October eNews - El Centro de la Raza


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Estimad@ amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

Mil Gracias to everyone who participated in this year’s elections! You may have received a call from El Centro de la Raza and Washington Environmental Council’s Get Out The Vote program volunteers during the weeks leading up the election as we called Latino households with a reminder to vote. With your help, we were able to ensure that our communities’ voices were heard! Whether this is your first or fortieth time casting your ballot, we encourage you to keep informed of the many important issues at the local and national levels year-round. Let’s continue to work together to make sure the voices of our diverse communities are represented!
On behalf of the El Centro de la Raza community, mil gracias for you participation in our 2012 Día de los Muertos celebration. It was an honor to have you join us in our annual observance of the Day of the Dead. Thanks to the wonderful support of our community, our multi-cultural tribute to “Honoring the Ancient Ones was a huge success!

The fun-filled evening was highlighted by an incredible turn out from our community.  We have estimated that over 700 people attended our opening day celebration on Nov. 1st. In addition to the ofrenda exhibit, our opening night consisted of children’s activities, a delicious free dinner, as well as dessert.
Organizations from our community worked hard to create twenty beautiful altars for our exhibit. Hundreds of local students and community members have visited the ofrenda exhibit to share in our wonderful tribute to those who have passed.

Our Día de los Muertos celebration at El Centro de la Raza helps us call forth the memory of those we love and allows them to live on in us. Gracias for helping make this event a success. We hope you will continue to participate with us in sharing our traditions. 

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 on Sale Now!

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 starting the day after Thanksgiving 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.

Las Posadas and Tree Lighting

The entire community is invited to come celebrate this annual cultural holiday tradition of singing and family gathering! In addition to holiday music and dancing, you can be present for our annual tree-lighting event!

There will be free food, songs, and a visit from Santa!
El Centro de la Raza
Wednesday, December 12th - 6:00 PM
This event is free for the whole family!

Mil gracias to the Beacon Hill Merchants for co-sponsoring this event:
BMA logo

In Honor of Lucie Hernandez and Luis Herrera

We recently lost two very dear young people in a tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of Lucie Hernandez and Luis Herrera, both participants of Proyecto Saber and El Centro Hope for Youth programs. Their smiles and their presence will be deeply missed in our community, and by all who knew Lucie and Luis. Luis's family is especially in need of financial support to cover funeral expenses, and will be much appreciated as this is a difficult time for the families. Donations can be made from any bank using the following information:

Mario Luis Martinez Herrera
BECU Acc Name: Victor Herrera
BECU Acc #: 3579847581

Veteran's Services at El Centro de la Raza

There are over 126,000 veterans living in King County alone, and yet many do not know where to turn when they need extra help accessing veterans' benefits. At El Centro de la Raza, we assist former service members in locating appropriate benefits, completing applications, and advocating for their right to access services. Click here to read the story of one veteran and member of our Community, Samuel Blackwell.

Thanks to a grant from the King County Department of Community and Human Services, Community Services Division, El Centro de la Raza will soon have expanded capacity to provide information and referral services to King County Veterans!

Juvenile Justice Advocacy at El Centro

El Centro de la Raza recently participated in the King County Re-Entry Summit hosted by King County Prosecutor Dan Saturberg’s office. In a series of meetings among criminal justice professionals and community members, Juvenile Justice Advocate Enrique Gonzalez advocated on behalf of youth re-entering society after being incarcerated. The group developed several recommendations during the summit which will be made public soon and shared with county and state policy makers.

Parent Meeting with Superintendant José Banda

El Centro will be hosting a parent meeting with Superintendent Jose Banda November 26th at 6:00 pm at El Centro de la Raza. The meeting will be open to the public and parents are being asked to bring questions and concerns for Mr. Banda.  The goal of this meeting is to give Latino parents a voice on issues affecting their children in Seattle Schools.

Reunión de padres con superintendente José Banda

El Centro será el anfitrión de una reunión de padres con el Superintendente José Banda 26 de noviembre a las 6:00 pm en El Centro de la Raza. La reunión estará abierta al público ya los padres se les pide que traigan las preguntas e inquietudes del Sr. Banda. El objetivo de esta reunión es dar a los padres latinos una voz en asuntos que afectan a sus hijos en las Escuelas de Seattle.

Nominate El Centro as a Top-Ten Great Nonprofit!
Network for Good
If you love El Centro de la Raza, then tell the world! You have an opportunity to help us make even more of a difference in our community. GreatNonprofits is honoring highly reviewed nonprofits with their 2012 Top-Rated Awards. Help us raise visibility by posting a review of your experience with us to the Great Nonprofits website by November 30th. All reviews will be visible to potential donors and volunteers. It’s easy and only takes a minute! Click here to get started!

Please Join us in Celebrating Washington State Representative
Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney

For exceptional leadership and service to the 46th Legislative District and the State of Washington from 1997-2012.

Sunday, December 2, 2012
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The College Center
North Seattle Community College
9600 College Way North
Seattle, Washington 98103
Light refreshments provided.

R.S.V.P. GraciasPhyllis@aol.com
Please leave your name and the number of persons
in your party.

Calling on residents to donate to local food banks

Mayor McGinn called on Seattle residents to donate food, money and volunteer time to local food banks, which are facing the double whammy of increasing numbers of clients and declining food donations.

Speaking at the Pike Market Food Bank in downtown Seattle, Mayor McGinn said, “As families and individuals struggle to make ends meet in a difficult economy, we want to make sure that no one goes hungry in Seattle.”

