August eNews - El Centro de la Raza


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Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

We hope summer is treating you well! As school starts back up, and with our 40th Anniversary Celebration quickly approaching, we have a lot to update you about. You are invited to join us on Saturday, September 29th at 5:00 PM at the Seattle Westin to celebrate 40 years! You can purchase tickets here; we are counting on your support. As we look to celebrate, we must not forget there is major work to be done, especially around the new DREAMer Deferred Action Program.

On June 15, President Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be granting a temporary form of immigration protection called “deferred action” to individuals who meet requirements similar to those of the legislative proposal known as the “DREAM Act.” Those individuals granted deferred action will also be eligible to obtain employment authorization (“work permits”). On August 14, 2012, DHS released instructions and applications for the program. Individuals began applying for relief under DACA on August 15, 2012.*
DREAMers can attend a community legal workshop to learn about the new deferred action program and have the opportunity to consult with an attorney or qualified legal representative. Presented in partnership with the Washington Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).*
Upcoming Workshops: 

  • Wenatchee, Saturday, September 8th, time TBD (location details to be determined)
  • Mt. Vernon, Saturday, September 8th, time TBD, Skagit Valley Community College (Mt. Vernon workshop being organized by Skagit Immigrant Rights Council)
  • Des Moines, Saturday, September 15th, time TBD @ Highline Community College

You can find more information about the workshops on these fliers:

Find out more at or call 1-855-31-DREAM.

*Content quoted from


Estela resized 2
Estela Ortega
Executive Director

P.S. - And of course, visit our website to stay up-to-date on the happenings at El Centro and in nuestra comunidad - our community.

40th Anniversary Celebration Almost Here
Purchase Tickets Today

ECR_40yearsSaturday, September 29, 2012
The Westin Seattle, 5-8pm
The evening will consist of:
  • Reception w/ Historical Art Walk
  • Silent & Live Auctions
  • Three Course Dinner
  • Keynote Speaker Ben Ray Luján, U.S. Representative from New Mexico - 2nd Vice Chair of Congressional Hispanic Caucus
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards and Scholarship presentations
Limited Seating, register online at

We hope to see you there! If you are interested in purchasing tickets or want to donate an item you can contact us at, (206) 957-4649 or see our website for more information.
Bonneville Seattle & Seattle Seahawks Charity of the Month!
El Centro de la Raza- 12th man flag- cropped
El Centro de la Raza has been selected as September's Charity of the Month! Each month Bonneville Seattle, the Seattle Seahawks, and Les Schwab Tire Centers honor one local charity that makes a significant difference in the community. The Bonneville Seattle radio network includes 97.3 KIRO FM, 710 ESPN Seattle, AM 770 The Truth and As part of the award, El Centro receieved $2,000, an interview and PSA's that will air in September, and El Centro was also honored on the field at the Seattle Seahawks pre-season game on August 11th. Tune in during September to hear Estela and Board Member Janet Rodriguez on the radio! Mil gracias to Bonneville Seattle and the Seattle Seahawks for this tremendous honor.
Free Cooking & Nutrition Classes!  

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is looking for people to participate in a research study involving healthy cooking habits and nutrition classes. To be eligible, you need to be a Latina (female), at least 18 years of age, in charge of cooking in your household and speak some English. To register, or if you have any questions, contact (toll free) 1-800-275-9513 or email For participating:

You receive-

  • 4 free cans of fruits and vegetables
  • 2 gift cards, $10 and $30

You learn-

  • Simple, cheap and healthy recipes
  • Important concepts on nutrition
  • In addition, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will help create more healthy eating programs for the community

WA State Attorney General's Office Announces Funds for El Centro's Foreclosure Relief Program

This week, El Centro de la Raza was awarded a $600,000 grant to be paid over three years to fund our Foreclosure Relief Program and the life-changing work of our Homeownership Center. As stated in the press release, thirteen non-profits split $43.8 million the state received to fund foreclosure relief as part of the landmark $25 billion national settlement with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers announced in February. Please click here to read the full press release and here to see the list of grant recipients.

