Felices Fiestas! December eNews


 EL CENTRO DE LA RAZA | eNews December 2013
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Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

I would like to take this time to share a very important announcement with you all, regarding our most recent project; Plaza Roberto Maestas. El Centro de la Raza was recently awarded $7.9 million from the City of Seattle Office of Housing, for construction of Plaza Roberto Maestas our mixed use development project! This money will leverage additional funds, which means our project is a GO and we anticipate breaking ground in the first quarter of 2015! As an affordable housing development and hub for business, education, community-building, and cultural engagement, Plaza Roberto Maestas is an important step towards our mission to build the "Beloved Community." It goes without saying that as our most passionate and dedicated supporters, volunteers, donors, and participants, YOU helped make this happen.

Additionally, as we continue enjoying the festivities of the holiday season, it is important not to lose sight of the adversity that many families and individuals face during this time. I hope that you will help us in our efforts to spread joy to those in need and combat hardships like food insecurity, family separation, and homelessness. This holiday season, you can help by donating, volunteering, or simply spreading awareness.

Let us also take a moment to remember the life and legacy one of the most dedicated human rights advocates and social justice leaders, Nelson Mandela. Mandela passed away on Thursday, December 5th at the age of 95. El Centro de la Raza's work and mission is greatly inspired by Mandela's teachings and examples as we continue to advocate for peace and justice. Click here to learn more about Nelson Mandela's life and legacy.
Please also help us spread the word about obtaining healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. Monday, December 23rd is the deadline for enrolling to receive health insurance coverage starting in January 2014. Click here to enroll now. Mil gracias and felices fiestas!

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 de la Raza and in nuestra comunidad - our community.

Get Your Christmas Tree at El Centro de la Raza!

Christmas Tree Flier 2012Make your Christmas tree purchase this year more meaningful by purchasing your tree from El Centro de la Raza! When purchasing your tree from El Centro de la Raza, you are not only supporting a local small business, but also helping families and individuals in need as proceeds from our Christmas tree sales go towards supporting our 44 human service and community building programs. Take home a beautiful tree for your home, or purchase a tree for a family in need!

Our fresh selection is stocked with locally-grown trees, wreaths, and garlands from the forests near Chehalis, Washington. The tree farm is owned and operated by Adrian and Evencio Gonzalez, brothers from Oaxaca, México.

  • Our lot will be open starting November 29th until December 24th.
  • Hours will be Monday - Friday 4-8pm and Saturday & Sunday 12-8pm and we will be located at 2524 16th Ave S (at the kiosko on south side).

Bring your family and make this a season to remember!

To place an order or for more information call (206) 957-4605 or email us. You can view the complete price list by clicking here. 

Las Posadas Success!
las posadas 
Mil gracias to everybody who joined us last Thursday, December 12th for our 4th Annual Las Posadas and Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe event, we hope you had a great time! Our event was a huge success as members of our community came together to enjoy Pozole, pan dulce con chocolate, a visit from Santa, music, and children's activities. A special thank you to Alfredo Arreguín, for helping us create a beautiful tribute room to La Virgen de Guadalupe with a stunning original painting of La Virgen. Mil gracias to the teachers and children of our José Martí Child Development Center for leading the posadas, and to our performers Seattle Fandango Project, DE CAJóN Project, and A La Carte for making our Las Posadas event so special and enjoyable to all. More photos from the event can be found on our Facebook page. (Pictured: children enjoy holiday crafts at our Las Posadas event)

Letter from a Passionate Participant
The following is a letter received by El Centro de la Raza from a participant who had great success in our Homeownership Center (HOC). The author wished to remain anonymous, but asked for his story to be published in our newsletter:
Thank you, thank you to Arlene Chavez and Leslea Bowling at the Homeownership Center at El Centro de la Raza. Thank you is not enough! Both of my homes (primary and rental) were up for foreclosure. I worked hard for 25 years building up my retirement and investing thousands to improve the properties. I was the sole minority family in an exclusive, affluent majority neighborhood. Then, I lost my job, lost my professional license, lost custody of my 2 kids, lost my 23 year marriage and was in the process of losing my life savings. I struggled to buy a cup of coffee. I was only left with my self-respect, hard work ethic and perseverance.
Arlene was a soldier, she fought to save my home in a heated mediation with the lender's attorney-she did her homework! We failed the mediation criteria because my spouse and I separated but amazingly a week later the lender gave me a private modification. My house was saved due to El Centro de la Raza. A few months later, Arlene was able to work with a different lender to save my rental property as well. Life is now good. I'm rebuilding my future but at least the bottom didn't fall out. I was steps away from filing bankruptcy, but God and El Centro de la Raza put me on a different course. I am extremely grateful and El Centro will always have a special place in my heart. I am a donor for life!!
- Anonymous HOC Participant

