December eNews - El Centro de la Raza


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Estimad@ amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

Feliz Navidad ! El Centro de la Raza wishes you and your family a warm and festive holiday season, and a prosepero año!

Christmas At El Centro 014
The holidays are a special time at El Centro de la Raza, a time for many different beloved holiday traditions to be celebrated in the same space, and to be shared with all! We hope you were able to celebrate Las Posadas with us, remember the journey of the Virgen de Guadalupe, and get your picture taken with Santa! Over 350 people attended for an evening of caroling, tree lighting, and roaming the neighborhood visitng Beacon Hill restaurants! Mil Gracias to all who helped make this event a succes by donating food, decorations, labor, funds, or by attending! 

2012 is nearly at an end, and we want to say mil gracias for a terrific 40 years! This community is so very blessed to have so many dedicated contributers! We and our participants - from the preschoolers in the José Martí preschool to the seniors in the Senior Wellness Program, we thank you for your generous support over the years! In the words of the Cuban Poet José Martí, "It is for the children that we work, for they are the ones who know how to love... for they are the hope of the world."

As holiday festivities continue, the nation grieves with Newtown, Connecticut. On behalf of the El Centro de la Raza community, we send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the December 14th shooting. In light of this recent tragedy, the need for community support is stronger than ever. Please visit our news section to learn about ways you can help the Newtown community. Click here to read Superintendant José Banda's letter to SPS families.


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.

Christmas Trees at El Centro!

Christmas Tree Flier 2012

Nordman, Noble, Douglas, Grand, oh my!
Make this holiday season special by purchasing your Christmas tree from El Centro de la Raza and help thousands of low-income families receive the services they need.
You can also make this holiday season special for someone else by purchasing a tree and donating it to a low-income family.

When you purchase your tree, wreath or garland from our sale, you can support both El Centro and a local small business! Our fresh selection is stocked with locally grown trees 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 until Christmas Eve, so bring your family and make this a season to remember!

The lot will be open Monday - Friday 4-8 PM and Saturday and Sunday 12 - 8 PM and is located at 2524 16th Ave S, Seattle (at the kiosko on south side).
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.

José Martí Child Development Center Cosmetic Renovation

JMCD renovateEl Centro de la Raza received a $20,000 City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple Grant to pay for materials to renovate four classrooms and the lobby in its child development center. Replacing 25 year old  fixtures, from ceiling tiles, to cabinets, to bulletin boards will make a safer, cleaner, and more attractive and modern learning environment for our children.  A special thank you to Architects Without Borders for leading the design, and to Microsoft volunteers, who will be painting the center on January 21st, MLK day!

We still need inkind donations (construction materials) to serve as a match for this grant. Please contact Ashley Haugen with questions at (206) 957-4611 or

The José Martí Preschool is Accepting Students!

Jose Marti KidsWe at José Martí CDC take pride in providing an environment where children receive the nurturing and security they need to develop in all aspects of their lives, including kindergarten readiness!

In José Martí CDC, we utilize a Spanish-English dual language program along with a Creative Curriculum. Our curriculum reflects a “rainbow of cultures,” and regular participation in community and cultural events helps instill pride in one’s own culture, as well as respect and appreciation for others’ cultures. The children at José Martí CDC are also exposed to a variety of cultural, political, and civic events at El Centro de la Raza. We host regular visits from leaders around the community, state, and country, as well as national and international artists, musicians, dancers, and poets. Breakfast, lunch, and a snack are provided. You may qualify for free preschool! Click here to view eligibility guidelines.

For more information call (206) 957-4619

Costs per month
Full-time, M-F
Ages 1-2:                    $1,070.00
Ages 3-5:                    $950.00
Ages 5 -12:
After School:               $466.00
Before & After School:  $508.00
Full time (summer):      $595.00

Subsidy Available

El José Martí Preescolar está aceptando estudiantes!

Boy at preschoolLa seguridad y el buen desarrollo de su niña/o es prioridad para nosotros.  Nosotras/os en José Martí CDC estamos orgullosas/os de proveer un ambiente donde las/os niñas/os reciben el cariño y la seguridad que necesitan para desarrollarse en todos los aspectos de su vida, para prepararse para el kindergarten.

En José Martí CDC, utilizamos un programa del modelo lenguaje dual en Español e Inglés, tal como el Currículo Creativo. El currículo refleja un “arcoíris de culturas,” y la participación habitual en las activida-des comunitarias y culturales ayuda a inculcar en los niños el orgullo para su propia cultura, así como el respeto y el aprecio para las culturas de otras. También las/os niñas/os son expuestas/os a una variedad de eventos cívicos, políticos y culturales en El Centro de la Raza.  Regularmente recibimos visitas de lideres de alrededor de la comunidad, del estado o del país, así como artistas, músicos, bailarines y poetas nacionales e internacionales. Proveemos el desayuno, almuerzo y un refrigerio. Usted puede calificar para preescolar gratis! Haga clic aquí para ver Directrices de elegibilidad.