Our Teachers Advancing their Educations! 

We are proud to announce the continuing education and success of the teachers in José Martí CDC, as we congratulate five teachers who have completed degrees in 2012!
In February, Maria Rico completed her Master’s degree in Education and Maria Teresa Fitz completed her Bachelor’s degree in Education, both at Goddard College. Belem Mendoza graduated with her A.A. degree in Bilingual and Bicultural Education from Shoreline Community College.
This summer, Martha Diaz also completed her Master’s degree in Education at Goddard, and Hiromi Fermin finished her A.A. degree at Seattle Central Community College.

This progress toward higher education is integral in upholding high quality programming and maintaining NAEYC accreditation standards, and it is a testament to the teachers’ and El Centro’s dedication to high quality services for our children.  Mil gracias to all of our current and past graduated teachers for all of their hard work and dedication!

Join Us for United Way Day of Caring

day or caringMark your calendar, set a reminder, spread the word! Friday, September 21, is United Way’s 2012 Day of Caring—the biggest single day of volunteerism in the Evergreen State.

Last year’s Day of Caring was a community-wide success, with 11,000 volunteers from 122 companies sharing their time and talents on 416 projects throughout King County. Their hard work was worth an estimated $1.1 million.

This year, El Centro de la Raza has again been selected as a service site! Volunteer registration is open now!

Words by Roberto Felipe Maestas

Roberto Maestas Legacy Award Image 212 copyCheck out this amazing video that captures a series of interviews in chronological order with the late Roberto Maestas, Civil Rights Leader and co-Founder of El Centro de la Raza. Mr. Maestas became one of the first Chicano students to graduate from the University of Washington. This is not a biographical film, but rather a collection of important interviews of an ordinary man who became socially conscious and socially active. Roberto shares his perspective on the Chicano Movement in the Northwest and the need for cultural and linguistic social services in Seattle. This is a must see for anyone that knew Roberto or El Centro de la Raza over the last 40 years.

Las Memorias Performance 

Las Memorias

Saturday, September 15, 2:00pm Matinee (Free)
Theatre On The Square, Tacoma, WA

Students in Central Washington (Mabton, Warden, and Pateros) participate in a Las Memorias 2unique Washington State University outreach program that combines writing, performance, and theater to help them prepare for college. Founded by John Fraire, WSU’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment, Performance as Education uses theatre and performance as a springboard to increasing the college attendance and retention rates of Latino and other underserved high school students in the rural communities of Central Washington. The students are brought together with a team of professionals – theatre personnel, educators, counselors – and together, the students and the professionals produce professional, top quality, original theatre for the state.

To learn more about the event and program please click here.

Growing and Learning Together

Graduation Celebration 2012 057The Creciendo y Aprendiendo Juntos Program (Growing and Learning Together) is going to incorporate the National Council of La Raza’s PreK Padres Comprometidos Curriculum into the program. Here is more information about this curriculum (from NCLR’s website): 

Prekindergarten Padres Comprometidos (PreK PC) was developed as a result of NCLR’s commitment to parent engagement and advocacy to improve the educational outcomes of Latino children in the United States. PreK PC is an English and Spanish bilingual curriculum designed to help parents acknowledge and reclaim their rightful role as their children’s first and most important teachers. Through the training program, parents:

  • explore lessons,
  • discuss relevant research,
  • play traditional games that support children’s cognitive and social development, and
  • learn to use everyday items and events as teaching opportunities for their children.
PreK PC aims to increase Latino parents’ knowledge of children’s developmental stages and the structure of the school system so they can effectively support their child’s school readiness. El Centro is excited to begin integrating this model into the Creciendo y Aprendiendo Juntos Program and is currently accepting referrals and enrolling participants. Please contact Lucero Cueva-Estrella at (206) 957-4614 or

El Centro de la Raza Events!


            Sept. 8:  Alternatives to Foreclosure Orientation           
            Sept 12: Legal Clinic

            Sept 16: Mexican Independence Day
            Sept 21: United Way Day of Caring - Sign up here to volunteer!
            Sept 29: 40th Anniversary Celebration - Get your tickets here now!

