January eNews - El Centro de la Raza


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Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

Happy new year to you! We hope this newsletter finds you and your family refreshed after the holiday season, and re-energized for 2013! At El Centro, 2013 holds the promise of many new and exciting community projects. Plans for the Plaza Roberto Maestas are well-underway, and we'll be adding to our Veteran's Outreach and Foreclosure Prevention Programs with expanded services. 

In the greater community, we have two levies to pass! Seattle Public School students are counting on you to ensure that school facilities are safe, and class sizes stay small. On February 12th, please remember to vote YES on the Seattle school levies! Read more about the Seattle School Levies below.

We recently held our employee recognition and holiday party at El Centro. I received a beautiful Frida Kahlo lithograph to commemorate my 40 years here, generously donated by Alfredo Arreguin. Mil gracias to Alfredo for his enduring friendship to Roberto and El Centro. As I look back on the past 40 years, I can't help but be reminded that they would not have been possible without YOU! The incredible outpouring of support from the community since El Centro's founding is a source of great inspiration to me and to everyone. Because of YOU, thousands of lives have been dramatically changed, enriched, and empowered. On behalf of all of our participants and staff, I want to simply say mil gracias for being the change we want to see in the world.


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.

Dedicated Volunteers and Staff Members Recognized at El Centro

Each year, El Centro de la Raza celebrates the holidays and the end of the year by recognizing volunteers and staff members who have demonstrated excellence of service and dedication to the El Centro community through the years. This year, the following individuals received awards:

Miguel Maestas, Associate Administrator (13 years total, 3 since returning to El Centro)
Iran Barba, Teacher - Arco Iris
Luisa Beltran, El Cristal Teacher Assistant

Jessica Harris, JMCDC Administrative Assistant
Michi Robinson, El Viento Teacher Assistant

Sylvia Rubio, Lead Homeless Assistance Case Mananger

Maria Rico, After School Program
Maria Teresa Fitz, El Cristal Lead Teacher
Janet Monnroy, Teacher - El Agua

Heyda Raymundo, Chef

Estela Ortega, Executive Director

Hiromi Fermin, El Sol Teacher

Elisa Miranda, Facilities Manager

Mary LaFleur, Graphic Designer

Andrew Kingsriter, Food Bank Volunteer


El Centro is fortunate to have so many oustanding volunteers! We would like to tell you about three of them:

Recognition and Holiday Mary Lafleur 2
Mary LaFleur - Volunteer Hero Award Recipient - Mary is a dynamic and generous graphic designer who has worked with very prestigious clients. Mary became involved with El Centro in 2009 through the Taproot Foundation as a website design volunteer for El Centro. After designing an amazing new website with a team. Mary graciously continued designing the printed and web materials for our Gala, Legacy Awards and 40th Anniversary as an individual volunteer. She now designs the Plaza Roberto Maestas materials. Mary’s generosity is non-stop! Even when thanking her profusely from year to year, she turns around and thanks us for the opportunity to give back to El Centro. Mil Gracias Mary, we are truly humbled by your dedication and service!

Recognition and Holiday Party Andrew
Andrew Kingsriter - Exemplary Volunteer Award Recipient -
Andrew Kingsriter earned the Exemplary Volunteer Award because he exemplifies the true spirit of volunteerism! He became involved with El Centro in 2011 through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps as a Food Bank Coordinator. When the position ended, Andrew continued coming in every week to help carry in food donations, stock shelves, and get the place organized. He also helps out with facilities maintenance whenever needed, and even helped distribute holiday food baskets to community members this past season. "I love coming to El Centro because I know everybody, and I'm comfortable with them. In the food bank, the atmosphere is such that even the people who don't understand the language feel comfortable just being there." Andrew is interested in issues of food security and increasing the accessibiltity of healthy food in the community, and is currently working to obtain an internship with Seattle Tilth. Way to go Andrew, and mil gracias for all your hard work!

Comcast Cares Day APR 21 2012 001 (176) 2
Comcast - Corporate Award Recipient - This award goes to Comcast for their oustanding dedication to the community and their long-standing partnership with El Centro de la Raza. Since 2004, Comcast has awarded El Centro $234,500 in support of life-changing programs like Digital Connectors (tech classes for youth), Reel Girls (film production class for teen girls), and Hope For Youth literacy, hip-hop and poetry workshops. They have donated a plethora of equipment including laptops, cameras, and recording equipment. Last year, Comcast delivered an incredible 190 volunteers and $20,700 worth of labor on Comcast Cares Day. Volunteers painted rooms, filled potholes and completed landscaping work. In 2012, Comcast awarded El Centro $170,670 in contributions! Mil Gracias Comcast, we are so proud of the work we have accomplished together, we couldn't do it without you!

