Maria Coronado was born in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico and moved in the 1980s to Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua with her family then soon after her and her four children moved to El Paso, Texas.
From the beginning Maria started volunteering with different agencies to help in any way she could. One of those agencies was the Housing Authority where she worked with administration staff to have a pro-active relationship with the public housing residents. Maria was instrumental in bringing outside organizations to help bring resources to the residents, and fight for better treatment for residents. Maria also worked to bring each public housing community to be part of the administrations five year planning and decision making to help each community, also Maria’s initiative to have in each community a representative was a major step for public housing residents.
Furthermore, Maria’s early involvement in politics brought public housing residents into the spotlight, having the 1st. Mayoral debate in the communities, in doing so they were able to register 1,000 + first time voters.
Prior to joining ACLU-NM, Maria worked as an external/internal Organizer with SEIUTX in El Paso, at the beginning organizing UMC county hospital, winning on the first year a salary increase for all employees earning $7.25 to $10.00 an hour. After that major win, Maria was then transferred to help with TENET & HCA hospitals.
Maria is passionate about Immigration reform because of her own personal experiences. For more than a decade, Maria lived in fear because of her legal status, but this was not an excuse or a barrier. She is committed to getting involved and continuing to fight for herself and others.