November eNewsletter - El Centro de la Raza


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

On behalf of the El Centro de la Raza community, mil gracias to everyone who attended and/or participated in our 2013 Día de los Muertos celebration last Friday, November 1st. It was an honor to have you join us in our annual observance of the Day of the Dead.
This year we paid tribute to José Guadalupe Posada, Mexican printmaker famous for his illustrations of calaveras in political satire, and his commitment to addressing social and economic disparities in early  20th century Mexico. Mil gracias to our 25 community members and organizations that joined us in decorating the building with beautiful ofrendas in honor of our loved ones and the legacy and art of José Guadalupe Posada.
This important cultural observance of life and death would not have been possible without our sponsors. Thank you to City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Sysco, and KUOW for sponsoring our 9th annual Día de los Muertos celebration! We have estimated that approximately 1,000 guests were in attendance on November 1st  for our opening night, and that we were able to provide approximately 900 of our guests with a free, traditional Mexican dinner. Mil gracias to our in-kind donors Hilltop Red Apple Market, La Mexicana tortilla factory, and Sysco for making the dinner possible through their generous food and beverage donations!

In addition to a delicious dinner, the night was also highlighted by performances from Trio Irecha, Mariachi Seattle Azteca, Lesley Rialto La Bruja, Duo Finelli, Folklore Mexicano Tonantzin, and CeAtl Tonalli Danza Azteca. A special thanks to our sisters and brothers of Rainbow Haven Community who beautifully decorated our beloved Roberto Maestas' ofrenda, and to CeAtl Tonalli for sharing with us a very sacred, traditional Aztec ritual in remembrance of Roberto Maestas and all of our deceased loved ones. An additional gracias to Choke Shirt Co for printing our extremely popular Día de los Muertos t-shirts, we sold out!

The ofrenda exhibit will continue to be on display and open to the public Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays from 10am-6pm and Thursdays from 12pm-8pm through November 21st. We encourage you to come view the ofrendas if you have not already, and invite your family and friends to do the same. ¡Mil Gracias a todos!

Click here to view a Seattle Times publication about our Día de los Muertos event, featuring some excellent photography!


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.

José Martí CDC Excited for New School Year & Reading Program

In April 2013, the José Martí Child Development Center (JMCDC) expanded for the first time ever in the history of El Centro de la Raza, so we are excited to announce that we officially began the new school year on September 23 at full enrollment with our greatest number ever – 175 students! 
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The teachers and children jumped right into a year of learning using JMCDC’s bilingual/bicultural curriculum, supported by generative themes of the month, the latest research in early childhood development, and social justice and cultural activities. Most recently the children have been learning about and participated in making decorations for El Centro de la Raza’s Día de los Muertos event.

The children also participate in daily activities to support all areas of development in preparation for kindergarten. During November we are excited to begin our annual literacy project sponsored by the Seattle Public Library called “Raising a Reader.” Each week children ages 1-5 in all nine classes get to bring home age-appropriate books in either Spanish or English. The purpose of this project is to promote literacy by involving the children’s families and providing opportunities to read at home. It also helps advance six pre-reading skills that are needed for children to learn to read: letter knowledge, narrative skills, print awareness, vocabulary, print motivation and phonological awareness.

We would like to thank Cikeithia Pugh of the Seattle Public Library for organizing the project and bringing us the books, and Mynique Adams for sharing with us monthly story times for the children to enjoy. We look forward to a great year of learning, community involvement and culturally-enriching activities!

New Vegetarian Tamale Class!

 Due to the success of our tamale classes and the generosity of our volunteers, we able to respond to the requests to hold a vegetarian tamale class! Now is your chance to learn how to make tamales from a master tamalera!

The class focuses on the traditional preparation of two types of authentic veggie tamales: Cheese & Jalapeños and Vegan Mole and Potato wrapped in banana leaf. The tamales are prepared in the handmade and traditional fashion using cultural ingredients.You'll also enjoy a brief presentation of the history of tamales.
  • When: Saturday, December 7th from 10 AM - 12:30 PM.

  • Where: El Centro de la Raza Kitchen (2524 16th Ave South)

  • Class fee: $75 per person per class - includes recipe and one dozen uncooked tamales. Class fees go to support our Senior Nutrition & Wellness Program that provides balanced daily congregate meals, daily social and educational activities, exercise classes three times a week, and delivered meals to homebound seniors each week.

  • Class will begin promptly at 10:00 AM in the kitchen at El Centro de la Raza. All cooking supplies and ingredients will be provided, but please bring your own apron.

Reservations can be made online here. Questions? please call (206) 957-4611 or email Private group classes available upon request.

Space is limited so sign up today!