Para mas información, llame (206)957-4619               

Tiempo completo, Lunes a Viernes
Edades 1-2:                $1,070.00
Edades 3-5:                $950.00
Edades 5 -12:
Después de la Escuela:                   $466.00
Antes y Después de la Escuela:       $508.00
Tiempo complete (el verano):            $595.00
Programas de subsidio

Mil Gracias to One Amazing Volunteer!

Mil Gracias to Michael Dauenhauer for setting up our outdoor Christmas display! Michael is a shipyard machinist who is always at the ready when it comes to Michael Dauenhauerputting in long hours making our street festive and bright. Nevermind the rain, sleet, or snow, Michael makes himself available! On a dismal Wednesday afternoon, Michael was found outside in the weather, securing the Christmas tree with a wire. "I just have such respect for the community work that goes on here," Michael said, "that whenever they need help with stuff like this, I'm happy to do it!" Mil Gracias Michael for your dedication!

Santa Claus Delights the Hearts of the Young and Old

179For the fourth year in a row, our friends from the University Sunrise Rotary Club and their Rotaract counterparts from the University of Washington planned and volunteered at an event to bring Santa and holiday cheer to the children of José Martí CDC, and the seniors in our Senior Wellness Program. 
The children delighted in taking pictures with Santa, receiving an ornament, a candy cane, and hot chocolate. The children, staff and Rotary and Rotaract volunteers all enjoyed spending the morning together. A big thanks to University Sunrise Rotary, the Rotaract, and especially Santa for their continued devotion in making this event happen!


Holiday Food Baskets from Muckleshoot Tribe and El Centro

Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Muckleshoot tribe, El Centro distributed holiday food baskets, including turkeys, fresh vegetables, apple pies, and even warm and cozy blankets to families and homeless individuals in our community. Muckleshoot Council Member Kerry Marquez welcomed the crowd and Mayor Mike McGinn came to hand out the baskets, and help carry heavy food boxes out to people's cars. Mil Gracias to Muckleshoot, Mayor McGinn, and the many volunteers who helped to make this event possible!                                 

IMG_3184IMG_3152 2


Muckleshoot Council Member Kerry Marquez offered a warm welcome to the crowd (right) and Mayor McGinn helped to distribute holiday baskets (left) 

El Centro de la Raza Supports Seattle School Levies

Untitled 2Seattle Public School students are counting on you to renew two critical levies that will be on the February 12th, 2013 ballot. The Operations Levy, which provides more than a quarter of SPS funding, and The Capital Levy, which will fund safety upgrades to existing buildings and allow SPS to build additional schools in growing communities. This year, Seattle Public School enrollment has increased by 1400 students. BEX IV will renovate and build schools to help meet growing enrollment. Read More

Please help today!
Endorse, volunteer, and contribute to support our schools!


United Way Tax Prep Volunteers Needed!

It's almost tax time, and El Centro is a United Way tax-prep site!
In 2012, United Way’s 650 Free Tax Prep volunteers prepared 14,400 tax returns, returning clients $20.7 million in tax refunds to the community! In 2013, you can be one of them at El Centro de la Raza, and help community members learn which deductions and credits they qualify for, and keep more of their income in their pockets!

Volunteer time-slots:

January 15th - April 15th, 2013
Tuesdays 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Thursdays 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Saturdays 10:00am - 2:00pm

To register, visit the United Way website.

Veteran's Dinner Offers Food, Fellowship and More to Vets in our Community

Veterans Dinner Event DEC 6 2012 (16)
This month El Centro de la Raza opened its dining room to more than 25 former service men and women for an evening of fellowship, laughter, story-telling, good food, and a moving speech by Francisco Ivarra, a highly decorated Vietnam combat veteran and recipient of a Purple Heart and a PhD. "When I came back from Vietnam," Francisco shared, "the wait at the VA was two years. Now the wait is 3 years. It's important to keep the faith, be patient, rely on one another, and don't give up." Tito Medina and Aries Robinson, El Centro's Veterans Outreach Specialists whocoordinated the event hope the word will spread throughout the veteran community about future dinners. Says Francisco, "Seattle has the best veteran's service programs available, the problem is that many people don't know about them. The dinner was an opportunity for veterans to learn about El Centro's services." If you know or meet a veteran who needs help of any kind, please tell them about El Centro. Our veteran's program is designed to offer culturally competent services to Latino and African American veterans, however all veterans are welcome to access veteran's services at El Centro!