El Centro de la Raza Hosts Santa Claus!
SANTA '13  

On Tuesday, December 10, the children of José Martí Child Development Center (CDC) received a special guest visit from Santa Claus! For the fifth year in a row our friends from the University Sunrise Rotary Club and students from the University of Washington Rotaract volunteered their time for a morning of holiday festivities and in bringing Santa to the children of José Martí CDC.
Each child enjoyed a picture with Santa and was gifted a new book (also donated by the Rotary), followed by decorating individual holiday cookies which were enjoyed with hot chocolate. The seniors in our Senior Program also visited Santa and joined in on the festivities and picture taking. The children, seniors, staff, and Rotary and Rotaract volunteers all enjoyed the morning of smiles, surprises, singing and delicious treats!

Mil gracias to University Sunrise Rotary, the University of Washington Rotaract students, and especially Santa for their continued devotion in making this a tradition to remember!
Estela Selected for Mayor Murray's Transition Team!
 As you may know, recent mayoral elections have brought a new face to the mayoral seat, Mayor-elect Ed Murray. In an effort to make his transition as smooth as possible, Mayor-elect Murray has put together a transition committee comprised of 43 individuals representing a vast array of interests, with the goal of collaborating to identify and prioritize the most pressing issues that Murray plans to tackle as Mayor of Seattle. The diverse committee includes leaders in business, labor unions, government, and nonprofits. Among the leaders selected to the committee is El Centro de la Raza's very own Executive Director, Estela Ortega! Estela is very excited to be working closely with the mayor and other leaders in the community to address important issues of social justice. "I was very honored when I got the call from Mayor-elect Murray," said Estela, "Mayor-elect Murray has been a long-time friend of El Centro de la Raza over the years, I look forward to working with Ed as our new mayor."
Click here to learn more about the transition committee and click here to see a list of committee members.

Olmeca Visits Denny MiddleSchool
olmeca 2 
Last week on Tuesday, December 10th Denny International Middle School students in the Proyecto Saber program received a visit from Olmeca, a Los Angeles based MC, producer, activist and artist. Olmeca was in Seattle as part of a string of stops he is making throughout the country to perform and speak to a variety of crowds on topics of social justice, education, activism and cultural empowerment. His stop at Denny International Middle School included a series of student dialogues focusing on decolonial aesthetics, hip-hop poetry, youth, life, and art. During these dialogues, Olmeca engaged with the students, speaking on the power of poetry and art as positive forms of expression, while sharing personal experiences and answering questions.

Proyecto Saber is a Latino focused academic support program that works closely with El Centro de la Raza to provide students with academic skill enhancement. Click here to learn more about Olmeca and his work.

Bocafloja Releases New Book at El Centro de la Raza!

boca centro 4
On Thursday, November 14th hip-hop artist and poet Bocafloja paid a visit to El Centro de la Raza to release his new book, Prognosis: Decolonial Poetic Exhale. This event marked the first time his book had been seen in print in the United States, and it brought out 80-90 guests from all walks of life including children, college students, professors, and local artists and MC's. Bocafloja was joined by local hip-hop artist and poet Gabriel Teodros, and poet/impact speaker Mark Gonzales. The three artists, though differing in diction and delivery, are similar in that they all convey powerful messsages that bring social injustices to light and challenge conventional notions of race and culture. This event was important not only for the artists as they were able to spread their message, form new relationships, and share their art with the community, but this event also exemplified El Centro de la Raza's ability to bring diverse crowds of people together to build community.
Click here to learn more about Bocafloja, and click here to view a music video featuring Gabriel Teodros, filmed right here at El Centro de la Raza and around Beacon Hill!

