News

Cuentos From Our Programs and Community: July


9 of 10 scholars will be entering high school this fall. All received a serape sash, with their high school graduation class, symbolic of the support El Centro de La Raza will provide these scholars.

Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program & Federal Way Totem After School Program, 8th Grade Promotions!

Since the beginning of 2021, families of the Totem After School Program and Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program have been participating in the ‘Padres Preparados’ workshops series. The workshops provide an opportunity for interaction among different households to create a support system while navigating the middle school years. Understanding that the success of our students is reliant on intergenerational support, the workshop models also build family members’ skillsets such as joining Zoom meetings and understanding the cultural capital they instill in their youth. Workshops are offered twice a month, with the second workshop, titled “Si Se Puede: Roadmap to College” offers caregivers a deep exploration of the pathway towards college. At the end of the series, participants will earn a certificate of completion for their dedication.


The Workforce Program and the Youth Maritime Accelerator Program

Isabella*, who is of Purépecha descent, has always been interested in the history of maritime. Working on boats has always piqued her interest. Through El Centro de la Raza’s Workforce program, Isabella is part of the Youth Maritime Accelerator Program, which the Youth Maritime Collaborative offers. Isabella, whose parents emigrated to the US from Mexico, says the program has given her opportunities to go outdoors and have hands-on learning within the maritime industry while understanding the professional side of maritime and giving her the chance to improve her technical and marketing skills. She wants to be a role model for other girls and women in her community. Isabella hopes to encourage them to pursue higher education or find opportunities that they may think are unavailable. She plans to go off to college herself to pursue a degree in architecture this fall. Isabella is very appreciative of the opportunity to participate in the Youth Maritime Accelerator Program and hopes that these opportunities continue to be available to youth in our community. She believes El Centro does everything possible to ensure that all people can fully participate regardless of language limitations.

*Name has been changed for privacy


Our System Navigators Supports Family Through the Record-breaking Heat

Janice* and her family of 6 live in the Renton area, they were without AC or a fan during the hottest day on record, Monday, July 28th, 2021. Through El Centro de la Raza and our System Navigators, we were able to provide them a $200 Visa Card to cover basic necessities and buy a fan. Our navigators continue in contact with the family to provide them guidance on various programs and assist with meeting their basic necessities.

*Name has been changed for privacy



The future is Latina! Two Federal Way Open Door graduates with their regalia proudly representing their familias & connection to El Centro De La Raza.

High School Scholars & Their Diplomas!

Despite this past year being full of challenges, our scholars at Truman Campus stayed focused on their goals towards graduation. We saw tremendous growth in our scholars as they navigated through this school year; their hard work and perseverance paid off. It was an honor for our team to support scholars along this journey and help prepare graduates for a successful new chapter as they transition into higher education. Congratulations to the class of 2021. We hope success will keep following you in everything that you do!


Youth Job Readiness Training

Finding a job can be a challenge for youth. They must determine what careers are available, their interests, and their skills or need to develop. Another problem among youth is the lack of skills, experience, and education that make them eligible for the workforce. The Youth Job Readiness Program is tackling these two problems with a solution: training youth about competent job training, financial literacy, internship placement, and academic support for future education. The program runs through the Business Opportunity Center and recruits 15- to 20-year-old high school students to attend a year training course. In addition to technical courses, the program teaches students networking and presentation skills and project development.


This year has been a success. Despite the pandemic, we learned how to be together in a virtual setting. Every Wednesday, we had the opportunity to share not only knowledge but also emotional support. In addition to that, students also receive field training at partner organizations. As part of their training, one group this year will be building a boat with the Center of Wooden Boats through Launch 206. One student has already finished her internship with the Port of Seattle for a consecutive year, and another one is working with Seattle Goodwill. Also, a group of students is doing their internship with the Consulate of Guatemala and a different one with El Centro de la Raza. Thanks to these internships, some organizations are providing them stipends for its completion and school credits.


So far, the program has succeeded very well in one of its goals: to help youth find employment. Most of our graduates now have jobs or are attending college, a remarkable achievement for our program. Graduates have found jobs in a variety of fields, from construction to customer service. We are happy to see our students enjoy the knowledge and assistance that we provide and how much we can learn from them. As the number of students willing to explore the employment experience grows, the program will support the community. We will continue to have more success stories that show the importance of this program and the help to our beloved community.


A Message of Success from our Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program

Hello everyone, this is Ileana with Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program, also known as; (YMPEP) for El Centro de la Raza. This is our Success story.

“Our Culture and our Familias”.

El Centro worked with a mini Grant from the KC YMPEP where we had an opportunity to work on an educational project on Marijuana/Cannabis prevention. We worked with Liz and her team Karla and Mimi and had a wonderful turnout. The young scholars are from the Totem Federal Way after School Program & Plaza Roberto Maestas after School Program students– Combined Programming.

Take a peek at one of our modules.

