Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others
Booker T Washington
To know Monica Soto is to know a woman whose heart is full of joy and committed to helping others. It is not unusual to see Monica in the courtroom or at the doctor’s office. She has been instrumental in making sure the Hispanic community has a place to worship and worked hard to bring a group of sisters from Mexico to serve western North Dakota. Monica feels honored and grateful to live in North Dakota. “I feel like a bridge for my community and the State of North Dakota”. She shares how she doesn’t know how to repay this state for all the blessings given to her family, mostly the opportunity to fulfill the American dream. For this reason Monica helps where she can. Monica hosts the Sol de Mexico dance group and believes sharing food together is an opportunity to share her culture. You’ll see her delicious homemade Mexican food at Trinity’s Mardi Gras and at outdoor summer events. Through these experiences she hopes that we can learn to understand our differences and find a way to connect.
North Dakota has been home to Monica and her family for 16 years. In that time the number of Hispanic residents in Stark County increased to 6.3% of the population (2020 US census). That’s about 2,100 people! Monica has seen firsthand the challenges faced by new community members as they attempt to maneuver through our medical and legal systems as well as just day to day needs like buying a home or starting a business.
As the first barrier is typically language Monica volunteers as a translator. She often asks daughters Isabel and Alondra to help translate when she can’t. It’s a family affair!
Monica was Women Empowering Women’s connection to the Health Department where the Health Equity Division was able to fund outreach on women’s health. Our initial focus to ensure that Hispanic women had access to well woman healthcare has expanded to include foreign born African American women as well. This knowledge has helped us to help all women access medical care for themselves and their families.
Monica’s volunteer work to help the Hispanic community is what she does in her free time! She also owns and operates La Cocina D’ Monica a Mexican restaurant in Belfield, does catering, helps her husband Rigo with his business A.R.M. Construction, is a mom of four and grandmother of one.
Kudos is a program of the local nonprofit organization Women Empowering Women. The program recognizes the good work women do. These are women who’ve lived quietly, joyfully, or creatively to influence our lives. They are an inspiration and deserve to be recognized for their efforts and impact. Women Empowering Women is dedicated to the collaboration of women to meet needs and help women become the best versions of themselves. To learn more, see https://wewnetwork.org