El Centro de la Raza is Going Wireless

In an effort to bridge the digital divide that plagues communities of color and low-income  communities, El Centro dewifi la Raza is proud to announce that starting in January 2014, our entire building will be WiFi accessible! Access to the internet is a luxury that many people do not have, and an increasingly important resource for almost every aspect of life. We are trying to make this valuable resource more accessible to all by providing free wireless internet access to the public. Unfortunately, we do not currently have any computers or other devices available for public use, but the WiFi will be readily available for anybody to bring and use their own wireless capable devices to access the internet in our building and our newly rennovated park. Stay connected with El Centro de la Raza to find out when our free public WiFi is ready to use!

Help Us WIN the NCLR Photo Contest!
El Centro de la Raza is proud to announce that we are finalists in the National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) Affiliate Photo Contest! The contest, Unleashing the Power of the Affiliate Base highlights the great work that NCLR Affiliates all over the country do to empower Latinos to transform their lives. El Centro de la Raza's entry has been selected as a finalist, and online voting is currently happening here. See the photo entry and read the story about it below:
When Juanito started coming to the José Martí Child Development Center, he loved playing with blocks but rarely visited the book area. When it came time for the health screenings El Centro de la Raza performs on all of the preschoolers, his mother, Ada, was nervous. The screening revealed that Juanito had 20/100 vision in one eye, and he needed glasses. At first, Juanito didn't want to wear his glasses. The teachers helped him to adjust through teaching activities, role-modeling, and lots of love. Today, Juanito loves his glasses, and he loves looking at books with his improved vision. "I feel proud of El Centro de la Raza for all the positive changes my son has experienced," Ada says.
Follow these easy steps to vote:
  • Visit http://www.nclr.org/index.php/nclr_affiliates/program-entry/affiliate_photo_contest/ and search for the picture shown above submitted by El Centro de la Raza.
  • Select the photo and click NEXT PAGE at the bottom of the page.
  • Enter your e-mail address and click SUBMIT.
  • Repeat EVERY DAY until the end of the contest! You may vote once a day, as many days as you can through December 22.
  • Share on all social media sites!
  • Mil Gracias for your support! Click here to start voting now!
The organization that wins the photo contest will receive:
  • A Free Round Trip Ticket with Southwest Airlines
  • Tickets to NCLR's 2014 Capital Awards in Washington, D.C.
  • A Free Android Phone!
Help El Centro de la Raza win these prizes, which we will use to raise funds at our next annual fundraising Auction Gala! Start voting today!

Come See Our Festive Christmas Tree!
Last weekend we unveiled El Centro de la Raza's beautiful community Christmas tree! The tree was a generous donation from Adrian and Evencio Gonzalez, two brothers from Oaxaca, Mexico. Adrian and Evencio's tree farm also supplies our Christmas tree sales. Mil gracias Adrian and Evencio! Our tree is approximately 20 feet tall, and was decorated by Holiday Spirit Lighting, who also donated all of the colorful lights! Mil gracias to Brett Farrington and Holiday Spirit Lighting for your generous donation! Our tree shines brilliantly in the night and sits on the corner of 16th Ave South and Roberto Maestas Festival Street. The tree is pictured here, but pictures do not do it justice. Come out and see it for yourself, and buy a Christmas tree of your own while you're at it!

Anuncios y Felicitaciones
Announcements & Congratulations

Beautiful Office Space For Rent in El Centro de la Raza
office view 3  
El Centro de la Raza has available a 1055 square foot office space. The space was redesigned by the previous tenant to create a small opening reception office space, a huge back office and a small storage/office. The space is located in the historic Beacon Hill School building that was built in 1905, the space itself has been updated a bit, but for the most part the building and space has maintained much of its historic look. We are located in the heart of North Beacon Hill across from the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station and the organization has become the hub of the Latino Community with its 40+ service programs that it offers the community. Please come visit us or contact our Facilities Manager, Elisa Miranda, if you are interested in this space. She can be reached by phone (206) 957-4603 or email: facilities@elcentrodelaraza.org.
(Pictured above: view from office window).

