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“Within the collective Dignity, Respect, Trust and Love of all people exists the wisdom, practices, and resources for healthy and Harmonious wellbeing.”
- Maestro Jerry Tello


Welcome to this glimpse into the National Compadres Network community, highlighting the powerful efforts of our staff and partners, and the outcomes for the many people and communities we serve.

This year, NCN’s efforts emphasizes listening. We travelled to ten U.S. communities where adults and young people shared their suffering and their hope. They told us about their stress and trauma, it’s sources, how they were responding and the help they needed. Most tellingly, they said they do not feel represented nor supported, but rather punished by the institutions supposedly established to serve them.

Together we challenged the status quo, and dove into tough areas, like community violence and grief, rising racism and oppression. We stayed, we listened, we got uncomfortable and went beyond norms. We argued, wept
and healed. We shared each other’s dreams and felt the inspiration that comes from faith.

None of what we do would be possible without the strong relationships and sometimes difficult but always rewarding work we do together. With the support of you and all our partners, we will continue to strengthen our
ability to expand our reach and impact.


Leo Lopez | Board Chair


Mission & Purpose

Founded in 1988, the National Compadres Network (NCN) strives to re-root and strengthen individuals, families, and communities to honor, rebalance, and redevelop the authentic identity, values, traditions, and indigenous practices of Chicano, Latino, Native, Raza, and other communities of color. This is the path to honoring all our relations, and creating lifelong wellbeing.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, NCN is a national voice for racial and gender healing and equity. Through our culture-infused presentations, training, capacity building, technical assistance and collective impact-building we seek to change the systems that support inequity and oppression. Our technical experts and system leaders
help individuals and groups move from understanding and quantifying trauma to converting that knowledge into experience.

We bring together culturally-rooted and nationally recognized leaders and work with community leaders and decision makers to co-create strategic, sustainable systems.

We support our partners as they work to reduce substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, teen pregnancy, gang violence, heterosexism, racial inequity and other individual, family, community and social issues.


Major Events and Activities

In 2018, NCN implemented 162 major events, served over 15,480 people, collaborating with 39 organizations, across 12 states, and in 40 different communities


La Cultura Cura

A Transformational Learning and Healing Philosophy

Developed by Jerry Tello through over 30 years of supporting individuals, families, communities and organizations, it is the core philosophy of all the National Compadres Network’s programs and curricula. The philosophy is based on an indigenous worldview, acknowledging that all people have lifesupporting ancestral traditions, practices and values. La Cultura Cura (LCC) contends that maladaptive thinking, feeling and behaving stems from disconnection, precipitated by unresolved, often intergenerational trauma. The LCC healing process is reciprocal – the reconnection helps both the individual as well as family, community and society in which the person lives.



Our youth cĂ­rculos provide a safe space where youth learn to trust themselves and others. In the face-face format, they feel encouraged to speak from the heart, connect with others, transforming into more responsible young adults.

Youth find their “voice” and “place” in the circle. They learn to respect themselves and others. With more confianza, they become leaders, opening the road for future generations

Círculo participants learn to “see” themselves differently, leading to change in how they behave – how they relate to each other.

Our ancestors greeted each other in unity - In Lak’ech



National Compadres Network Statement of Financial Position as of December, 2018


Current assets: $1, 872, 188
Equipment (net): $7,864

Total Assets

Liabilities and Net Assets
Current liabilities: $229,702

Net Assets

With restrictions: $1,067,326

Without restrictions: $583, 024

Total net assets: Total net assets

Total Liabilities and Net Assets: $1,880,052



NCN’s success has been built upon the solid and long-lasting relationships with our partners. We believe our projects are not simply collaborations, but Co-Creations. Below is a list of the organizations with whom we have worked.

  • Alliance for Girls
  • American Indians in Texas and SA Fatherhood
  • Annapolis Police Department
  • California Wellness Conference
  • Child Abuse Prevention Council of Santa Clara
  • Coachella Valley Unified School District
  • Cupertino Council on Cultural Excellence
  • Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
  • Fathers and Families of Stockton
  • First Five of California
  • Global Youth Justice Inc.
  • Gang Rescue and Support Project (GRASP)
  • ICAN
  • Izcalli
  • King County Office of Equity and Social Justice
  • Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
  • Motivating Individual Leadership for Public Advancement
  • National Network on Youth and Child Focus
  • Northern Southern Winds Cultural Foundation
  • Novo Foundation
  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • Orange County Department of Education
  • Planned Parenthood - Mar Monte
  • Por Vida Academy
  • Project Kinship of Santa Ana
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Santa Clara County Probation
  • South Coast Task Force on Youth Safety
  • Southern California Crossroads
  • Stockton Unified School District
  • STRONG Youth Inc.
  • The California Endowment
  • The Latino Commission
  • Visalia Unified School District
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation


Healing Generations Listening Tour

The Healing Generations Listening Tour developed the ideas, relationships and practices that led to the creation the Healing Generations Institute, dedicated and committed to the healing and empowerment of Boys and Men of Color.

All the Listening Tour stops--Bakersfield, Coachella, Del Norte, Long Beach, Richmond, Santa Ana, and Stockton, with participants from Los Angeles, Riverside, Fresno, Sacramento and Salinas -- were part of the Building Healthy Communities Initiative sponsored by The California Endowment.

We put considerable effort into bringing together people representing different ethnicities, ages, sexual orientations, and other variables that usually separate.

The Listening Tour sought to:

  • Strengthen
    relationships with organizational leaders and residents
  • Listen to
    experiences of stress, trauma and healing,
  • Build support
    for the developing initiative vision
  • Co-Create
    Institute structure and processes

What we heard...

About trauma, stress and it’s sources

Organizational leaders, Adult, and Youth Residents identified overt racism, discrimination, financial difficulties and the loss of loved ones to violence as the main sources of stress in their lives.


“People are just afraid of everything”, of bigotry, of losing family members and harassment by law enforcement. “They profile us right off the bat, stop us because we are suspect and fit the characteristics.”

“They come from parents and grandparents that were raised in boarding schools, disconnected from a sense of community, from their traditions and values and turned to drugs.”

There is hope – what helps

“I see an innate healing between the youth. There is a lot of connecting between young people I see a lot of kindness; I see a lot of community”.

“There are a number of programs in the area that provide opportunity and guidance so that there is an increasing number of youths that use creative expression such as music, art, poetry”.

A Healing Institute that...

Starts with “Strengths and assets rather than weakness and deficits.”

by “bridge building helping people of different racial/ethnic groups establish better relationships with each other.”

“puts an emphasis on developing and maintaining relationships.”

provides a “a sense of respaldo that someone has your back.”

where “elders are included in rebuilding the community, teaching core values for successful lives”.

Culturally Rooted Evaluation

We document our services and assess their effectiveness to affirm our accountability to the people we serve – those who participate in our trainings, presentations, and technical assistance activities, as well as those who fund and support us. We listen carefully to stakeholders, especially the inherent community wisdom too often ignored by traditional evaluation methods.

At the same time, we strive to stay current with research to ensure that NCN programs are effective, evidence-based, and consistent with the cultural values of those we serve. NCN research questions, methods, instruments, as well as the interpretation and application of information.