Alfredo "Tito" Medina
Latino Veteran Outreach Specialist / Case Manager
(206) 973-4287

Aries Robinson
African American Veteran Outreach Specialist / Case Manager
(206) 898-2779

"Reclaiming Students" - Statewide Report on Non-exclusionary policies for Youth

Models for changeWashington Appleseed and TeamChild have released a state-wide report titled, “Reclaiming Students” where the focus is on the effect of exclusionary discipline in public schools.  A number of partners collaborated on this project including the ACLU of Washington and Garvey Schubert Barer. El Centro de la Raza is quoted and profiled in the report as a model for alternatives to suspensions as well as effective advocacy for policy reform on juvenile justice. Additionally, the report highlights El Centro de la Raza’s work around placing a moratorium on suspensions and expulsions not related to school safety. We thank Washington Appleseed and TeamChild for their hard work on this issue and we look forward to the opportunities the report creates to make schools better for our children. Read the full report.

Whatcom Museum Welcomes the Cheech Marin Collection

Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the {size doesn’t matter} Cheech Marin Collection Exhibit open January 11th-March 24th 2013

Cheech Marin Blue lady

An exhibition at the Whatcom Museum features works from collector/comedian renowned collection by Mexican-American artists.
Showcasing 65 paintings by 26 painters, the show highlights Marin’s most recent passion: small paintings averaging 16 inches square and smaller.
 In contrast to other works in his collection representing and promoting the Chicano art movement of the mid-60’s and 70’s, the content of many of these small paintings leans more towards the artist’s internal or personal statement rather than as a response to political, social or cultural situations. Read More

Superintendant José Banda Letter to Families

Superintendant José Banda wishes to thank families and students for the dedication and support they have shown this school year, and to give an update on the district's current projects. If you have students in the Seattle Public School District, take a moment to read Superintendant José Banda's letter to families.

Prepare to take the GED

UntitledSeattle Central Community College has GED classes in Spanish!
Classes start January 2nd, 2013
$25 per quarter. For more information: Go to room 3122 or call 206-934-3144.

Prepárese para tomar el GED

¡Seattle Central Community College ofrece clases de GED en español! Clases comienzan 2 de enero, 2013. ¡REGISTRESE CON ANTICIPACION!
$25 por trimestre. Para más información: Comuníquese con la oficina de el salón 3122 de Seattle Central, o llame a 206-934-3144 (se habla español).


El Centro de la Raza Events!       

Anuncios y Felicitaciones
Announcements & Congratulation

Do you need to access services at El Centro?

Come visit us! Our doors are always open, and we invite you to come and learn about El Centro's services. When you come, please step into room 211, on the main floor, and speak with the receptionist. He or she will be able to refer you to the correct office, make an appointment for you with a case manager, or refer to you the community service outside of El Centro that will best suit your needs!

Express Bank at El Centro!

Express credit union logo 2Community Member Services Representative Edison De Impala is available at El Centro de la Raza every Wednesday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to help community members access community-centered banking services and individualized financial education. If you or somone you know needs to improve credit history, get approved for a low-interest loan, consolidate debt, open a free checking and savings account, or apply for citizenship or a green card, El Centro de la Raza is a great place to start!

Express Bank en El Centro!

Miembro de la Comunidad de Servicios Representante Edison De Impala está disponible en El Centro de la Raza cada miércoles de 10:00 am a 4:00 pm para ayudar a los miembros de la comunidad el acceso centrados en la comunidad los servicios bancarios y educación financiera individualizada. Si usted o somone que conoce necesita para mejorar historial de crédito, obtener aprobación para un préstamo a bajo interés, consolidar deudas, abrir una cuenta de cheques gratuita y cuenta de ahorros, o solicitar la ciudadanía o la tarjeta de residencia, El Centro de la Raza es un gran lugar para empezar!

Edison De Impala
Express Credit Union
Community Member Services Representative
Mobile: (206) 607-7510
Office: (206) 622-1850



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.

We now 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's programs and services!



►Mayor McGinn and Cheif Diaz respond to Connecticut shooting - Video
Seattle School District increases security - Story

►"Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?" - Opinion
►Border Patrol to Stop Interpreting - Story

Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, 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:




Christmas Trees at El Centro

José Martí Child Development Center Cosmetic Renovation

The José Martí CDC is Accepting Students!

El José Martí Preescolar está aceptando estudiantes!

Mil Gracias to One Amazing Volunteer

Santa Visits El Centro

Holiday Food Baskets from Muckleshoot and El Centro

El Centro Supports Seattle School Levies

United Way Tax Prep Volunteers Needed!

Veteran's Dinner Offers Food, Fellowship and More to Vets in our Community

"Reclaiming Students" - Statewide Report on Non-exclusionary policies for Youth

Whatcom Museum Welcomes the Cheech Marin Collection for Exhibition

Superintendant José Banda's Letter to Families

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!
GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!
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: 
Next Class will be January 26th
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:
Winter 2012 Class Schedule:
January 15 – March 21, 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:
At El Centro de la Raza
Next Cafe - Thursday, January 3rd
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:

United Way $80,000 to build home-visiting program for at-risk preschoolers

Comcast $13,000 for one year of IT training for youth in our Digital Connectors program

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 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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