El Centro to Host Bocafloja for Poetry Reading

PORTADA WEB finalEl Centro de la Raza is excited to announce that we will be hosting rapper, poet, and spoken word artist Bocafloja on November 14th for a poetry reading of his second book, Prognosis: decolonial poetic exhale. Prognosis is a collaboartion with linguist Sidony O'neal that defies genre classifications as it incorporates poetry, essays and short stories in "formats that fearlessly disrupt and discursively defy the canon of antisceptic literature that continues to dominate." Bocafloja is an inspiring artist whose messages and mediums for conveying them parallel the mission and focus of El Centro de la Raza's Hope for Youth Hip-Hop Poetry and Civil Rights History Classes.
This unique event was facilitated by local hip-hop artist and member of 206 Zulu, Gabriel Teodros. Gabriel grew up on Beacon Hill and is a former student of El Centro de la Raza's Hope for Youth Hip-Hop Poetry program. Visit Gabriel's blog here.

When: Thursday, November 14th from 6-8pm
Where: El Centro de la Raza (2524 16th Ave South)

About Bocafloja:
Poet, Rap artist, scholar, cultural ambassador, and founder of the Quilomboarte collective. In addition to five professionally edited music albums and having toured internationally throughout 15 countries, Bocafloja in 2008 published his first book ImaRginación. Prognosis is his second literary project. Race relations, decolonial narrative, and the African diaspora in Latin America studies are fundamental topics addressed in his body of work. He was born in Mexico City and lives in New York City.

About Sidony O’neal:
Linguist and writer engaged in the study and practice of emancipatory literature and
trans/creation. She celebrates the use of non-vehicular languages, quite literally the speech of the silenced, as a transformative habitus rooted in resistance to violence and oppression- a critical dis-position, steady mapping body and space. Her writing has been published in SPOOK, Passages North and The Nobantu Project. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Bocafloja will also be performing Friday, November 15th at the University of Washington's  Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center. For reservations and more information, visit the event web page.

Christmas Tree Pre-Sale Now!

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! Pre-order a tree now until November 27th and save!

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 the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve
  • Hours will be Monday - Friday 4-8 PM and Saturday & Sunday 12 - 8 PM 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!

We are also taking pre-orders before the lot opens! To order by phone or for more information call (206) 957-4605 or email us to place an order. You can view the complete price list by clicking here.

El Centro de la Raza Receives Artwork from State Prisoners
ZapataEl Centro de la Raza was recently gifted these beautiful portraits by the Latino prisoners at the Monroe State Prison. The inmates invited El Centro de la Raza to come and share the history of El Centro de la Raza and to brainstorm ways in which El Centro de la Raza can support them as they prepare to transition back into society. The inmates also expressed their interest in supporting the work of El Centro de la Raza by providing art work such as these portraits for our annual auction.

Tmex-am flaghe first painting, of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, is currently on display as part of an ofrenda in our Día de los Muertos exhibit. The second painting represents the struggle for a cultural identity among Latinos in the United States. We look forward to working with this group in the future. Mil gracias for the artwork donations.

Anuncios y Felicitaciones
Announcements & Congratulations

Financial, Homebuyer and Lending Circle Education

The fall 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 otoño 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

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 & 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
El Centro de la Raza Presents: Las Posadas!

The entire community is invited to come celebrate this annual cultural holiday tradition of singing and family gathering!

  • What: Free food, songs, and a visit from Santa!

  • When: Thursday, December 12th @ 6:00pm

  • Where: El Centro de la Raza (2524 16th Avenue South)

 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


It’s here! The Race and Social Justice Community Survey

The City of Seattle wants to hear from YOU! Seattle has launched its first Race and Social Justice Community Survey. The survey measures how people who live, work or go to school in Seattle think the City is doing on jobs, housing and meeting community needs. The information collected will help guide the City’s racial equity work and determine areas for City government to prioritize through its policies and programs. The survey is anonymous and takes about 12 minutes to complete.

Take the survey:

The survey runs for three weeks from November 11th through November 27th. To ensure representation from Seattle’s diverse communities and those without access to the internet, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights is conducting targeted outreach and partnering with community organizations. Focus groups will be held in Seattle’s six most frequently spoken languages. Survey results will be shared at a community forum in the spring of 2014.

To learn more visit or contact Brenda Anibarro at (206) 684-4514 or email

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

El Centro de la Raza Events!            


  • November 8 - November 27: Christmas Tree Pre-sale
  • November 14: Bocafloja Poetry Reading
  • November 16: Tamale-Making class
  • November 21: Día de los Muertos Exhibit Ends
  • November 29: Christmas Tree Sale Lot Opens


  • December 5: Café Con El Centro
  • December 7: Vegetarian Tamale Class
  • December 12: Las Posadas Event
  • December 14: Tamale Class
  • December 24: Last Day of Christmas Tree Sale


Washington GMO labeling initiative losing, but not done
King County NAACP celebrates 100 years

ICE issues important clarification regarding immigrants applying for Obamacare
Two immigration protestors arrested at congressional offices

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:


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.
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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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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 will be November 16th, 2013
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, December 5th
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:
The Boeing Company. $30,000 for Youth Job Readiness Program. 

Mil Gracias to all of our wonderful funders, sponsors and donors!
Ramon Soliz, President
Jeff Middelton, Vice President
Roxana Amaral, Secretary
Victoria Kill, Parliamentarian
Francisco Calderon

Dorry Elias-Garcia
Cristina Garcia
Ricardo Garcia
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
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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