March eNews - El Centro de la Raza


Click to view this email in a browser
ElCentroHeader_Tagline for eNEWS

Estimad@ Amig@ {FIRST_NAME},

We have some exciting new developments to share with you on the progress of the  Plaza Roberto Maestas (PRM)! The Plaza Roberto Maestas will be a transit-oriented, mixed-use, affordable housing project located directly south of El Centro de la Raza, adjacent to the Beacon Hill light rail station. The mixed-use development will include 15-20 spaces for micro-businesses, 113 units of affordable rental housing, an expanded child care center serving diverse-income families, street-level retail and restaurant space, a multi-cultural community center, office space, public open space and underground parking.

We have just received $655,000 in pre-development funding. Mil Gracias to Enterprise Community Partners for contributing $105,000, J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation for contributing $50,000 and the WA Housing Trust Fund for contributing $500,000! We have hired a full-time Capital Development Director, Stephen Deal, we have requested $3 million from the State legislature, and we have sought the guidance and support of the community, which has been very valuable to us in the design process. We would like your input as well! If you are interested in learning more about this project or helping us to move it forward, please contact
me by email or contact Stephen Deal.


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.

Join us for Latino Legislative Day!

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


Each year, the El Centro de la Raza 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!

¡Acompañanos 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 de la Raza se dirige a Olimpia para participar en el Día Legislativo Latino. Este año, aparte el día 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!

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 & Prizes
Children's Activities
Craft and Informational Booths
Traditional Mexican Food for Sale

Performances by:
Ce Atl Tonalli Danza Azteca
Cheif Sealth MEChLA Dance Group
José Martí CDC Desfile 
Seattle Fandango Project
Click here to RSVP

Mil Gracias to our sponsors, the Seattle office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and Sysco!

Senator Patty Murray Listens to Immigrants' Stories at El Centro de la Raza

Patty Murray and Young ImmigrantsOur long-time friend and advocate in the legislature and champion of immigrant rights and immigration reform, Senator Patty Murray lent a listening ear to the stories of immigration at El Centro de la Raza last month. Organized by OneAmerica and Senator Patty Murray's office, eight people, including undocumented and documented immigrants and employers of immigrants told their stories to show why immigration reform is so critical to communities, to families, and to individual lives. The diversity of perspectives is represented in these quotes. Take a moment to read: 
"I have the persistence and the passion to do well, but not having a social security number has kept me from maintaining a steady job." -Mari Barrera

"Even though I'm a Republican and have been my whole life, we need a path to citizenship and an economic system that will allow us to treat people with dignity." -Dale Foreman, U.S. Apple Association

"Even if (my partner) and I were to get married, he can't sponsor me to stay here as my brothers and sisters can do for their spouses. Same-sex marriage is legal in Washington, but we are left out of the benefits of marriage because of our current immigration system." -Otts Bolisay, OneAmerica

"The wait time for a visa from the Philippines is 20 years. I will be 100 years old before my daughter can come." -Simeon Cholipas Pagtan

"I have a business, five children, and a house. Last month, my husband was taken by ICE, now I'm about to lose everything." -Emma Osorio

"I think when we get into the debate, it becomes very volatile. People get very angry, and we forget this is about human beings. I will take your stories back to DC with me to remind everyone who we are working hard for to create a path to citizenship." -Senator Patty Murray

Mil gracias to those who shared their moving stories and powerful words and to all who helped to make this event happen!

José Martí Child Development Center is Expanding!

When you walk into one of the José Martí preschools, you see organized shelves of brightly colored toys and books, traditional art and musical instruments on the wall, and you see a dozen smiling faces waiting to greet you. On a typical morning, the children gather on the circle-time carpet, and the teacher explains the morning activity in Spanish, and then in English. In this space, the children feel at ease to interact with one another, to ask questions, and to be themselves. For the kids in JMCDC, the year is packed with excitement. They learn traditional Mexican songs and dances, dress up in beautiful clothes and perform at Día del Niño
and Cinco de Mayo.They visit zoos, aquariums, and pumpkin patches. In May, they march to remind us that "nadie es illegal", in November, they march to remind us to vote, and in December they lead a procession, reminding us of the journey of the Virgén de Guadalupe.

kids in JMCDCEnroll 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.

Our program is expanding! We will soon have increased enrollment capacity for preschool-age children. Click here to learn more.

