How it all started...
Rev. Rhina Ramos and Karla Perez started Ministerio Latino in December 2011. They held their first service at the home of a Guatemalan family that was seeking for a spiritual connection. Rev. Rhina Ramos was just a few months away from being ordained a pastor by the United Church of Christ. Her call was precisely to begin the first Spanish speaking UCC Church for the LGBTQI community in Northern CA.
Pastor Rhina led Ministerio Latino on a volunteer basis until March 2018. At that time, she decided to quit her nonprofit management job and become a full time minister. Seeing the Trump administration attacking the immigrant and LGBTQI communities created an impetus in her heart. Herself an immigrant, and openly lesbian ordained clergy knew personally the wounds of discrimination. She felt she had to respond by doing what she was called to do which is ministering to the oppressed and amplifying places of healing.
the rev. rhina ramos
Rev. Rhina Ramos is an ordained United Church of Christ minister leading Ministerio Latino, a Spanish speaking open and affirming congregation for LGTBQI Latinx immigrants founded as her call to be ordained in 2011. Rhina was born in El Salvador and emigrated to the United States at age 14 in 1983. She graduated from Hofstra University Law School in 1995 and was a labor attorney for five years recuperating thousands of dollars in unpaid wages for immigrant workers. In 2003, she obtained a Masters in Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. Pastor Rhina has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 25 years as an activist, community organizer and leader. In her free time, she loves long walks listening to sappy romantic music in Spanish.
Rosa Los Santos
Music for Ministerio Latino monthly service is lead by our dear Rosa Los Santos. She came to Oakland in 2001 from her birthplace in Lima, Peru and has been singing Latin and especially Afro-Peruvian music professionally for several years. She performs regularly with Peruvian groups ‘De Rompe y Raja’, “Nosotras”, “Grupo Juvenil Guaranguito” and ‘Nostalgia’. Rosa sings a wide repertoire of Latin music, plays guitar and cajon –a percussion instrument of Afro-Peruvian origin. She is also an accomplished performer of the Afro-Peruvian competitive dance form zapateo. Rosa has performed at Bay Area venues such as La Peña Cultural Center, La Furia Chalaca, ODC Theater, Julia Morgan Theater, Stanford University and UCSF. She also has captivated audiences in Massachusetts, Utah, and at the Michigan Women’s Music Festival. She has been invited to perform in the German Perufest in Frankfurt and a Singing Tours in Milano, Italy.