Spanish-English Wellness Club comes to PPL

Native Spanish speakers and those interested in honing their Spanish speaking skills can now come together in PPL’s two newest clubs: Bienestar en casa and Well-being at Town.

Beginning in May, each group is for people who want to interact with Spanish speakers and learn the Spanish language by talking about wellness topics. 

Psychologist Mildred Elizabeth Pedraza, the creator and leader of the clubs, said people do not need to speak Spanish to participate. They just need a genuine interest in the language and wellness topics. It is also a good way to do mental exercises by improving or learning a new language spoken by many people in this hemisphere, she added.

The first Bienestar en Casa Club meets Sunday, May 5. The subject:  Habilidades Interpersonales en el lugar de trabajo… el CI no es suficiente / People Skills in the Workplace… IQ is not enough

The first Well-being at Town Club will meet Sunday May 19. The Subject: The four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and Happiness / Los cuatro acuerdos por Don Miguel Ruiz y la Felicidad

Both clubs will meet at 2:30PM in the PPL Mezzanine Classroom.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Mildred is a native Spanish speaker with English as a second language. She moved from Puerto Rico to Potsdam with her husband and daughter in 2017 with the help of their family due to Hurricane Maria.

“On the Island we survived without water, electricity and basic services for a month, due to the destruction caused to the Island by this natural event,” she said. “We arrived in this county without knowing how long and we began to receive English classes in Canton and then in Potsdam, which helped me improve my English skills.

“My husband was lucky and blessed to start working in 2018 at Clarkson University as a handyman,” Mildred said. “Now my daughter Andrea speaks good English and she is part of the Honor Society, lacrosse team, art club, music club, and she plays electric guitar, she loves the school.. Thank God!”

During the pandemic Mildred said she dedicated myself to taking care of children. But in 2022 -2023 she moved to Manhattan where she worked at Manhattan Psychiatric Center in the position of Associate Psychologist – Spanish Language, where she cared for all English and Spanish speaking patients in her unit.

“It was an extraordinary experience and challenge, however, we miss the human warmth of the upstate,” Mildred said. “In the past in Puerto Rico I worked eight years in the insurance industry, one year in a Psychiatric Hospital and four years in the Department of the Family (Social Services).”

Now back in Potsdam, she said she wants to contribute to the community. She created Bienestar en casa and Well-being at Town to be developed to have multiple purposes, including contributing to the Hispanic/Latino community by creating a safe and accessible space that is of light and hope for personal development and helping interested individuals improve their Spanish language skills.

“Additionally, as a thank you, I would like to reciprocate the kindness received from sensitive people who served us in this moment of vulnerability for our family in and after 2017,” she said. “In this way I wish to contribute free of charge to those in need, in an inclusive environment where everyone is welcome.”

Moreover, this group is an invitation to develop social connections with Spanish-speaking people who need to belong in a warm and uplifting place, she said.

Main benefits of the clubs include:

1. Improve Spanish language skills

2. Develop social connections

3. Access information on wellness topics

Modality: Group

1. Read/write English/Spanish worksheets 

2. Watch/listen to videos

3. Develop conversations 

4. Crafts

5. Community Activities