April eNews - El Centro de la Raza


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Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

This has been a difficult past two weeks for many of us. At El Centro de la Raza, our hearts and our thoughts are with the victims and survivors of the explosions that occured last week in Boston and Waco. For parents of young children, it can be difficult to ease their fears when something like this happens. I came across a beautiful quote from a favorite childhood friend that may help you: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers. So many caring people in this world." -Fred Rogers

In regards to the bill that was recently proposed to reform our immigration system, we want to share this message from the National Immigration Law Center with you:

"The time has finally come: A bipartisan group of senators introduced a blueprint to revamp our immigration laws, creating a road to citizenship for the many undocumented immigrants who have been living, working, and raising their families in this country for decades. This is historic news. Immigrant, Latino, and Asian American voters demanded that policymakers fix our long-broken immigration system, and on both sides of the aisle, they heeded that call, signaling that these legislators finally appreciate the political power we now hold.

As a result of your courageous and creative organizing and advocacy efforts, the bill includes critical provisions for which we will have to fight to ensure that they are preserved in the final bill that goes to the president’s desk. We are also concerned about some of the bill’s serious flaws. For example, the road to citizenship will be unaffordable for many if legislators add onerous fees and fines to the citizenship application process. Worse, the bill promises to exclude immigrants from the health-care and safety-net programs that we all rely on to make our communities healthy and strong. And immigrant workers will face additional hurdles and barriers under the bill’s provisions.

Please take some time to read our analysis of how the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 would affect low-income immigrant families."

We hope to see you on May 1st at the annual March and Rally, the National Day for Immigration Reform and International Worker's Day! Keep up the great work! ¡Sí se puede!


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.

 Article Heading for newsletter 3
Saturday | May 4th, 2013 | 1:00pm-5:00pm
At El Centro de la Raza

Butterfly for newsletter with caption
Free Admission and Parking
Music and Prizes
Children's Activities
Craft and Informational Booths
Traditional Mexican Food for Sale

Performances by:
Seattle Fandango Project
Chief Sealth MEChLA Dance Group
Ce Atl Ton


José Martí CDC Desfile Cultural!
Youth and adults alike are invited to particpate with the children of José Martí in a celebration of the rich cultural history of Mexico through clothing and jewelry! This year, Francisca Garcia, curator of the Rainier Valley Cultural Center will be joining us to share the cultural significance of traditional Mexican ropas y joyas. If you have a traditional dress or outfit, and would like to participate in the Desfile Cultural fashion show, please call Hilda Magaña at (206) 957-4627.

Desfile Cultural 2
Desfile Cultural 2012 performers in full garb!

Ever Thought of Joining the Seattle Police Force?

SPD logo 2SPD recruitment workshop
Saturday, April 27th
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
El Centro de la Raza

2524 16th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144

JOIN US to discover how YOU can begin a career in law enforcement! Please email Sergio Camacho for more information. Click here to learn more about the Seattle Police Department.

Lending Circles Program Launched!

Lending Circle graphicThe Homeownership Center is excited to announce the beginning of its new Lending Circles Program, the first of its kind in Washington. El Centro de la Raza has joined 15 other non-profits in partnering with the Mission Asset Fund, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco that has successfully brought this program to communities for over five years. Lending Circles, also known as tandas, are social loans that help to safely build credit through community. Peer lending is a community practice common throughout Latin America and many other parts of the world. Within each Lending Circle, participants contribute a monthly payment to a mutual fund in their peer lending group; each month a different member receives the money that the group has pooled. A key difference between this program and traditional tandas is the recognition that members receive from formal financial institutions as their participation is reported to two of the three credit bureaus. Lending Circles allow participants to work toward financial empowerment by building or establishing credit through interest-free and zero-fee loans. In addition to the secure loans offered through Lending Circles, participants increase their financial knowledge and money management skills.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Meghan Andrew at 206-957-4646 or finance@elcentrodelaraza.org.

A Letter of Gratitude from a Homeownership Particpant

Thank you letter 2
Read the full letter
Youth Interns at El Centro de la Raza and In the Community

Thanks to a grant from the City of Seattle, El Centro de la Raza has placed nine youth interns at businesses in the Seattle area, and at El Centro de la Raza! These internships will help them gain valuable experience that will serve them well later in life, and will end with a $300 stipend at the completion of 60 hours of service. Cristina Jiminez, our Youth Job Readiness Coordinator says of the participants in her program, "many come from low-income homes, and this program allows them to not only work on their professional résumé and engage in the community, but also to contribute to the family income. Some youth have received their stipends and have insisted on paying bills, buying clothes and school supplies for their younger siblings, or adding it to a college savings fund." We are so proud of our hard-working, persevering, and bright-minded youth! Mil gracias for being all you can be! And mil gracias to the Children's Museum, Arena Sports, and High Point Community Center for your partnership with us in giving these youth this experience.
Mil Gracias Community Consulting Partnership!

El Centro de la Raza has a vast, deep and dynamic history. To tell our history to a newcomer takes more than a sentence, or a paragraph, or even a book. The story is unique for each and every person who has lived it. That is why we are embarking on a journey with Community Consulting Partnership (CCP) to explore this vast history, to draw out the unique story that is within all of us, and create a single, shared, collective history that we can then share with YOU! So far, we have spent an evening with donors, volunteers and founders to share stories of joy and of sadness. We have gotten together as staff to share the meaning of our workplace in our own lives. We don't know quite what will come out of the project when it is finished, but says Katherine, one of the facilitators at CCP, "this is about discovering the reality of who you are as an organization." We want that reality to be accessible to everyone in the "Beloved Community" that we are striving to create, so mil gracias, Community Consulting Partnership, for donating this invaluable service to us!

