Spotlight Story

23 February 2022

Dr. Francisco Colop: Listening – A Powerful Tool for Connecting with Communities

Category: Spotlight Story

“Walk with the community. Pay attention to what’s happening and listen to what they have to say.” This was Dr. Francisco Colop’s first piece of advice to Maite Arce when she founded Hispanic Access Foundation. Dr. Colop taught Maite how to listen.

For many years, Dr. Colop has spent his life looking to help his local Latino communities. His powerful wisdom doesn’t just derive from the fact that he is a scholar, or that he has traveled all over the world and understands many cultures and languages. Dr. Colop’s uniqueness comes from his wisdom to listen first. He listens to people and puts them first in his decision-making.

He found that by listening, you are able to really understand the needs of people–all people. Especially those in Latino communities that are often the hardest to reach, but often are the ones who really need someone like Dr. Colop to listen. He realized many Latinos in his local communities were having a hard time and just needed to be provided with love, support and the tools they needed to better themselves.

When Hispanic Access Foundation President and CEO Maite Arce started the organization, Dr. Colop sent her to Texas, where there was a Pastor who was feeding people experiencing homelessness and lived under bridges in underserved areas. As she followed in the pastor's footsteps, and took in her surroundings, she learned a very important lesson–we are all different. While we may have the same basic needs of food, shelter, love and kindness, we also each have unique challenges. We can’t treat humanity as if everyone is the same. We have to be able to understand each person’s needs and adapt our responses and support.

Latinos in low-income communities have the strength and power. They know what they need based on their lived experiences. They just need someone to listen. Dr. Colop has spent his lifetime listening. He listens in a loving, supportive and non-judgmental way, where people trust and respond to him. By listening and responding, Dr. Colop has made a quiet impact in the lives of thousands of people.

As a mentor of Hispanic Access’ Hispanic Leadership Network, there have been endless times where Dr. Colop has been there for members and listened. Regardless of how far away a leader might be, Dr. Colop will get on a plane and help them through the challenges the leader is going through. While the challenges may be complex, and they’re certainly all different, Dr. Colop is there for every member.

Dr. Colop’s strong, steady presence has had a long-term impact on the lives of thousands of Latinos throughout the United States.

Hispanic Access is inspiring, training, and supporting local leaders like Dr. Francisco Colop, who have a stake in their community and have the drive for positive change. To help support and continue this work, please consider making a Charitable Donation

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Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

Phone: (202) 640-4342

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