if accompanied by an adult. If you have extra time to give and interested in learning more about any of our opportunities, please email Jen Rothenbuehler: jrothenbuehler@presentationsisters.org

If you are interested in supporting the Caminando Juntos ministry, please CLICK HERE. Thank you for partnering with the Aberdeen Presentation Sisters.

Presentation Sisters in Ministry

April Ross, Director and Educational Coordinator

April is the newest member to the Caminando team.  She joined the ministry in 2018, after teaching Spanish in the Sioux Falls School District for 15 years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies and has traveled extensively in Latin America, including Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. April oversees the administrative duties of the ministry and coordinates all educational programming, including English classes, computer classes, and educational workshops.  In addition, she teaches and tutors students, recruits and trains volunteers, and manages publicity and media relations. April is married with two children.

Sister Janet Horstman, Immigration Legal Specialist

Sister Janet is one of the founding sisters of the ministry, serving in her role since 2002.  She provides competent, professional, and affordable legal services for low-income Latinos residing in the Sioux Falls area. She is the only bilingual DOJ Accredited Representative in South Dakota and assists with citizenship, work permits, petitions for family visas, and legal consultations on a variety of other immigration issues.  She actively participates in efforts to support and improve the lives of immigrants and refugees and advocates for just and humane immigration laws and policies. Sister Janet also attends regular professional development trainings and webinars to stay abreast of rapidly-changing immigration policies.

Learn more about Sister Janet

Sister Pegge Boehm, Support Services and Advocacy 

Sister Pegge joined the team of Caminando Juntos in June 2014, after having served the Latino culture many years in other ministries. She spent extensive time living and serving in Mexico, as well as in other states in the U.S.  She provides support services in the areas of immigration case management, educational programming, and front desk support, and she also teaches in our English program for Spanish-speaking adults. More recently, Sister Pegge has been a resource to parents and potential sponsors of unaccompanied minor children, serving as a case manager who helps families navigate the complicated process of being reunited with their children on the border.

Learn more about Sister Pegge

Astrid Rosario, Office and Resource Manager

Astrid joined the team in January 2015 as the welcoming heart of our ministry.  She is originally from Guatemala, but has spent most of her life in Sioux Falls. Astrid offers a wealth of knowledge of community resources and is a trusted presence to the Latino community. She assists clients with needs such as accessing healthcare, paying medical bills, finding employment resources, filling out applications, and other basic necessities. In addition, Astrid serves as a public notary, provides fingerprinting services, and transitional housing to women and children in domestic abuse situations.  Astrid is married with one child and is a foster parent to dozens of other children.

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