The LIDER (Liderazgo Inmigrante de Desarrollo Educativo Responsable, or Immigrant Leadership for Responsible Education and Development) Program, was established in 2005 with participating Mexican and Central American Hometown Associations (HTA) to empower the Southern California Latino immigrant community through expert skill training. This pioneering and innovative program provides participants with the critical capacity to expand their personal and professional knowledge through weekly classes in civic engagement, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and professional business planning. Hundreds have successfully completed the 12-week programs of LIDER courses in Civic Engagement and Community Leadership, Basic Business Certificate and Advanced Business classes graduating with the skills necessary to build capable and sustainable community organizations and small businesses.

MALDEF offers the following programs free of cost.

LIDER Civic Engagement and Community Leadership (12 weeks)

  • Participants meet weekly for three hours
  • Public and private sector professionals provide instruction on local, national and transnational issues
  • Includes Financial Literacy Forum
  • All classes are conducted in Spanish and English

LIDER Business Certificate Program (12 weeks)

This course is designed for the person who seeks to develop and maintain personal, professional and organizational leadership skills

  • Participants meet weekly for three hours
  • Free training by business college instructors, entrepreneurs, and public and private sector professionals
  • Classes are conducted in Spanish and English

LIDER Advanced Business Program (12 weeks)

This course is designed for Latino small business owners who wish to develop and maintain a successful business in the Southern California region.

To qualify for this program to strengthen and professionalize a small business in the Southern California region you must have successfully graduated from the LIDER Business Certificate Program, or be a registered small business owner, or have a professional business plan.

MALDEF collaborates with The Mexican Consulate of Los Angeles, CITI, and the Mt. San Antonio Community College Small Business Development Center.

Contact Us

For more information on the program or to register for the classes, please contact Sara Zapata-Mijares, LIDER Program Director, at (213) 629-2512 X124 or send us a message.

Related Information


LIDER is generously sponsored by Citibank.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund