“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.

In this year’s report, we emphasize compromiso, our fulfilment of the agreements that we make with the people that we serve. 2021 marked our return to “normal” after three years of social distancing due to the COVID-19 virus. The social isolation was a formidable challenge to the National Compadres Network (NCN) that has for years advocated for and promoted healing through face-to-face contact, sharing from the heart and ceremony. Our dedicated staff met the challenge, developing webinars and podcasts that strove to capture and convey the “spirit” that has always defined our work.

For many the distancing became isolation, deep sadness and grieving for lost relatives and dear friends. Our on-line circulos and trainings provided not only the skills, but the critical contact that inspired. Podcasts by NCN staff and other practitioners in our network helped guide others through these very critical times.

None of what we do would be possible without the strong relationships and always challenging 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.

- Bendiciones


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.


La Cultura Cura

A Transformation 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 life-supporting 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 reconnects people to their authentic sense of self as well as people in their families and communities. Through LCC strategies and interventions, people learn to live in dignity, with respect for self and others, more confident and secure. Moreover, we believe that healing is reciprocal – the reconnection helps both the individual as well as family, community and society in which the person lives.

Top Take-aways for La Cultura Cura Overview Sessions

As part of our work, we ask people to share with us, in their own words, what they experi-enced, felt and learned. The feedback for the La Cultura Cura overview is that people,

• Become more aware of the Importance of being open and accepting of others
• Feel more connected, empathy, compassion for others
• Leave with a better understanding of trauma, the healing process

Major Events and Activities


In 2021, NCN interacted with 3,582 people, in 264 major events.

  • Training Circle Keepers in Transformational Learning
  •  Racial Healing & Equity
  • La Cultura Cura
  • Joven Noble
  • Fatherhood
  • Girasol

Conducted 146 cĂ­rculos

  • Girasol and Joven Noble curricula
  • Talking circulos for Healing Generations Institute members
  • Community talking cĂ­rculo

During the pandemic, NCN virtual cĂ­rculos and kept people engaged and connected. More importantly, the gatherings provided participants a space to grieve their lost ones - to heal and see hope in tomorrow.


46 podcasts published in 2021,

1,500 downloads, reaching 6 continents, 63 countries and all 50 American States


Throughout the year,

NCN staff and net- work partners have reached out, shared insights and touched hearts – guiding people through the pandemic’s hardships and social isolation

Top 10 Podcasts - 2021
1010 The Four, Rooted Teachings of Life Maestro Jerry Tello
902 Healing Generations of Pain, Trauma and Inequity Gref Hodge
842 Introducing: Healing Generations Maestro Jerry Tello
627 Wisdom Teachings on the Journey to Healing, P.1 Concha Saucedo
613 Community Based Healing Grace Sesma
579 Overcoming the Shadow Dr. Ricardo Carrillo
554 Your Ancestor’s Voice Mee Moua
518 The Next Generation of Warriors A. Jimenez, AB Ozuna, D. Sanchez
509 The Journey of a Wisdom Carrier Ysidro Macias
504 The Body Keeps the Count Kwelo Tutashinda, DC

Social Media

Through social media platforms, NCN reaches out on a daily basis, sharing wisdom, guidance and hope to all, Ánimo


Facebook Page

• 61,521 reaches
• 3,645 visits
• 403 new likes and follows



• 31,827 reaches
• 11,355 profile visits

Top Posts of 2021

Sacred Fatherhood

Jairo Bustos

June 18, 2021

La Cultura Cura

Jerry Tello

May 5, 2021

National farmworker
Awarness Week


You are a Blessing

Maestro Jerry Tello

Standing with our Asian

Virtual Healing and

Wellness Week

Impact – Healing-Informed Skills

Healing-informed Skills among Educators


Cirlce Keeper Training Take-Aways
Santa Clara Office of LGBTQ Affairs

Servie Providers(17) Adult Caretakers(17) Youth Leaders(18)
Theme % Theme % Theme %
Understanding of healing process 27.9 Feel safe, connected to others 47.6 Connection, empathy for others 16.7
Specific tools for running a cĂ­rculo, healing process 18.6 Appreciation, experience in a cĂ­rculo 19.0 The importance of listening 14.6
Feeling connected to others 18.8 Specific skills, ability to run create space, run círculo 19.0 Specific “tools” for “holding space”, runnning a círculo 12.5

