May eNews - El Centro de la Raza


Click to view this email in a browser
ElCentroHeader_Tagline for eNEWS

Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

Have you heard? Today is the Seattle Founation's GiveBIG event! When you donate to El Centro de la Raza today anytime between midnight and midnight, the Seattle Foundation will increase the size of your gift through a "stretch pool". In other words, this is the perfect time to donate to maximize the benefit of your contribution to the community! Click here to GiveBIG!

GiveBIG kids 4

Cinco de Mayo was a huge success! We estimate that more than 400 people attended! As always, a complete line-up of performers delighted the audience with festivities! Mil gracias to Seattle Fandango, Cinco de Mayo dancing girl 2Ce Atl Tonalli Danza Azteca, the José Martí Child Development Center for the Desfile Cultural, Chief Sealth MEChLA Dance Group, Grupo Colibry, and the Imaginarios Banda Norteño for your stunning performances. We also had incredible support from 47 volunteers who helped with every kind of task from stage set-up, to decorating, to food service, raffle ticket sales, greeting guests, supervising the children's bouncy houses, and sticking around afterward until the place was spotless!!! Mil gracias, we couldn't have done it without you. My favorite part of Cinco de Mayo is how many diverse people in our community come together in support of a common theme, remembering the immigrant journey of generations. Mil gracias to all for another great year at Cinco de Mayo! I hope you enjoyed it every bit as much as I did! More pictures of the event will be coming soon.

May Day March 2 2
The 13th Annual May Day Rally and March brought together thousands of demonstrators from community groups, labor groups, faith-based groups, workers and families to march for workers and immigrant rights including a call for the community voice in the immigration debate. El Centro de la Raza was honored to carry our banner in unity with communities across the country. Mil gracias to all who participated in the march!


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.

Next Tamale Making Class will be Saturday, May 18th, 10am-12:30pm!

Tamale class graphicHave you always wanted to learn how to make tamales? Now is your chance to learn from a master tamalera! Please visit Brown Paper Tickets for the 2013 schedule and to register.

Class Fee: $75 per class - includes recipe and one dozen tamales. Class fees support our Senior Wellness Program and Senior Home Delivered Meal Program. Please register in advance. Private group classes available upon request by calling (206) 957-4611 or emailing

Location: El Centro de la Raza 2524 16th Ave S (kitchen), Seattle, WA 98144

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
El Centro de la Raza Food Bank, Fighting Hunger One Bag at a Time!

Food Bank ParticipantGala apples, fingerling potatoes, sweet onions, french bread...just a few of the delicious things you will find piled high at El Centro de la Raza's Food Bank three days a week! You will also find a lively crowd of well-fed seniors, families, and students coming for their weekly groceries. Every year El Centro de la Raza's food bank serves more than 7,500 individuals and families, and distributes nearly 300,000 pounds of food to the community to help fight hunger. The food bank provides jobs to three people including Sara, our Food Bank Coordinator with Lutheran Volunteer Corps, Franz, who operates our brand new fork lift, and Mauricio, who gives a hand wherever needed! Says Sara, "I love working in the Food Bank because of the people! We have 15 to 20 volunteers a week who come from all over the world. But food is something everyone can bond over. We are always talking about recipes, which is great because when a participant asks how to prepare a certain food item, I always have an answer!" The food bank has helped to build community on Beacon Hill. When there is a particularly delicious food item available, "people come in waves," Sara says, "and it's because everyone is calling their neighbors to let them know." Throughout the year, the Food Bank is primarily stocked through Food Lifeline and NW Harvest. In the summer, crates of fresh plums, ripe tomatoes and other juicy delights arrive in abundance from City Fruit, Mick Duggan's demonstration garden, community pea patches, and backyard gardens!

Meet Jerry Williams! Jerry has been coming to the Food Bank for the past two years, and it has not only provided financial relief, but has also helped him learn to stick to a healthy diet. "I realized I don't need all the ribs," Jerry says. "I need spinach!" He started volunteering because his wife encouraged him to start giving back, and now every Thursday, his infectious belly laugh fills the Food Bank as he stocks the tables, opens the boxes, sweeps the floors, and most importantly, interacts with the folks coming in the door. "I love being here," says Jerry "It's a great way to meet people and interact with people in the community. It's like family to me."

food bank - Jerry
Jerry Williams and Soon, a Food Bank regular who worked in the Food Bank for years, and is now a lively assett to our Senior Congregate Meals Program! These two are quite a pair, and the cause of much hilarity during Food Bank hours.

United Way Free Tax-Prep: Results are In!
tax prep
With tax season now over, we want to share with you the incredible results of the United Way of King County free tax- prep campaign! At El Centro de la Raza, a United Way tax-prep site, volunteers helped 769 families and individuals complete their taxes, 27% more than last year! Their work brought $1,250,802 back to the community through tax returns. That's real relief for households with an averge income of $24,181. Bridge to Basics volunteers also connected 55 households to asset-building services including Basic Food, Basic Health, FAFSA, and utility assistance! Mil gracias to the dedicated tax-prep volunteers and the many people who made this effort an incredible success!

