Many people in the world have a common goal of making a difference in their community, but few people actually dedicate each day to making these changes. Lillian McKuielwz is one of those few people that are dedicated to making changes within her community.
McKuielwz was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and then moved to Guatemala when she was only six years old. Her parents wanted to give her and her five siblings a great life and that was just the place. Guatemala was not only a cheap place to live, but it provided many available properties. When they arrived there, they built a ranch complete with horses, cows, chickens and many other farm animals. “It was a big ranch. I grew up with all of the farm animals,” McKuielwz says.
She moved to Eugene 29 years ago and has loved living here. “I really like the people. They are all really friendly. I also like the education that is offered,” says McKuielwz. She attended Lane Community College, was a member of Phi Di Kappa, and graduated in 2001 with straight A’s. Following her graduation, Mckuielwz started her own business called Majestic Made. They are a cleaning team that cleans many different houses, including the Delta Gamma sorority on the university campus.
Aside from having her own business, McKuielwz focuses a lot of her time giving back to the community and helping out other Latinos within the community. In 1986-1987 she lived in a house off of Jefferson Street called the House of Chicano. “It was given to us from the government to house different immigrants,” says McKuielwz. During her stay in the house, she was voted house manager. It was her duty to help them find jobs and translate various things for them. Since then, she has had a strong passion to help out people of her Latino roots.
In order to really help the Latino community, she has been working with Centro Latino Americano for the last ten years. She is currently trying to raise money or get donations for their Cinco de Mayo celebration. Centro Latino Americano is putting on the big event with a raffle, dancing and a silent auction. At the event they will be educating residents on what they can do to help and how Latinos can get help if they need it. Her goal is not only to educate Latinos, but everyone else on the big issue at hand.
Her next big goal is to figure out how to raise the money that the Latino community lost during this recession. “The government just cut us $150,000 that was needed for the community,” McKiuelwz says. “That’s why we’re trying to get donations because that grant money was taken. We don’t have the money to support or pay the people who are working in this community.”
Latinos make up 14% of Eugene and 17% of Springfield and percentage only continues to grow each year. Lillian McKiuelwz is one of the determined and dedicated residents that want to help out her community to see a significant change. “I believe what I want in life I can make happen. I can open and close doors. I can make change,” McKiuelwz says.