" I came in to this training thinking I was going to just learn how to help the youth I work with; never did I expect that a training would help me with my own personal experience. I had a lot of self-re-flection on my drive home and want to continue to heal while helping our youth"

– San Bernardino School District Training 12.21

Building Solidarity

Racial Healing Practitioners Network (RHPN)

With funding from the Kellogg Foundation, NCN is bringing together healing practitioners from throughout the country and from different traditions – establishing kinship, sharing experiences – fostering com-mitment - toward supporting healing informed practices that build promote racial and gender equity

Wisdom Keepers that carry the inspiring - guiding words, the drum, rat-tles and songs of our ancestors

Fellowship Program reaching out to the generations that follow us

National Resource Center – Access to state-of-the art Healing – informed information for all

Racial Healing Practitioner Certification – in Collaboration with the Center for Community Philanthropy (CCP) and the Center for Culturally Respon-sive Engagement (CCRE) creating a curriculum for certify tomorrow’s leaders


“The Gathering was a wonderful experience because it challenged me intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. The conversations with my peer fellows provided great intellectual stimulation and rich discussion about different elements of our work. Our engagement with the Wisdom Keepers, and peer fellows, included a depth of spiritual practice and enlightenment that I hardly had a point of reference for. Yet, I still found it deeply instructional and gratifying. It was also valuable to have the WKKF team in the space with us. As the leader of an organization that directly benefits from the Foundation’s leadership team having a deeper understanding of the work, I was especially encouraged by their presence.”
– RCPN Fellow at Tamaya Gathering


Current assets: $3,757,277
Grants Reveivable, long-term: $499,374

Total Assets
Liabilities and Net Assets
Current liabilities: $575,203

Net Assets
With restrictions: $2,698,049
Without restrictions: $983,399
Total net assets: $3,681,448

Total Liabilities and Net Assets: $4,256,651


Culturally-Rooted Evaluation

Racial Healing Practitioners Network (RHPN)

In documenting, assessing and evaluating our work, we strive to be accountable and responsible to all stakeholders, our funders, NCN staff and the people we serve. In designing and implementing evaluation plans, mthods and instruments we do our best to follow the following principles,

  • Understand success in methods and measures that are Meaningful to the participants.
  • Honor the Holistic nature of experience, acknowledging rational and intuitive sources of evidence.
  • Strive for Reciprocity between those who tell the story and the people who live it.
  • Respect the values, healing practices, and ceremonies of all people.
  • Support the Purpose of individuals, family, communities, and systems.

Look for our chapter;

La Cultura Cura and El Joven Noble: Culturally-Rooted Theory and Practice Formulations for Healing Wounded BMoC. By; Heriberto Escamilla Morales Ph.D. , Russel Bong Vergara, Jerry Tello, HÊctor Sånchez Flores

In the book entitled;
Health Promotion with Adolescent Boys and Young Men of Colour: Global Strategies for Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice in Context Edited by James Smith, Daphne C. Watkins and Derek M. Griffith

Reports and Articles,

Culture-Based Healing for the Epidemic of Child Woundedness By Jerry Tello, Heriberto Escamilla, and R. Bong Vergara Edited by Ken White

Co-Creators Collaborators

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.

  • Alisal Union School District
  • Blue Shield
  • Brotherhood of Elders
  • Coachella Valley USD
  • Community Action Board
  • ESUHSD Foothill High School
  • Healing Generations Institute
  • Healthy Communities
  • Latino Community Foundation Healthy Communities Grant
  • Latino Network of Portland
  • Mentally Ill Offender Criminal Rehabilitation (MIOCR) - Extension
  • Monterey Co BHB LCC and CyC Training
  • Monterrey County BHS
  • Montgomery County Department of HHS
  • Montgomery County Public Schools
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - Forward Promise
  • Sacramento City Unified School District
  • Salinas Building Healthy Communities
  • Santa Clara County Intercultural Competency (ICC)
  • Santa Clara County Mentally Ill Offender Criminal Rehabilitation (MIOCR)
  • Santa Clara County Office of LGBTQ Affairs
  • Santa Clara County Probation Department
  • Santa Clara County Young Women’s Warrior Fellowship Project
  • Sierra Health Foundation
  • Story Teller’s Project
  • The California Endowment (TCE) Healing Generations Institute (Grant No. 20201819)
  • Tides Foundation
  • University of Arkansas - Clinton Center for Community Philanthropy
  • Kellogg Foundation
  • Young Women’s Warrior Fellowship Project