According to the Seattle Food Committee, in the last five years, Seattle food banks have seen a 25% rise in the number of clients coming to them for help. At the same time a recent report on hunger and homelessness by the U.S. Conference of Mayors shows a 31% decline in the amount of food donations in the area.

Please consider donating to El Centro's food bank to ensure that families in your neighborhood do not have to spend the holidays hungry!
You can donate in person or on our website.

Umpqua Bank is giving away $50,000 this holiday season!

598485_462224010490281_1154775254_nStarting today and running through December 16, we’re asking our Facebook fans to share what inspires them about El Centro for everyone to see! Umpqua bank will select comments at random and make grants of $1,000, $2,000 or $5,000 to the group they mention! Click here to share your comment!

Promotores de Salud: Inscripción Abierta de Medicare

Ahora es el momento revisen sus planes de salud de Medicare y de medicamentos y escojan el plan que mejor cubra sus necesidades. El periodo de Inscripción Abierta de Medicare termina el 7 de diciembre. Aquí les comparto un video con un mensaje de Teresa Niño, Directora de la Oficina para la Participación Publica de los Centros de Servicios de Medicare y Medicaid para los Promotores de Salud.  Spanish  English

Prepare to take the GED

Seattle 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).


Lewis Park Design Meetings
LP-Design meeting-postcard_proof_2_Page_1Everyone is invited to help design the Lewis Park Natural Area. The first of three public design meetings will be held Tuesday, November 27th at the Beacon Hill Library. 

5:30-6:00pm - Refreshments
6:00-7:00pm - Presentation by
                     Hafs | Epstein
7:00-8:00pm - Open house to gather ideas and suggestions  

This project is funded by Department of Neighborhoods
(Click to view larger image)

El Centro de la Raza Events!       

               November 26: Parent Meeting with José Banda


                December 12: Las Posadas - SAVE THE DATE - Details to come
                December 24: Last day to buy a Christmas tree at El Centro


Anuncios y Felicitaciones
Announcements & Congratulation


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

Email: edison.deimpala@ExpressCU.org

El Centro has an Opening for an Americorps MLK VISTA Historical Resources Assistant!

Click here to view the job description and to learn how to apply!

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 facilities@elcentrodelaraza.org for monthly parking or airport passes.


►"On the Streets: A Veteran's View of America" - Essay
►Youth Violence prevention program in question - Story
►Charter Schools in Washington, and U.S. - Story

►"Dear Obama, Stop Deporting People" - Letter writing campaign - Story
►U.S. and Mexico agree to share Colorado River - Story

►Wal-Mart workers fight for labor rights on Black Friday - 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: donor@elcentrodelaraza.org

Samuel Blackwell proudly displayed his artwork in our Día de los Muertos ofrenda exhibit

This is the Samuel Blackwell story:
By his warm smile, you would never guess the hardship Samuel has endured. A husband and father of two young girls, Samuel spent 8 years in the Navy as an Electronic Technician. Working on the ships had meant heavy radiation exposure. He began to experience occasional headaches, which turned into memory loss, loss of concentration, irritability and seizures after he had retired from the service.  
The family was devastated to learn Samuel had a large tumor on the left side his brain. One day, his wife Sereatha, came home and found Samuel unconscious on the floor. He was rushed to the ER and had emergency surgery to remove the tumor. The surgery was successful, but his troubles were just beginning. Because the tumor was diagnosed after Samuel had left the service, the VA denied his application for monthly benefits.
Unable to work, Samuel and his family depended on government assistance and Sereatha’s teacher salary to make ends met. Samuel, insecure in his ability to provide, knew his marriage was rapidly falling apart. “My low point was every day. When a person can say whatever they want to you, and you can’t say nothing back, that feels low.”   

When Aries Robinson picked up the phone, he could hear the desperation in Samuel’s voice. Samuel explained his claim had been simply lost in the system for years, no one would listen to him or take him seriously. As El Centro’s Veteran’s outreach Specialist, Aries not only listened, but contacted VA doctor’s to access Samuel’s medical records, and helped Samuel compile a case file to argue his case for benefits.
Aries advocacy and Samuel’s determined spirit amounted to an astonishing victory at the VA, who not only awarded Samuel $150,000 in retroactive benefits and $3,000 in monthly on-going benefits, but also education benefits for Sereatha, health insurance for his daughters, and a life insurance policy for Samuel. “When I got that letter, it was like thank you Lord, a weight has been lifted. The first thing I did, I went to El Centro to celebrate!”
Samuel is grateful for the services he received at El Centro and visits us every week to let us know. “I could never have done it without Aries help. The VA is a good system, but there are too many Veterans. We need people like Aries who can really take the time to listen and advocate for them.” Samuel plans to use the money to make a down payment on a home, and to take his family to Disneyland for the first time.

Thank you for sharing your story with us Samuel! We are honored that you are a part of the beloved community!



Christmas Trees on Sale Now

In Honor of Lucie and Luis

Veteran's Services at El Centro

Juvenile Justice Advocacy at El Centro

Parent Meeting with Superintendant José Banda / Reunión de padres con superintendente José Banda

Prepare to take the GED/Prepárese tomar el GED

Nominate El Centro as Top-Ten Great Nonprofit!

Umpqua Bank is giving away $50,000 this holiday season

Inscripción Abierta de Medicare

Help Design Lewis Park

The Samuel Blackwell Story

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 December 8th
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, December 6th
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:

King County Department of Community and Human Services Community Services Division $150,000 for referral services in our Veteran's Assistance Program

Muckleshoot Tribe $10,000 to provide holiday food baskets to needy families in our community

Seattle City Department of Neighborhoods $20,000 matching grant for renovations to the 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 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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