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:

Kids Truly Shined at Día de los Niños!

With swords and sticks and twirling skirts, kids of all ages rocked the stage at Día de los Niños last month, filling it with color and lots of talent! We teamed up with Beacon Hill International School, Seattle Fandango, and Powerful Schools for an evening of dancing, music, and martial arts! Students at Beacon Hill International School performed the African Lion Dance, Students in the José Martí Child Development Center performed a traditional Mexican baile (below), and Ofelia Alanis Torres and children's music artist Marco Cortes sang for parents and children! Students in the afterschool programs at Beacon Hill wowed the audience with sword and staff Kung Fu forms. Others performed the national folkdance of the Philippines, Tinikling, in which dancers bravely jump, dance, and flip over two bamboo poles that are tapped against the ground in time with the music. Seattle Fandango finished off the night with some community-style dancing. Mil gracias to all who organized, performed, or attended this event to help make it such an awe-inspiring evening!

Dia de los Ninos 3 2

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!

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, great, 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.
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.

Mónica Guzmán Visits Digital Connectors

Mónica Guzmán is a tech writer for the Seattle Times and for the Northwest tech news site GeekWire. She was a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers in 2012 and serves as board secretary for the Western Washington Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She has even been named
one of the Top 100 Women in Seattle Tech! That is why it was such an honor to host this accomplished young woman in our Digital Connectors program! She shared with our young tech crusaders the story of how she got to where she is now, the grueling journey she took through the die-hard world of journalism at the Seattle PI, and then boldly pursuing her real dream as an independent journalist and blogger. Her message to the technology students in Digital Connectors? In addition to encouraging the youth to pursue their own dreams, she keenly noted that, "Technology is - contrary to popular opinion - neither good nor bad. Technology is good when it adds to our quality of life, and bad when it subtracts." Well-said, Monica! Mil gracias for visiting our youth!
Monica Guzman 2
Can you guess which one is Mónica?

Volunteer Spotlight: Cheryl Rody, Assistant to the Executive Assistant!

Cheryl RodyCheryl Rody, a volunteer and employee at El Centro de la Raza through the AARP Foundation, works in the Executive Director’s office 20 hours every week. She assists the Executive Assistant with various administrative and clerical tasks such as updating the database and promoting our Spanish and tamale classes. “The struggle for peace, justice, and equality is endless, and I am proud to be associated with El Centro de la Raza, which has a rich, ongoing history of activism and community empowerment. The fruits of El Centro’s labors continue to grow with its nearly 50 programs, and the Plaza Roberto Maestas that will soon be next to El Centro de la Raza.” Cheryl's warm smile and positive attitude lights up the office as she follows the words of her favorite poet, Leo Rosten. "The purpose of life ... is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate." Mil gracias Cheryl for helping to build the Beloved Community!


Youth Poetry

Emir is an 8th grader at Denny International Middle School. He is from Tlaxcala, Mexico and his ancestors worked with the Spanish conquistadores. In his free time, he likes to draw, listen to music and sing. A goal he has for the future is to graduate from college, but he isn’t sure what to study yet.

The Ultimate Loneliness
It is walking around lost looking for its next victim.
Brown star in the galaxy forming with no planet around it.
A statue without a face.
Stairs with no end.
Loneliness is an equation with no answer.
Think of loneliness as a brush with no paint.
Loneliness is a statue without an inside.
A spray can without paint or label.
A feeling that can get to you is loneliness.
Loneliness can eat your insides until you stop it.
Pluto can be a dwarf planet but it must feel alone out there
because it is not a planet anymore.

El Centro de la Raza Events!            
               May 15:   TODAY! Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG
               May 18:   Tamale-Making Class

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

               June 12:   Legal Cinic

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


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!


►Nickelsville Homeless Again - Story
►Read Jonah Spagenthal-Lee's SPD crime blog - Blog


►"Why the Trans Pacific Partnership is a Scary Big (Trade) Deal" - Story
►May Day across the U.S. and Latin America - Photo Gallery
►May Day around the World - Photo Gallery


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:


Next Tamale Making Class May 18th

South King County Stand Down June 8th

El Centro de la Raza Food Bank Fighting Hunger

United Way Free Tax-Prep Results

Clases Gratuitas de Inglés / Free ESL Classes

Kids Truly Shined at Día de los Niños

Building the Beloved Community Gala, October 5th

Financial Education and Homebuyer Classes

Monica Guzman Visits Digital Connectors

Volunteer Spotlight: Cheryl Rody

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 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:
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:

Washington Service Corp. will fund an Americorp Volunteer for one year to work as a Hope For Youth Program Assistant!

Lutheran Volunteer Corp. has awarded us four stipended volunteer positions for one year: Food Bank Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Events Coordinator, and Donor Relations Coordinator!

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

Non-Profits Email Free with VerticalResponse!