Caring for the Whole Child: Juanito's Story

Ada Lorena Ortega knew she wanted her 18 month old son Juanito enrolled in the JMCDC. But in the summer of 2010, the program was full. She approached the late Roberto Maestas, and when Roberto got to know Juanito, he asked Hilda Magaña, the JMCDC Director to enroll Juanito as soon as possible. The following month Juanito started in the Agua classroom with other two-year olds. He loved playing
Juanitowith blocks, but rarely visited the book area. When it came time for the health screenings El Centro de la Raza performs on all of the preschool students, Ada was nervous because the teachers suspected Juanito's vision was impaired. The health screening revealed that Juanito had 20/100 vision in one eye, and he needed glasses. At first, Juanito didn't want to wear his glasses. The teachers helped him to adjust though activities that teach the importance of seeing properly, and wore their own glasses consistently. Today, Juanito wears his glasses all the time and loves looking at books with his improved vision. "I feel proud of El Centro and the JMCDC for all the positive changes my son has experienced," Ada says, "he is very advanced and he has learned a great deal." We are very proud of YOU, Juanito! Gracias for being part of the JMCDC!

¡José Martí Centro de Desarollo Infantil está expandiendo!

Cuando entras en uno de los centros preescolares José Martí, se ve estantes organizados de juguetes de colores brillantes y los libros, el arte tradicional y los instrumentos musicales en la pared, y se ve una docena de caras sonrientes esperando para darle la bienvenida. En una mañana típica, los niños se reúnen en la alfombra círculo, y el profesor explica la actividad de la mañana, una en español y otra en inglés. En este espacio, los niños se sientan a gusto para interactuar con otros, y hacer preguntas, y ser ellos mismos. Para los niños en JMCDC, el año está lleno de felicidad. Aprenden canciones en español tradicionales y danzas, y sevisten con ropa tradiciónal y honrar al Cinco de Mayo. Ellos visitan los zoológicos, acuarios, y loskids in JMCDC granjas de calabaza. En mayo, marchan para recordar que "Nadie es ilegal", en noviembre, marchan para recordar a ejercer al derecho al votar, y en diciembre, llevan una procesión para celebrar Las Posadas.

Inscriba a su hijo en la calle José Martí CDC a tiempo completo educación multicultural y de doble lenguaje que prepare a él / ella para tener éxito en kindergarten y más allá! Las actividades de clase destacar las cuatro principales áreas de desarrollo: social / emocional, cognitiva, física y del lenguaje, y que incorporan las tradiciones culturales, sociales, asuntos de justicia de temática y la participación comunitaria. Utilizamos un enfoque integral a través de la participación familiar y proporcionar apoyo y recursos a las familias en nuestro programa.

Nuestro programa está expandiendo! Pronto habrá aumentado la capacidad de inscripción para niños de edad preescolar. Haga clic en aquí para aprender más.

El cuidado del niño en su totalidad: La historia de Juanito

Ada Lorena Ortega sabía que quería que su hijo de 18 meses de edad, Juanito, asiste al Centro de Desarrollo Infantil José Martí (JMCDC) en El Centro de la Raza. Pero en el verano de 2010, el programa estaba lleno. Ada se acercó al difunto JuanitoRoberto Maestas, y cuando Roberto se conoció a Juanito, él pidió a Hilda Magaña, la directora de JMCDC, que inscribiera a Juanito lo más pronto posible. El mes siguiente Juanito comenzó en el salón “Agua” con otros niños de dos años. Le encantaba jugar con bloques, pero casi nunca visitó el área de los libros. Cuando llegó el momento de los exámenes de salud anuales que El Centro de la Raza hace con los niños preescolares, Ada estaba nerviosa porque las maestras sospechaban que tenía visión defectuosa. El examen de salud confirmó que Juanito tenía visión de 20/100 en uno de sus ojos, y que necesitaba lentes. Al principio, Juanito no quería usar sus lentes. Las maestras utilizaron varias actividades para enseñar la importancia de ver correctamente, y llevaban sus propias lentes constantemente. Hoy en día, Juanito lleva sus lentes todo el tiempo y le encanta mirar libros con su visión mejorada. "Me siento orgullosa de El Centro de la Raza y el JMCDC para todos los cambios positivos que ha experimentado mi hijo," dice Ada. "Él está muy avanzado y se ha aprendido mucho." ¡Estamos muy orgullosos de ti, Juanito! ¡Gracias por ser parte del JMCDC!

United Way Tax Prep

It's tax time again, 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! If figuring your taxes seems a daunting task, or if you'd like help making the most out of available tax deductions, come to El Centro de la Raza and step into the Salvador Allende room on the basment floor, room 106.