El Centro and the Universal Peace Federation Honor Veterans

Veteran getting a medal 2A public display of gratitude can be a powerful thing to individuals who have never  been formally recognized for their efforts. On December 12, El Centro's Veteran's Outreach Program and the Universal Peace Federation interrupted a PTSD group counseling session at the Seattle VA Hospital to honor over thirty members of the African American Veterans Group of Washington State for their service in the military. The group participants, unaccustomed to such occurances, were surpised by the sudden visit. An event that began with confusion and distress however, ended with smiles and tears of joy on every face in the room. On behalf of the El Centro de la Raza community, we would like to say to all veterans of the armed forces, thank you for your dedication and sacrifice to your country and your community. You have taken a risk greater than most, and many of us can only imagine the difficult road you have traveled. You have our utmost respect, appreciation and support.

March and Rally for Gun Control
Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm, march from Westlake Park to Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater in support of sensible gun-contol laws. In the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Washington CeaseFire and others are turning Anger into Action. The rally, called StandUp Washington, will include speakers, music and remembrance for those lost. There will be a call to action on this day before the opening of the 2013 Legislative session.

“We want to send a clear message to our legislators that we want to ban semi-automatic assault weapons,” says Beth Flynn, Executive Director of Washington CeaseFire.

Bring your families and join civic, religious and education leaders in this show of support for sensible gun legislation and for the victims of all gun violence, from Newtown to Seattle.

Click here for more information.

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 12, 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   Lea más en español

Seattle Public Schools Seeking Sponsors for District Calendar

Due to recent budget cuts, Seattle Public Schools is depending on corporate sponsors who wish to advertise on the district calendar in order to fund the printing of the calendar. The full-color calendar reaches an audience of 55,000 families, and is an essential tool to help families stay informed of district-wide school closures and other important events. For more information contact Teresa Wippel, Media Relations, (206) 252-0203 or email publicaffairs@seattleschools.org.

José Martí CDC Correction

We apologize, but we sent out the wrong prices for the José Martí Child Development Center last month. Here are the correct tuition amounts:
Costs per month
Full-time, M-F
Ages 1-2:                        $1,120.00
Ages 3-5:                        $1,000.00
Ages 5 -12:
After School:                   $491.00
Before & After School:
Full time (summer): 
Subsidies are available through ECEAP, SEEC, DSHS & DHHS if you qualify. Breakfast, lunch and a snack are provided every day.
If you have any questions, please contact (206)957-4619, or jmcdc@elcentrodelaraza.org.


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.

Volunteer on MLK Day of Service at El Centro!

We still need MLK Day of Service volunteers! Spend a day having a great time, and help make your community a better place! January 21st is the United Way Day of Service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Last year, the Day of Service at El Centro was a huge success! This year, El Centro is pleased to welcome approximately 50 volunteers from Microsoft, who will be pushing up their sleeves, grabbing hammers, ladders and paint brushes, and renovating the José Martí Child Development Center! Mil Gracias United Way, Microsoft, and the many volunteers who will be participating! Please join Microsoft at El Centro on January 21st by contacting our volunteer coordinator, Taylor Skoglund.

Winter Quarter Spanish Classes start January 22nd
Spanish Class Image for E-blast 2Tuesdays/Thursdays 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Adult Beginner to Intermediate Levels
Winter Quater: 1/22/13 - 3/28/13
Spring Quarter: 4/9/13 - 6/13/13

Call for information: (206) 957-4605

Classes are instructed by professional native Spanish speakers in an interactive community-based setting. Learn and/or improve your Spanish while you support El Centro de la Raza! Class fees help fund our 30 human service and community building programs.
Click here to register.

Next Tamale Making Class: January 26th, 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 recipes and one dozen tamales. Class fees support our senior 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 development@elcentrodelaraza.org

Location: El Centro de la Raza 2524 16th Ave S (kitchen), Seattle, WA 98114

The Next Lewis Park Design Meeting: January 29th

LP-Design meeting-postcardTuesday, January 29th
5:30-8:00 pm
The Garden House
2336 15th Ave S., Seattle

In addition to a Lewis Park design session, this meeting will also be a chili fest! Sample 3 varieties of chili, or bring your own to share, and vote on your favorite at the end! RSVP to (206) 322-1096 or susantsturgus@comcast.net.

