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Marlom Portillo 

Survived intimidation and eventual exile for organizing and defending the rights of students and workers in his native Honduras. Since his years as an organizer and educator in Honduras, Marlom has focused on popular education. His main goal is to educate and organize communities that defend their human, health, and labor rights of the working class. Marlom has also worked in health and safety, grassroots communication, and curricula for leadership development. He has also facilitated Teatro Popular (known as Theater of the Oppressed). These training pieces focus on theater as an innovative organizing tool, promoting self-healing and leadership development for CHIRLA‘s core leadership members, within its Southern California organizational structure.

Marlom’s public health work has been a life-long endeavor, particularly with health and community promoters.


He’s been working in building community relations, grassroots exchanges, networks of partners, allies, and friends around community groups and popular organizations. He also played a key role in strengthening and coordinating various coalitions for universal health care, immigrant rights, green economy, and environmental justice.  Portillo has supported local networks of parents and children. Since 1999, Marlom has been committed to the community promoters and community health workers.   In 2005 in different capacities and structures, Marlom joined Vision y Compromiso, a network of promoters and community health workers from the state of California and Nevada.

In 2012 for his tireless determination to ensure safe working conditions and access to health care for immigrant workers, Portillo was named one of 10 recipients of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders Award for 2012.

Portillo was an Administrative Assistant at Homies Unidos, an organization that works to prevent violence in communities, with young people at risk of falling into gangs or having already withdrawn from them. Portillo worked with state and local proposals and contracts with cities. Among other assignments, he has also performed development duties: proposal writing, strategic planning, and staff development. He has also been an Instructor in Basic Environmental Training / Teaching Assistant in Health Sustainability for cleaning workers in Kaiser hospitals.

Marlom was the Executive Director of IDEPSCA and creator and manager of the Health Program at the Institute of Popular Education of Southern California.


Marlom is currently working on Popular Education based curriculum building for Leadership Development, at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). As part of the curricula he also train-the-trainers and follow-up the educational process.

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