May eNews - El Centro de la Raza


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Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

The end of the school year is just around the corner, and we would like to congratulate the graduating youth in our Hope for Youth Program and in the Proyecto Saber classes at Denny Interational Middle School, Chief Sealth International High School and Ballard High School. 64 (about 91%) of senior students in the Proyecto Saber Program will graduate this year, and about 84% will transition to college with over $210,362 in scholarships! It is more important than ever to recognize the hard work and dedication of so many Latino students in the Seattle Public School District. Our students have successfully completed their coursework and community service amidst the many challenges our communties face. ¡Felicitaciones to graduating youth!

To all who participated in GiveBIG I want to thank you for making it such an incredible success! In one day, the community came together to raise $11.1 million dollars to support 1,300 local nonprofits! At El Centro de la Raza, GiveBIG donors helped us to raise $4,460, which the Seattle Foundation will "stretch" from a pool that has grown to one-million dollars this year! These funds will be used to support our 49 programs and services that help make this community strong! From the children in the José Martí Child Development Center to the Seniors in our Senior Program, mil gracias for being a part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of the "Beloved Community" that we are building together!


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.

South King County Stand Down and Veteran's Resource Fair
Stand Down Flag
Saturday, June 8th, 2013, 0900-1500
Green River Community College

12401 320th St., Auburn, WA 98092

The South King County Stand Down is a free resource event to benefit all veterans and their families.

FREE services provided at the Stand Down:
♦VA benefit and claims assistance
♦Medical / Dental
♦Financial and Housing Assistance
♦Employment resources and assistance
♦Legal service referrals
♦Individual and Family Counseling
♦Haircuts, clothing, hot meal, groceries
♦And more!

Volunteer at this event, and make a difference in your community and in the lives of those who have served! Call 206-802-5578 for more information.

Stand Down logos 4

Program Highlight: Luis Alfonso Velásquez After School Program

After school ofrendaThe year is packed with excitement for students who come to El Centro de la Raza after school. From swimming in the Garfield Community Center pool, to visiting the Woodland Park Zoo, putting on a cultural fashion show at Cinco de Mayo, building, decorating and riding on a float for Diez de Septiembre (Mexican Independence Day) or selling hot dogs to raise money for a visit to the Henry Moses Aquatic Center, the Luis Alfonso Velásquez after school program is non-stop fun combined with an acedemic curriculum that supplements their school education. When I asked the students whether they like coming to El Centro de la Raza, the answer was a unanimous and emphatic YES! But when I asked each student their favorite part about the After School Program, responses varied:

"We can do alot of fun stuff! We can go to Henry Moses, movie theaters...and the friends are cool!" -Leslie, age 8

"We get to read books and we get to have recess inside. When we have inside recess, I read books." -Alana, age 7

"I like that people help you get up when you're hurt. Not like other places. And I like that they have a lot of different kinds of books here. Lots of biographies." Kenneth, age 9

"I like that they have Legos." -Asher, age 6

"I like that I get to do homework. It's a peaceful environment, and I don't have to do it at home." -Lucy, age 8

"I like the presents, the sharks, the movies, the bus, and the library!" -Victor, age 6

"I like this part! You know....playing and doing recess!" -Pearl, age 7

"My favorite part is summer. Going to the movies, selling food to go to the waterpark, and doing zumba!" -Calos, age 9

As for the teachers, one of the best parts about the Luis Alfonso Velásquez After School Program is seeing the progress that kids make throughout the year. "Many of our students speak very little English when they first start here, and can barely read or write, or do basic arithmetic. Everyday we sit down with them and give them individual attention on their homework, and we see them start reading and doing math at grade-level, and their grades improve." Parents also love the Aftershool Program. One mom stated "Even though I can't be home with my daughter in the afternoons, this program is like home. The room is so cozy, and the kids and teachers are like a family. And I love that they show the kids the important contributions Latinos have made in the U.S. I know my daughter will never forget that as she grows up."

Senator Patty Murray Visits El Centro de la Raza
Senator Patty Murray visited El Centro de la Raza Wednesday morning to talk about an exciting bill that she is proposing in the legislature. The Ready to Learn Act, if passed, would fund full-day preschool and kindergarten for all children in Washington State. Several key individuals attended the press conference to speak in support of Senator Murray's proposal, including Susan Enfield, Highline School District Superintendant, whose goal is to provide all day kindergarten to all students by the start of the 2013-2014 school year. Also in attendance, Kevin Washington, Board Member of the League of Education Voters, King County Sherriff John Urquhart, and Michelle Gonzales, a parent. Do you have an opinion on this topic? Tell Senator Patty Murray about it.
Patty Murray Visits El Centro
Estela Ortega welcomes Senator Patty Murray at El Centro de la Raza.
Mil Gracias Seattle Works Volunteers!