Congrats Patty Lally, New Head of City of Seattle Office of Civil Rights!
On Wednesday, December 11th, former Latino/a Bar Association of Washington president Patty Lally was selected by mayor-elect Ed Murray to lead the City of Seattle Office of Civil Rights! Patty is a well-established civil rights leader in our community, and has strong ties with El Centro de la Raza (ECDLR), having collaborated with ECDLR on many occasions including being a member of our Plaza Roberto Maestas Steering Committee and serving as an emcee for our annual Building the Beloved Community Auction Gala. Previously, Patty had served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Washington, and as a member of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission. We are so proud of Patty on her amazing accomplishment, we wish her the best of luck and we look forward to working with her! More information on Mayor Murray's transition plan can be found here.

Financial, Homebuyer and Lending Circle Education

The winter season of lending circle formation and information meetings, financial education classes and homebuyer education is about to begin. Click here to view the complete schedule.

Financiero, para Compradores de Vivienda y Lending Circle Educación

La temporada de invierno de la formación del círculo de préstamos y reuniones de información, clases de Orientación de Propiedad de Vivienda y Taller Para Compradores de Casa está a punto de comenzar. Haz clic aquí para ver el calendario completo.

Sign Up for Spanish Classes Offered by El Centro de la Raza
  • Learn and improve your Spanish skills while you support El Centro de la Raza!
  • Class fees help support our 44 Human Service and Community Building Programs.
  • Classes are instructed by professional native Spanish speakers in an interactive community-based setting.
Winter Quarter Dates:
January 21st - March 27th
Tuesdays/Thursdays 6:00-7:30 PM
Questions? Please call (206) 957-4605 or e-mail execasst@elcentrodelaraza.org.

Hold Your Next Event at El Centro de la Raza
  • Our historical community space is a unique and practical venue for all types of events from meetings, trainings or workshops to parties and cultural celebtrations.
  • Ammenities include TV's, wireless internet connection, white boards, tables and chairs for your use, and of course the cultural art that makes El Centro de la Raza special.
For more information or to book a reservation at El Centro de la Raza contact our Facilities Manager at (206) 957-4603 or facilities@elcentrodelaraza.org.

UW Minority Community Advisory Committee Seeking Recruits!

The University of Washington's Minority Community UW MCAC 3Advisory Committee (MCAC) is made up of 15 individuals who share a commitment to addressing issues that affect communities of color, and includes El Centro de la Raza's very own Executive Director Estela Ortega! The committee is essentially a think tank designed to help UW President Michael Young come up with and implement "ways to attract and retain students, faculty, and staff of color," as well as to strengthen ties with communities of color within the region. President Young will be accepting applications until January 15th, 2014. Current UW students and faculty are not permitted to serve on the committee. The MCAC provides a great opportunity to work directly with President Young to tackle issues that are important to you regarding minorities and higher education. More information about the committee, and the application process can be found here. If you think you may be interested or know somebody who may be interested, please do not hesitate to apply!
(Pictured: Current member of the UW MCAC, including councilmember Larry Gossett (top left) one of El Centro de la Raza's "Four Amigos." Photo Courtesy of UW website)

New 'RACE' Exhibit at Pacific Science Center
The Pacific Science Center
is currently hosting a brand-new exhibit that explores the meaning of "race" on a scientific and social level. The exhibit challenges us to re-evaluate our pre-existing notions of race and the way we view and experience race in their everyday lives. In a city rich with cultural diversity, "RACE: Are We So Different?" is especially significant, as it reminds us of our humanity in an engaging, entertaining, and thought provoking manner. The exhibit is open now and will continue to be open until January 5th, 2014.
Click here for more information about RACE and the Pacific Science Center


Affordable Apartments for Artists
Artspace is proud to introduce our third project in Seattle, Artspace Mt. Baker Lofts, a new mixed-use arts facility adjacent to the Mt. Baker Light Rail Station. This Transit Oriented Development (TOD) will consist of 56 affordable apartments for artists and their families, and retail spaces on the ground floor. We look forward to the creation of a vibrant creative community at the gateway to Rainier Valley. Occupancy is scheduled for spring 2014. To be placed on the interested artist list for the residential apartments, or to inquire about a commercial space, please contact Rebecca Morton at rebecca.morton@artspace.org.

