Martha Castanon, calls herself a minnenortena and Minnesota homegrown. Born and raised in Moorhead, Minnesota whose parents settled in Minnesota in 1958, and also lived off and on in Texas as a young child.The family worked as farmworkers in Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin. This is where Martha developed a passion for helping farmworkers and immigrants, working at Migrant Legal Services for 35 years and now employed as an Accredited Representative with the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota at their Moorhead office. This passion as led her to serve on Board of Directors of Community Health Services, Inc., is currently an election judge in Clay County and notary public. Her past civics interests have been serving two terms on the Committee of Equality & Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Board of Directors of Mujeres Unidas in Moorhead. In 2006 she was named Latina of the Year for Mujeres Unidas and in 2012 she was inducted into the Labor Hall of Fame along with 30 other advocates from across the United States who have worked with migrant farmworkers. In 2006, Martha lost her daughter to suicide and has since been involved in raising awareness and prevention of suicide.
Read about her story and journey and what makes her proud of being Latina here.