Mil gracias to Seattle Works volunteers! This gang of 17 energetic dynamos descended upon El Centro de la Raza on May 18th to put a fresh coat of paint on the exterior of our building, and to landscape the outer edge of our south parking lot! It is amazing what this group accomplished in such a short amount of time, and the result is no less than eye-catching! Mil gracias for your hard work!
Seattle Works 2
Seattle works volunteers, still exuberant after a long day of hard work!

Clases Gratuitas de Inglés / Free ESL Classes

ESL graphicSe ofrecen clases de inglés como segunda lengua (ESL) para ayudar a las personas a comunicarse en inglés a traves del desarollo de cuatro habilidades fundamentales - escuchar,  hablar, leer, y escribir.

English as a Second Language classes are offered to help non-native speakers to communicate in English through the development of skills in listening, observing, speaking and writing.
25 de Junio a 13 de Agosto 
    June 25th - August 13th
Martes y Jueves                           Tuesdays and Thursdays
De 5:30pm a 8pm                    
    From 5:30 - 8pm

Para mas infomación / for more information:

Former Labor Council President Larry Kenney Memorial

Larry Kenney
We have recently lost a great friend and advocate with the passing of Larry Kenney, former president of the Washington State Labor Council. Mr. Kenney achieved many gains for farmworkers during his years at the Labor Council. His courageous pursuit of social justice is truly an inspiration, and he will be greatly missed in our community. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and his loving wife, Rep. Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney, who has been a friend and advocate of El Centro de la Raza for many years.

Memorial for Larry Kenney
Saturday, June 1st, 2013
2:00 pm

Mountaineers Club 7700 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115


Seattle Peace Chorus Presents:  Canto General

Canto General---enews graphic
June 1st, 2013
7:30 pm
Town Hall, Seattle

June 8th, 2013
7:30 pm
Cleveland High School

The work of Nobel Prize winner and revolutionary poet Pablo Neruda is celebrated by the Seattle Peace Chorus. Set to music by Greek Composer Mikis Theodorakis and directed by Fred West, this performance honors one of the most important poets in Latin American history on the 40th anniversary of his death. Click here for tickets.


Building the Beloved Community Gala October 5th, 2013
Beloved Community Gala graphic
This year’s Building the Beloved Community Gala will be held at the Washington State Convention Center on Saturday, October 5th, 2013. The evening will begin at 5:00pm with a silent auction and reception with mariachi music, appetizers and drinks. A three-course dinner will follow, accompanied by a live auction and the presentation of our Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards and Scholarships. Auctioneer Laura Michalek will lead the exciting live auction (updates on our items coming soon!), and will be joined on stage by this year’s Master of Ceremonies, Patricia Lally! For more information on our opportunities to purchase a table, buy tickets, make a donation or volunteer, please visit our Building the Beloved Community Gala webpage:

Time for Roberto Maestas Legacy Award Nominations!

Legacy Award 3
Do you know someone who is Building the Beloved Community through multi-racial unity, someone who is working to eliminate poverty, racism, and social inequity? Nominate them for the Roberto Maestas Legacy Award! Maybe that individual is YOU! If so, you can nominate yourself! We will donate $1,500 in the winner's name to an organization of their choice. One man and one woman will be selected for the award, and honored at our Building the Beloved Community Gala on October 5th. Click here for details and to fill out the nomination application.

Litigating the Right to Peace: A Forum with Costa Rican People's Lawyer Luis Roberto Zamora Bolaños

Roberto Zamora
Saturday, June 22nd, 2013
7:00 p.m
Seattle University Law School
901 12th Ave, Seattle, Room C5

Roberto Zamora enforces the right to peace guaranteed by the Costa Rican Constitution and International Law. Among his accomplishments are compelling Costa Rican presidents to withdraw from the U.S. coalition against Iraq, forgo manufacturing nuclear fuel and reactors and annul an executive order allowing civilian police to use military weapons. Mr. Zamora alos works across borders and has advised defenders of "Peace" article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. FREE ADMISSION. Click here for more information.

Sponsors: World Peace Through Law Section, Washington State Lawyers Guild, Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

The Seattle Sounders FC International Family Festival
Seattle Sounders Logo
June 30th, 2013
CentruyLink Field
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

$10/person -  children 0-4yrs, free

SSFC International Family Festival provides fans unique and memorable Sounders FC brand experiences that deliver meaningful connections between the diverse group of attendees, players, and coaches.
  • Sounders FC player/coaches meet and greet
  • Autograph sessions
  • Instructional activities by Sounders FC youth camp coaches
  • Locker room tours
  • Soccer celebration inflatables
  • Face painting
  • International cultural displays
  • 10% discount on all Sounders FC Pro-Shop merchandise
Click here to register
Financial Education Classes and Homebuyer Education Classes!