The José Martí Child Develoment Center is Expanding!

Jose Marti BoyEnroll your child at José Martí CDC for full-time multicultural and dual-language education to prepare her/him for success in kindergarten and beyond! Classroom activities emphasize the four main areas of development: social/emotional, cognitive, physical and language, and we incorporate cultural traditions, social justice-themed issues and community participation. We utilize a holistic approach through family involvement and provide support and resources to the families in our program.Full time spaces are available for preschool-age children. Click here to learn more, or contact Hilda Magaña at (206) 957-4627.

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: www.elcentrodelaraza.org.

Comcast Agrega Una Docena De Canales En Español A Xfinity Latino En El Estado De Washington

Comcast LogoComcast está agregando una docena de canales de interés para los clientes de habla hispana cuatro meses después de que Comcast duplicara el contenido de programación en español de XFINITY On Demand, disponible a través del decodificador digital (set top box) y en línea con el lanzamiento de Xfinity Latino. Además de los canales más populares y de mayor interés para la comunidad hispano- parlante, los nuevos canales representan programación procedente de países específicos a través de toda Latinoamérica incluyendo Argentina, Chile, Colombia, República Dominicana, Ecuador, Perú y Venezuela. Los canales que se han agregado son: Caracol (755), Ecuavisa (765), Sur Perú (762) Telemundo East (791) Televisión Dominicana (754), TV Chile (752), TV Colombia (751),TV Venezuela (753), UniMás East (793) Univisión East (792)
Utilísima (766).

Mil Gracias Volunteers!!!

Pac NW Volunteer CarpentersIt’s National Volunteer Week! We would like to recognize all of our amazing volunteers and let you know what a difference they make in the community. The dedication of volunteers strengthens our society by bringing people, communities, and cultures together and encouraging future generations to take action. Without volunteers, protecting human dignity from the threats of poverty, hunger, intolerance, discrimination would be impossible.

In 2012 over 1,063 volunteers provided a total of 25,232 hours of service to El Centro de la Raza! That means your volunteer hours saved El Centro de la Raza a total of $558,630 dollars in 2012!!! Volunteers complete projects ranging from interpreting, web development, distributing food and mentoring youth.

For its first seven years, El Centro de la Raza had no paid staff! It was kept alive only by passionate individuals who were willing to sacrifice their time to help others, and as such, we understand the value of the sacrifice and commitment of volunteers. Roberto Maestas would always say, “the most sacred thing you can give besides your love is your labor.” To all our volunteers, we want you to know how much your time, talent, and energy is appreciated. On behalf of everyone at El Centro de la Raza we are sending you a most heart-felt mil gracias!

Volunteer Spotlight: Rick Ward, Senior Program Volunteer Extraordinaire
Rick Ward
When it comes to volunteers at El Centro de la Raza, Rick Ward stands out. The Senior Program wants to recognize him for his commitment, his positive attitude, and his ability to recognize the needs of the program. Rick signed up to volunteer as a Computer Tutor for our program and volunteers every Friday. However, when he saw the need for help in the kitchen, he started volunteering there as well. Rick helps with almost every aspect of the congregate meal program from food preparation, to serving, to washing dishes.
Rick does an excellent job tutoring seniors in computer skills every week, and his patience and friendly demeanor make these lessons both helpful and fun. If he notices that someone is becoming discouraged, he is always ready with a
humorous or inspiring story of how he overcame one of his own hurdles. Rick has told his friends that he considers volunteering in the Senior Program his own form of therapy.

Rick is continually aware of the needs of the Senior Program. When he noticed that the CD player used during the exercise routine was functioning poorly, he came in the next week with a brand new CD player! He has also replaced the kitchen's broken microwave and broken dishes with brand new ones!

Rick is always present at Cinco de Mayo, Día de los Muertos, and last November, helped us tremendously with our Thanksgiving meal. His consideration for the well-being of others, as well as his unwavering positive attitude and sense of humor is greatly appreciated in our community. Mil gracias, Rick, for your service!


Youth Poetry
Alex Ylagan is a seventh grader at Denny International Middle School. She is artistic and creative.


Just like me and just like you, 
Idiocy is like a crazy, wild freak times two.
Being idiotic is what you do, 
I’m sorry but it’s really true.
Don’t worry I still love you, 
You’re my best friend, like peanut butter to jelly. 
You’re basically my other half, like a soul mate, 
Finding an idiotic friend like you was fate

-Alex Ylagan


El Centro de la Raza Events!            
                April 16:   Spring quarter Spanish classes begin
                April 20:   Tamale-Making class
               May 1:      March and Rally, National Day for Immigration Reform
               May 4:      Cinco de Mayo Celebration
               May 8:    Legal Clinic
               May 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 facilities@elcentrodelaraza.org 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!


►Where does Seattle stand with the foreclosure crisis? - Editorial
►Sen. Barbara Bailey: Denying the American Dream - Story


►No OSHA Inspections at Texas Plant in 5 years - Video Interview
►"Hope Amid Disaster: Sermons After the Boston Bombings" - Story


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



Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Ever Thought of Joining the Seattle Police Force?

Lending Circle Program Launched

A Letter of Gratitude from a Homeownership Participant

Youth Interns at El Centro de la Raza and in the Community

Mil Gracias Community Consulting Partnership

Looking for Childcare?

Building the Beloved Community Gala, October 5th

Comcast Agrega Una Docena De Canales En Español

Mil Gracias Volunteers!

Volunteer Spotlight

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!
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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 wil be May 18, 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:
Spring 2013 Class Schedule:
April 23 – June 27, 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, May 2nd
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:

City of Seattle Small & Simple Matching Funds $25,000 for stage 2 renovations of José Martí Child Development Center

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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