Juvenile Justice at El Centro
WA MfC LogoEl Centro de la Raza is continuing its work around schools suspension policy through working with Seattle Schools on the upcoming Summer Leadership Institute.  We hope to expand the conversation to include teachers, principles and other administrators.  We also plan on including the youth voice as we work throughout the summer to provide space for young people to express their views on policies and practices.
Last Gardening Class for the Summer!
L1030231 Master Gardener Mick Duggan has been teaching the “Growing Your Own Groceries” series on the second Saturday of each month, from 10-11:30 a.m. September 8th is Mick's last class for the summer, be sure to attend!
Each class includes free information handouts to take home. All are welcome to “join when you can, for as long as you can.”

The last meeting is on September 8th in room 310. Topics on include:
  • What to plant now?
  • Green manure
  • Site selection and bed preparation
  • Getting ready for next year
  • Water quality
  • Leaves and the wait
Click here for more info.
Employment Program / Programa de Empleo
Our Employment Program provides job training skills and the opportunity to find employment. Our services include: monthly workshops, one-on-one support, assistance applying for jobs & preparing for interviews. We can help you acquire new skills to advance your career! If you would like to participate or need more information, please contact Camila Lagow: (206) 957-4622 or email or Janet Stafford: (206) 957-4644 or email. Para ver en español, haga clic aquí.

Surge Northwest Event
Surge Northwest (Surge NW) is a reproductive justice collaborative working to mobilize communities of color and other marginalized communities through representation, education, community engagement and policy advocacy.  Surge NW works from a Reproductive Justice (RJ) lens, striving for health equity and reproductive health by applying an intersectional lens that looks at the whole person, family, and community. In September, Surge NW is hosting an educational forum, “Collateral Consequences: The War on Drugs, Women, Families and Communities.” The purpose of this forum is to explore the current attitudes, thoughts and conversations happening in and across communities in regard to the War on Drugs, and in particular, discuss how Initiative 502 may help Washington communities. Confirmed speakers include Surge NW Board Member Lillian Hewko and King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu. El Centro de la Raza is co-sponosring this event:
September 25th, 2012
Southside Commons, 3518 S. Edmunds
Reception 6:00-6:30 PM / Program 6:30-8 PM


Anuncios y Felicitaciones
Announcements & Congratulation

Tacos, Hot Dogs, and Crepes @ El Centro

hot dog stand 2El Sabroso Bocados Latinos owned by Alma Isabel Aleman and Francisco Daniel Perez, is open for business in our South parking lot. They feature traditional Mexican food. The second truck you'll see rolling into our parking lot is Caravan Crepes owned by Brook Sumner. Lastly, Jesus Avila has brought his hot dog stand to our parking lot as well. If you're hungry and in the neighborhood be sure to check out these food trucks. We are excited to start these partnerships and bring some more delicious food to Beacon Hill.

Alma and Francisco have generously agreed to have a bin outside their stand where they will accept donations for our Food Bank. They have offered to give anyone who donates to the Food Bank a discount on a purchase.

Parking for a Cause at El Centro de la Raza!

El Centro has opened its temporary light rail parking lot to the public located at 2524 16th Ave S in Seattle next to the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station. The lot is minutes from downtown and the stadiums for Seahawks, Sounders and Mariners games! Proceeds benefit El Centro’s 33 human services and community building programs. Please call (206) 957-4603 or email for monthly parking or airport passes.

Labor Day Rally

A Labor Day rally is scheduled for Monday, September 3rd from 11 AM to 1 PM at Westlake Park. For more information, please see the informational flier:



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El Centro de la Raza
2524 16th Ave. South | Seattle, WA 98144
Tel: (206) 957-4605 | Email:
40th Anniversay Celebration Just Around the Corner!

