Creciendo Juntos

Creciendo Juntos


The mission of the CJ Mental Health Work Group is to promote the availability, coordination and quality of mental health services for the Spanish-speaking community in our region. The group supports education, outreach and advocacy initiatives to ensure access by members of the Hispanic community to mental health services. The group’s objectives are:

  • ​Identify gaps in services and advocate for the development of needed mental heath programs for Hispanics.
  • Support efforts to improve the competency of mental health practitioners.
  • Provide networking opportunities and support for mental health professionals working with the Hispanic community.
  • Collaborate with other CJ sub-committees to address issues of common concern.
  • Create partnerships with other community entities to address issues of mutual concern, e.g. expanding services, training students, etc.

The Mental Health Work Group provides space for service providers to meet and share resources. They have sponsored community workshops on:

  • Mental Health Services for Latinos
  • Family Reunification- Child Refugees from Central America
  • Effects of Domestic Violence in the Latino Population

For mor information about CJ Mental Health Group and ways in which you can get involved, please contact Karina A Monroy at:

Cultivando Tu Bienestar Podcast!

Welcome to Cultivando Tu Bienestar Podcast!

Join us as we cultivate Latinx community care during this current pandemic. We’ll be talking about the importance of mental health, and what it means to take care of your well-being, as an individual, as a family and as a community.

Each month we’ll be discussing different topics under the umbrella of self-care, and we’ll be inviting guests to share their knowledge and practical tools for coping and building resilience during these trying times.

This project is a collaborative partnership between Creciendo Juntos and The Women’s Initiative.


Also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!


Trailer: Introducing Cultivando Tu Bienestar!​

In our mini trailer episode of Cultivando Tu Bienestar, we introduce ourselves (your hosts) and the goal of this podcast! 

Language: English
Co-Hosts: Varinia, Mariana and Karina
Music created by Josh Rodenberg

Episode 1: Replenishing Our Tanks! Self Care for Service Providers. 

From nutrition to setting boundaries, in our first episode of Cultivando tu Bienestar, our guests, Sergio Leiva artist and founder of Good Food Costa Rica and pediatrician and poet, Dr. Irène Mathieu talk to us about the different ways self-care can be practiced in our lives.

Language: English
Co-Hosts: Varinia and Karina 
Music created by Josh Rodenberg

Episode 2: Bienestar Intencional; Autocuidado para Padres y Madres 

In this episode our guests, Jonathan Antigua and Monica Luna share how they learned about self-care, what it means in their role as parents and how they have been implementing it in their lives under a framework of intentionality. We also talk about how expectations of gender roles and heteropatriarchal systems are an impediment towards growth and how we can break these barriers to create a better society.

Language: Spanish
Co-Hosts: Mariana and Varinia
Music created by Josh Rodenberg

Episode 3: Pausar Para Recargar

In this episode we talk about how self-care can be incorporated into our daily lives from an educational point of view. Our guests, Marcela and Rusty Carlock cover this topic of personal care from their cultural perspective. As well as how to implement this theme of Well-being with students and the educational systems.

Language: Spanish
Co-Hosts: Mariana and Varinia
Music created by Josh Rodenberg

Meet our Podcasting Trio!

Mari, Vari y Kari!

Mariana Araujo
co-host & co-creator

Mariana was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She moved to the U.S. in 2012 to pursue her studies. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Roanoke College and a M.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the George Washington University. Mariana has worked in Latin American affairs and believes in the power of storytelling for structural change. She is the Program Manager in the Division of Outreach of the UVA Psychiatry Department where she helps coordinate community-led mental health initiatives. Mariana is a professional bookworm and enjoys walks with her two fur children.

Varinia Anderson
co-host & co-creator

Vari is from Costa Rica. She came to the U.S. in 2001 where she went to college in Va to continue with her studies and became passionate about mental health. She graduated in 2005 from Roanoke College with a BA in Psychology. Later, she pursued her desire to become a mental health clinician and went back to school to get her M.ed in counseling from VCU in 2009. Vari is a wife and a mother of two beautiful children. Vari is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works at The Women’s Initiative and has been providing mental health counseling for Latina Women as well as women from all various backgrounds for over 8 yrs.

Karina A. Monroy
editor & co-creator

Karina was born and raised in Southern California. In 2016 she received her B.A. in art and anthropology from the UC Santa Cruz. Karina has been able to collaborate with Latinx communities from California, to Mexico and now Virginia by means of her art practice, teaching, and community work. She is currently the Executive Director of Creciendo Juntos. Karina cultivates joy from the little things in life, like sewing, drawing, cooking, drinking tea with her abuelita, tending to her plantitas and talking to her 8 chickens.