Tax-Prep Schedule:

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

Poetry Workshops Help Youth Form a strong Cultural Identity

Youth in El Centro's Hope For Youth program are learning new ways to cope with difficult emotions. Our young poets have been experimenting with similes, metaphors, and personification
in their poetry to help them visualize and process feelings. Seventh grader Debbie Amesquita Arrequin composed this beautiful description of her emotions:

Sadness is a feeling that can make you feel useless;
it’s like a trap, once it catches you there’s no way out.
Depression is like a snake, it watches its prey,
then it sneaks up on it and swallows it whole.
Anger is a blanket, it smothers you, minute by minute
its grip grows stronger, not letting go, taking away the
warm feeling of happiness you once had.
Happiness is having fun, smiling bright, laughing like no
tomorrow without thinking about the future because you’re
living the moment.
Love is a genuine feeling, nothing can compare to it;
when you’re with the person you love, time stops
and the world around you disappears as you go into
your own world of happiness.

Mike Wilson, Border Action Network, visits El Centro de la Raza

Mike Wilson
Last month, Mike Wilson, of theT'ohono O'odham Nation and Policy Director Border Action Network visited El Centro de la Raza and delivered a powerful presentation on the intersection of Tribal Sovereignty and immigrant crossings across the southern border of Arizona. During his time as a lay pastor in a Presbyterian church on the reservation, Wilson witnessed the migrants' struggling to survive and frequently dying of dehydration as they crossed the desert. Mike began leaving water along known migrant trails, and to this day, continues to do so despite the efforts of both the Federal and Tribal governments to stop him. Mike Wilson’s work in Southern Arizona against Human Rights violations and abuses is legendary. Mil Gracias Mike Wilson for courageously taking a stand for compassion and justice!

Pablo Obando, Mexico Solidarity Network, Visits El Centro de La Raza
Pablo ObandoPablo Obando, Communications Director of the Fray Bartolomé Human Rights Center, and Tony Nelson of the Mexico Solidarity Network presented at El Centro de la Raza on the human rights situation in Chiapas, Mexico, the Fray Bartolomé Centerʼs work, and the role of international solidarity. Mil Gracias Pablo and Tony for your inspiring presentation and the work that you do in the name of justice for the people of Chiapas!

Save the Date! Legacy Awards Gala will be on October 5th

This year our annual Legacy Awards gala will take place October 5th, 2013 at the Washington State Convention Center. Save the date and plan to see us there! 
Click here for more information.

Tamale Classes Featured in Edible Seattle

Tamale class photoEdible Seattle writer Jill Lightner recently delighted in one of our Tamale Making Classes, and then wrote an article that will make your mouth water! It is featured in the March/April issue of Edible Seattle, and also available here. Enjoy!


El Centro de la Raza Events!    
                March 13: Legal Clinic
                March 15: Latino Legislative Day
                March 16: Tamale-Making Class

                April 4:     Café con el Centro de la Raza
                April 13:   Legal Clinic
                April 16:   Spring quarter Spanish classes begin
                April 20:   Tamale-Making class

Anuncios y Felicitaciones
Announcements & Congratulation


Frances Martinez and Homeownership Renovations are complete!

The seismic and plumbing renovations on the south end of our building that caused our Frances Martinez and Homeownership departments to move to an upstairs location are now complete. Both departments have returned to their regular locations, so if you would like to inquire about El Centro de la Raza's services please step into room 213 and speak with the receptionist.

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 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!



"Supermajority Law Struck Down: Time to Move Forward" - Story
►New Development in the controversy on welfare and drug abuse - Story  

"Fleeing His Own War on Drugs, Calderón Finds Refuge at Harvard" - Story
►"Report: ICE Released 2,000 Immigrant Detainees" - Story
►Federal Appeals Court Blocks Anti-Day Labor Ordinance - 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:




Join us for Latino Legislative Day

Acompañanos para el Día Legislativo Latino

Save the Date for Cinco de Mayo

Senator Patty Murray Listens to Immigrants' stories at El Centro de la Raza

José Martí Child Development Center is Expanding

Caring for the Whole Child: Juanito's Story

José Martí Centro de Desarollo está expandiendo

El cuidado del niño en su totalidad: La historia de Juanito

United Way Tax Prep at El Centro de la Raza

Youth Poetry

Recent Visitors to El Centro de la Raza

Save the Date for Legacy Awards Gala

Tamale classes featured in Edible Seattle
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 March 16, 2013
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: 206-957-4611 or email.

Spanish Classes
6-7:30 PM Tuesdays/Thursdays:
Spring 2013 Class Schedule:
April 9 – June 13, 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, April 4th
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!

Cafe 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.

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!