Bonneville Seattle & Seattle Seahawks Charity of the Month Award

United Way Day of Caring

Roberto Maestas Video

Las Memorias - College Performance

Growing and Learning Together
Easy ways to support El Centro:
If   you use GoodSearch as your search engine, or do your online shopping through Goodshop, you can raise money for El Centro without spending an extra cent! You may actually save money with Goodshop coupons!
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Support El Centro's 33 programs by simply clicking here! Automatic monthly donations are a great option to give all year long!
Learn More About El Centro!
Visit our website by clicking here!
Be our friend! Join us on Facebook and
Want to keep updated on what
El Centro is doing?
Tamale Making Classes
at El Centro de la Raza
10 AM - 12:30 PM, Saturdays: 
Taught by a master tamalera!
Click here to learn more!
Class fee: $75 per per class - includes recipe & a dozen uncooked tamales.
Fees support our Senior Wellness Program which provides balanced daily congregate meals, social & educational activities, exercise classes three times weekly and meal delivery for homebound seniors.
For more details: 206-957-4611or email.

Spanish Classes
6-7:30 PM Tuesdays/Thursdays:
FALL 2012 Class Schedule:
October 2 – December 6, 2012
Learn Spanish from native speakers in a unique educational setting! Class fees help support our 33 Human Service and Community Building Programs. Adult beginner to advanced level classes are available.
Click here to sign up!
For more details: 206-957-4605 or email.

Un grupo de apoyo y de conversación para la mujer Latina!
Para más información favor de contactor a Angela Frith-Gomez: (206) 957-4641.

You're invited!
Café con El Centro logo
Cafe con El Centro:
At El Centro de la Raza
Next Cafe - Thursday, September 6th
How can you become an integral part of the community at El Centro? You can start by RSVPing to an upcoming Cafe con El Centro!

The Cafe is a great way to introduce yourself to our executive director, Estela Ortega, a board member, and staff from our programs. Learn the history of our roots, tour our building and programs, learn ways to get involved and network with like-minded folks. Share coffee & pan dulce with us!

Cafe con El Centro takes place the 1st Thursday of every month. Call 206-957-4652 or email to RSVP. 
Coffee generously donated by Starbucks!
Get more involved! Can you devote 2-3 hours or more a week, month, year, or just one time? We always have the need for volunteers.
For details contact our Volunteer Coordinator,
Taylor Skoglund:
(206) 957-4602 or by Email.
Also see our website's volunteer section!
El Centro de la Raza relies on donations from our individual supporters to keep our programs running.
  We are also fortunate enough to have corporate and foundation sponsors and grants for many of our programs and services:

Washington State Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division $600,000 over three years for Foreclosure Relief

Washington State Housing Finance Commission
$22,000 for Homeownership Center

Bonneville Seattle, Seattle Seahawks, Les Schwab Tire Centers and The Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints Foundation:  Charity of the Month $2,000 plus inkind support

 Mil Gracias to all of our wonderful funders, sponsors and donors!
  • Clear Channel
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
  • Vulcan
  • Eli Lilly
  • Union Bank
  • Amerigroup
  • Century Link
  • HomeStreet Bank
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital
  • BECU
  • WEA
  • Verizon
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Enterprise Community Partner
  • Washington Federal
  • Comcast
  • Molina Healthcare of Washington
  • Seattle Seahawks| Seattle Sounders FC
  • Plaza Bank
  • Teamsters Local Union 360
  • SEIU Local 6
  • Schroeter Goldmark & Bender
  • Sprauge Israel Giles
  • Central Co-op
  • Washington Community Reinvestment Association
Ramon Soliz, President
Jeff Middelton, Vice President
David Gasca, Treasurer
Roxana Amaral, Secretary
Victoria Kill, Parliamentarian
Francisco Calderon

Dorry Elias-Garcia
Cristina Garcia
Ricardo Garcia
Rhonda Gossett
Pablo Mendoza
Janet Jaime Rodriguez
Madrienne Salgado
Urbano Santos
Ofelia Alanis Torres
With over 28,500 volunteer hours,  El Centro de la Raza serves 19,489 individuals and 9,721 families annually through the following programs and services:

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