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Lillian R. Trillo, IHM Associate

Born in Oakland, California to parents who were born in Mexico, Lillian attended St. Joseph College of Nursing in San Francisco. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of California in 1952 and a Master of Science in School Health Education from the University of Michigan in 1967. She joined the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in October 1960. She was received in 1961, taking the religious name Juanita. Lillian professed final vows in 1968. Her ministries included teaching Spanish and Health courses to IHM Novices, working in the Motherhouse Infirmary and working as a Public Health Nurse, first in Detroit and then for the Santa Clara County (CA) Health Department. She was a sister for five years before she left in 1973. She rejoined the community as an IHM Associate in 1989.

Lillian’s background was in public health nursing, tending to the disadvantaged both in Detroit’s inner city as well as among migrant workers in Gilroy CA. She was overwhelmed by the poverty she found among the rural poor on a trip to Honduras in 1988. She founded The Latin America Community Assistance Foundation (LACA) which is dedicated to improving the lives of the poorest of the poor in rural Latin America. Founded in 1992 to conduct medical clinics in Honduras, LACA has expanded in the past 16 years to meet urgent needs and help communities become healthy, educated, and empowered to determine their own future. LACA now works in Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, and Honduras. She served as the Foundation’s president for 13 years.

Prior to LACA, Lillian volunteered with four International Health Service medical teams in Latin America and has led two eye clinics and five medical clinics with LACA. Lillian was also supportive of Friends in Solidarity, the not-for-profit that Sister Joan Mumaw, IHM, established to support Solidarity with South Sudan.