El Centro de la Raza Events!

  • December 24: Last Day of Christmas Tree Sales!
  • January 2: Café Con El Centro


Ed Murray names leadership team
Eye-opening study about health and death in King County

More protestors arrested as deportation count nears 2 million

Emory University study links racism to infant mortality


Connect with us on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn for up to the minute news and information!

El Centro de la Raza
2524 16th Ave South | Seattle, WA 98144
Tel: (206) 957-4605 | Email: donor@elcentrodelaraza.org


If you use GoodSearch as your search engine, or do your online shopping through Goodshop, you can raise money for El Centro de la Raza without spending an extra cent! You may actually save money with Goodshop coupons!
GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!

When you sign up for a 'B' Caring card, and elect to support El Centro de la Raza, 4% of your purchase price will go to support El Centro de la Raza's programs! Signing up is easy and FREE! Just print the form, and bring to Bartell Drugs, or ask at the store.
bartells logo
Support El Centro de la Raza's 44 programs by simply clicking here! Automatic monthly donations are a great option to give all year long!
Learn More About El Centro de la Raza!
Visit our website by clicking here!
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El Centro de la Raza is doing?
Tamale Making Classes
at El Centro de la Raza
10 AM - 12:30 PM, Saturdays: 
Next class will be January 25th, 2014
Taught by Master Tamalera, Jamie Bautista!
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: 206-957-4611 or email.

Spanish Classes
6-7:30 PM Tuesdays/Thursdays:
Winter 2013 Class Schedule:
January 21, 2013 – March 27, 2013
Learn Spanish from native speakers in a unique educational setting! Class fees help support our 44 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 Brenda Mendoza: (206) 957-4641.

You're invited!
Café con El Centro logo
Café con El Centro de la Raza:
At El Centro de la Raza
Next Café - Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
@ 8:00 AM
How can you become an integral part of the community at El Centro de la Raza? You can start by RSVPing to an upcoming Cafe con El Centro de la Raza!

The Café 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!

Café con El Centro de la Raza 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,
Alexia Klatt:
(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:
Northwest Area Foundation. $100,000 for Volunteer Program & Asset Building

Mil Gracias to all of our wonderful funders, sponsors and donors!
Ramon Soliz, President
Jeff Middelton, Vice President

 Pablo Mendoza, Treasurer
Roxana Amaral, Secretary

Ofelia Alanis Torres
Francisco Calderon
Dorry Elias-Garcia
Cristina Garcia

Ricardo Garcia
Victoria Kill
 Alexandra Narvaez
Madrienne Salgado
 Bianka Sanchez
Urbano Santos

With over 24,950 volunteer hours, El Centro de la Raza serves 18,633 individuals and 9,389 families annually through the following programs and services:
Basic Healthcare Enrollment
Bebes!  Infant Mortality Prevention
Café con El Centro
César Chávez Demonstration Garden
College Readiness
COMCAST Digital Connectors
Community Meeting Space
Community Service
Crisis Advocacy
Cultural / Political / Social Events
Economic Development
ECR Transitional Housing
El Patio Apartments
ESL Classes / Spanish Classes
Financial Empowerment
Food Bank
Foreclosure Counseling
Growing & Learning Together
Healthy Cooking Classes /
   Nuestras Comidas
Homeless Assistance
Hope for Youth Poetry & Civil Rights
  History Classes
HUD Housing Counseling
Immigrant / Human / Civil Rights Social
Justice  Advocacy
José Martí Child Development Center
Latino Hot Meal Program
Legal Clinic Site
Local, State, National & International  
  Coalition Building
Luis Alfonso Velásquez Flores
After School Program
Parent-Child Home Program
Plaza Roberto Maestas
Santos Rodriguez Memorial Park
Senior Nutrition & Wellness
Senior Home Delivered Meals
Smoking Cessation
Tax Prep Site
Transit Oriented Parking
Veteran’s Services
Youth Case Management & Cultural
Youth Employment
Youth Technology Training
Youth Violence Prevention
Volunteer Opportunities

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