Join the Seattle Police Department
SPD logo
Ever thought about joining the Seattle Police Department?  SPD is holding a Pre-Test Workshop and Information Session at El Centro de la Raza on Saturday, February 16th, 11am - 1pm. All are welcome.

During the workshop officers will:

  • Provide details on the testing and hiring process
  • Specifically address the written and video exams, physical ability test, and oral board interview.
  • Discuss and answer questions pertaining to the Personal History Information (PHI) Packet.
For questions on recruitment or the workshop please contact SPD Officer Jojo Cambronero  by emailing Robert.Cambronero@seattle.gov or at 206-293-2749.

Save the Date for Latino Legislative Day!

Giesy09March 15th, 2013
8:30am - 3:00pm
Olympia, WA, at the Capitol building


Each year, the El Centro community heads to Olympia to participate in Latino Legislative Day. This year, save the date and plan to participate with us! Latino Legislative Day is a great way to gain knowledge on important topics in a series of informational seminars, network with others who care about the same issues you care about, meet with your legislator, and let your voice be heard! 
This year's focus will include:
  • Public Safety
  • Education
  • Economic Development
  • Farm Workers' Rights
  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Immigration
  • Labor   
This event is organized by the Latino Civic Alliance. Stay tuned for further information!

¡Guardar la fecha para el día Legislativo Latino!

Giesy09 2
15 de marzo 2013
8:30 am - 3:00 pm
Olympia, WA, en el edificio del Capitolio

Todos los años, la comunidad de El Centro se dirige a Olimpia para participar en el Día Legislativo Latino. Este año, salvo la fecha participar con nosotros! Día Legislativo Latino es una excelente manera de adquirir conocimientos sobre temas importantes en una serie de seminarios informativos, redes con otras personas que se preocupan por los mismos temas que le interesan, reunirse con su legislador, y que su voz sea escuchada!

El enfoque de este año incluirá:

  •      Seguridad Pública
  •      Educación
  •      Desarrollo Económico
  •      Los derechos de los trabajadores rurales
  •      Cuidado de la salud
  •      Viviendas
  •      Inmigración
  •      Laboral
Este evento es organizado por la Alianza Cívico Latino. Estén atentos para más información!

El Centro de la Raza Events!    


                January 15 - April 15: United Way Tax Prep at El Centro
                January 21: United Way MLK Day of Service
                January 26: Tamale-Making Class

                February 7: Café con El Centro

                February 23: Tamale-Making Class
                March 15: Latino Legislative Day

                March 16: Tamale-Making Class

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 you to the community service outside of El Centro that will best suit your needs!

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.

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!



►New city program trains the next generation of citizen activists - Story
►After financial crisis, United Indians director optimistic about the future - Story

►New immigration policy prioritzes dangerous criminals - Story
►Thom Hartman: Dangers ahead if debt limit isn't raised, and more - Listen

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





Dedicated Volunteers and Staff Recognized at El Centro

El Centro and the Universal Peace Federation Honor Veterans

March and Rally for Gun Control

El Centro de la Raza Supports Seattle School Levies

SPS Seeks Sponsors for District Calendar

JMCDC Correction

United Way Tax Prep Volunteers Needed

United Way MLK Day of Sevice
Needs Volunteers!

Upcoming Spanish Classes

Upcoming Tamale Class

Upcoming Lewis Park Design Meeting and Chili Fest

Join the Seattle Police Department

Save the Date for Latino Legislative Day

Guardar La Fecha Para Legislativo Latino

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 2013 Class Schedule:
January 22 – 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, February 7th
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:

WSHFC/Washington State Attorney General’s Office Consumer Foreclosure Remedies Fund Program - $65,280 for foreclosure prevention counseling

City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs - $1,200 for our 2013 Cinco de Mayo Celebration

EFSP Phase 30 - $4,703 for emergency motel vouchers for Homeless Assistance

JP Morgan and Chase - $56,000 for Plaza Roberto Maestas and Auction sponsorship

King County Department of Housing and Community Development/Building Changes - $10,000 for
technical assistance for Homeless Assistance program

United Way/City of Seattle - $80,000 for Parent-Child Home Visiting 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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