Immigrant Voices

Volunteer: Betty Labastida

I am amazed at the dedication people show to complete the paperwork , and their  motivation to learn a language which is not easy.   I started volunteering with the International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA) over three years ago. I attended IIBA’s orientation and began helping individuals complete...

IIBA Holiday Recipe Cards

These recipes have been prepared by IIBA clients to be shared with friends and supporters. We hope you enjoy sampling these international flavors in your own kitchen.  

Moises Bautista
Engineering His Dream: Moises Bautista

We first introduced you to Moises in the winter of 2013. An ambitious and enthusiastic college student, Moises had come to the U.S. as a teenager to escape the growing dangers in his hometown in Mexico. While Moises was taking classes at Cañada Community College, IIBA helped him apply...

From Domestic Violence to U.S. Citizenship

Many immigrants come to the United States seeking better opportunities for themselves and their children, but IIBA client Maria Cruz arrived seeking protection from an abusive husband.   In Mexico, Maria had lived on the run, moving from Guanajuato to Morelia to Guadalajara to Mexico City to escape her...

IIBA Lead Citizenship Instructor: Anthony Moss

“I’ve always had a love for language. I’ve always liked working with people from different cultures and backgrounds,” says Anthony Moss. In his 11 years as IIBA’s lead citizenship instructor, Anthony has done exactly that, teaching an average of 400 citizenship students a year.   Anthony’s path to IIBA...

Clients: Brenda and Abigail Santillan

“Our cousins had their phones out and were recording us as we ran toward our grandmother and hugged her for the first time in seventeen years,” said sisters Abigail and Brenda.   At one time Abigail and Brenda thought they’d never get to visit their birth country again. But...

Citizenship Student: Shodi H.

“As a taxi driver, every day I pick up customers from different countries, who share their stories with me. This is very similar to my experience as a student in IIBA’s citizenship classes. I look at my classmates from Ukraine, Mexico, and China, and think, ‘Wow this is the...

SF Dream Fellow: Rene Vasquez

When Rene Vasquez received his DACA approval, he flashed back to the moment, nearly a decade earlier, that his parents told him he was undocumented. “It was the last day of middle school, and my friends were joyfully sharing the trips they would be taking during the summer. I rushed home and asked my...

Jose Coronado portrait
Client: Jose Coronado

Jose Coronado’s father immigrated to the U.S. without his family, in order to lay the foundation for a new life. Determined to reunite his family in the U.S., Mr. Coronado petitioned for the family to join him when Jose was 15 years old. Jose explains, “For the next 13...

Ariana Hoyt portrait
Volunteer: Ariana Hoyt

Ariana Hoyt first began to work with the immigrant community while attending Stanford. “In college, I worked for a tutoring program for Stanford janitors. It opened my eyes to see the janitor I worked with go through so much, yet still make an effort to improve his English.” This...