HTI Alumni

Socorro Castañeda

Socorro Castañeda

Co-Founder & Chief Education Officer Becoming Mujeres, California

Field of Study: Religion and Society 

Dr. María Del Socorro Castañeda is Co-Founder & Chief Education Officer, with her teenage daughter Lupita, of Becoming Mujeres. A firm that helps Latina teens and their female caregivers to translate cultural expectations into opportunities. Dr. Castañeda is a sociologist and ethnographer. She holds a B.S. in sociology from Santa Clara University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Castañeda is a Ford Foundation Fellow and award-winning author of “Our Lady of Everyday Life: La Virgen de Guadalupe and the Catholic Imagination of Mexican Women in America,” published by Oxford University Press, 2018. Before co-founding Becoming Mujeres, she was Assistant Professor at Santa Clara University in the Religious Studies Department. Dr. Castañeda is a sought-out speaker and expert in the areas of Mexican popular Catholicism, Our Lady of Guadalupe devotion, LatinX cultural expectations, mother-daughter communication, and teenage girls and social pressures. Her research has also been supported by the Hispanic Theological Initiative and The Louisville Institute. She was born in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México and immigrated to the United States, undocumented, as a child. Dr. Castañeda’s goal is to teach Latina teens and women how to transgress oppressive gendered cultural expectations and become the mujeres they were meant to be.