Looking to buy a home? Improve your credit? Obtain a loan or manage your bank account? Then these classes may be for you! Financial Education classes are offered in cooperation with local credit unions and banks to answer your specific money management questions. Two class series are offered in English, Español, or bi-lingually, depending on student needs. Click here for more information.

Volunteer Spotlight: Heather Martin, a One-of-a-Kind English Tutor!

Heather MartinHeather Martin volunteers her time every Tuesday tutoring students in our ESL classes, and has also been a huge help at Las Posadas in the Santa picture booth. “I got involved with El Centro de la Raza because I found its history and advocacy for racial and social justice inspiring." Heather says, "During Café con El Centro de la Raza, it was clear that this organization is doing great work in the community, and I wanted to be a part of it!” While volunteering, Heather enjoys meeting people from all over Latin America and around the world, learning about their experiences and practicing her Spanish. She also loves hearing other people's perspectives, which helps to shape her own worldview. Heather's advice to other El Centro de la Raza volunteers? “Take time to listen to the people around you and talk to them--it's much more fun if you connect with the people you're working with!" Mil gracias Heather for being a part of the "Beloved Community"! We are so grateful for all of your hard work!
Youth Poetry

 Ana was born in Chiapas, Mexico, and now lives in Seattle along with her two sisters. She is a 7th grader at Denny International Middle School. During her spare time, she likes to spend time with friends and listen to music. She hopes to someday graduate college and find a career helping others.

The Leader
She’s like the sun
When it’s coming up you can see it
Close your eyes

She’ll always be there
Shining on your path
She is the oldest
And wants to set an example
For the rest of the family
As her long way through the path
She finds the end and succeeds
A good education is important to her
So in the future, she looks back and says, “I tried.”
Like a full grown plant
The seeds are the ones looking up to her
She’s curious, interested and evolving
Trying to complete the obstacles.
She’s the Leader.



El Centro de la Raza Events!            

               June 8:     South King County Stand Down and Veteran's Resource Fair

               June 12:   Legal Cinic
               June 15:   Tamale-Making Class

               July 10:    Legal Clinic              
               July 16:    Summer Quarter Spanish Classes begin

               July 20:    Tamale-Making Class

Anuncios y Felicitaciones
Announcements & Congratulation


Parking for a Cause at El Centro de la Raza!

El Centro de la Raza 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.

We have 2 Zipcars living in our South Parking Lot!

Conveniently located next to the lightrail station, this neighborhood now has access to "wheels when you want them"! Click here to visit the Zipcar website and set up a Zipcar membership in support of El Centro de la Raza's programs and services!


Study shows toxicants in Duwamish River could remain for decades - Story
►Structurally Deficient Bridges in Washington State - Interactive Map


►Coalition on Immigration Reform - Story
►"A Month Without Monsanto" - Article
►"Immigration Upended" -
NY Times Series


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:



South King County Stand Down June 8th

Program Highlight: Luis Alfonso Velásquez After School Program

Senator Patty Murray Visits El Centro de la Raza

Mil Gracias Seattle Works Volunteers!

Clases Gratuitas de Inglés / Free ESL Classes

Former Labor Council President Larry Kenney Memorial

Seattle Peace Chorus Canto General

Building the Beloved Community Gala, October 5th

Time for Roberto Maestas Legacy Award Nominations!

Litigating the Right to Peace: A Forum with Costa Rican People's Lawyer Roberto Zamora

Seattle Sounders FC International Family Day

Financial Education and Homebuyer Classes

Volunteer Spotlight: Heather Martin

Youth Poetry
Easy ways to support El Centro de la Raza:
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!
Support El Centro de la Raza's 33 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!
Be our friend! Join us on Facebook and
Want to keep updated on what
El Centro de la Raza is doing?
Tamale Making Classes
at El Centro de la Raza
10 AM - 12:30 PM, Saturdays: 
Next class wil be June 15, 2013
Taught by Master Tamalera, Jaimie 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:
Summer 2013 Class Schedule:
July 16 – September 19, 2013
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 Brenda Mendoza: (206) 957-4641.

                     You're invited!
Café con El Centro logo
Cafe con El Centro de la Raza:
At El Centro de la Raza
Next Cafe - Thursday, June 6th
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 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!

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,
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:

Comcast $2,500 for Annual Auction Banquet/Awards and $6,500 for three items on Technology Wish List

City of Seattle Technology Matching Fund $5,624 for creating three wi-fi hotspots at El Centro de la Raza and purchasing three new computers for the senior program.

Youth Arts $7,800 for youth to plan, curate, and create main ofrenda for Día de los Muertos

CIty of Seattle Human Serivces Dept. $80,719 for Senior Wellness Congregate Program

Union Bank $75,000 for three years of Homebuyer and Foreclosure Counseling

Mil Gracias to all of our wonderful funders, sponsors and donors!
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 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
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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