Description:

“Food is sacred for our familias. Recipes are often passed down from generation to generation without thought, it becomes an unspoken tradition. Just as important as the meal, is the conversations held around those meals. For many of our familias, the pandemic has created food insecurities. Many of the meals families once enjoyed have been modified to adapt to what is available within budgets or even from food secured through food banks. To help nourish our families and continue traditions, El Centro De La Raza’s middle school programs in collaboration with Marijuana/Vape Youth Prevention programming will host a week-long cooking session for scholars to learn, cook and converse with their own familias. As part of the unit, youth will first learn about the dangers of marijuana consumption and the challenges that substances have on their development. Through these first sessions, youth will gain talking points to share with their family and reinforce their own understanding. Scholars will then plan a menu for their families based on a curated option from program leaders. Through creating their menu, scholars will practice soft skills of learning steps in following a recipe and learning units of measuring. Scholars will also receive a drop off of ingredients and food staples to create the meal together at the end of the week.”

Scholars have cooked their meals, invited their families to enjoy the meal, and discussed information learned at the beginning of the week. They were very proud. Through this project: the young Scholars were able to support food insecurities, practice soft skills, and learn about marijuana and vape prevention.


Tomando Control de su Salud

Alejandro* recently completed the Tomando Control de Su Salud offered through our Senior Program. He says that the class taught him the difference between good and bad cholesterol and how to control his body. He tells us that the program has helped him change his eating habits and portion control. He thanks the program coordinator Flor for her hard work and the interesting books she provided.

*Name has been changed for privacy

July Noticias and Articles Relevant to Our Community

A speech on Child Tax Credits by our José Martí Child Development Center Director Hilda Magana

Good Morning, my name is Hilda Magaña. I am the program Director for the José Martí Child Development Center at El Centro de la Raza.

We are here today to spread the good news about this important benefit for our Children and Families. The American Resource Plan Expands the Child Tax Credit to Provide Support to more families during the 2021 Tax year. Families could get up to Three-thousand Six Hundred dollars per child under six years old and three-thousand dollars for Children up to 17 years of age.

This benefit will reach about thirty-nine million households by making the credit fully refundable. Nearly 90% of all the American children will now benefit from the Child Care Tax Credit.

Our champion representative Suzan DelBene was working hard to make the Child Care Tax Credit a reality. She is fighting to make this expansion permanent. This long-term goal is estimated to cut childhood poverty in half. El Centro de la Raza since our founding has always been committed to helping our families and children fight poverty.

Representative DelBene, El Centro de la Raza is committed to Support the financial benefits to our families and children. We support families with tax prep support in conjunction with the United Way of King County every Tuesday this summer here at El Centro de la Raza.

Our families who will not want to receive the 2021 child tax credit in advance can opt out through the IRS.

The IRS created two websites to allow non-filers to sign up and receive the monthly payments. Including the households that did not file in 2020-2019.

Thank you so much.


A note from our Tobacco & Marijuana Prevention & Cessation Program for NATIONAL PARENTS’ DAY – July 25, 2021

DÍA NACIONAL DE LOS PADRES – 25 de julio de 2021 | Nacional hoy , se celebra para apreciar a los padres, reconocer su trabajo en equipo en la crianza de los hijos, y simplemente bañarlos de amor y afecto. Recuerda que incluso si la persona o las personas que te criaron con amor no están biológicamente relacionadas contigo, han estado allí durante los buenos y malos momentos. ¡Honrémoslos a todos!

Muchos jóvenes y adultos jóvenes en nuestra comunidad LatinX están en medio de una epidemia de tabaco y vapeo. A nivel nacional, el consumo de tabaco sigue siendo la principal causa prevenible de enfermedad y muerte. ¡Nuestros hijos son un reflejo de nosotros! Todas nuestras peculiaridades y manierismos son reflejados por nuestros hijos; promovamos una generación libre de humo/vapeo. Obtenga ayuda para dejar de fumar :: Washington State Department of Health

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NATIONAL PARENTS’ DAY – July 25, 2021 | National Today, is celebrated to appreciate parents, recognize their teamwork in raising children, and just shower them with love and affection. Remember that even if the person or people who raised you with love aren’t biologically-related to you, they have been there during good times and bad. Let us honor them all!

Many youth and young adults in our LatinX community are in the midst of a tobacco and vaping epidemic. Nationally, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease and death. Our children are a reflection of us! All our quirks and mannerisms are mirrored by our children; let’s promote a smoke/vape-free generation. Getting Help to Quit Tobacco :: Washington State Department of Health

MJ Resources available at/Recursos de MJ disponibles en:: Marijuana Use Prevention – El Centro de la Raza

Tobacco Resources available at/ Recursos para el tabaco disponibles en: Tobacco/Vape/E-cig Use Prevention & Education – El Centro de la Raza

For more information, please contact us at/ Para obtener más información, póngase en contacto con nosotros: Tobacco & Marijuana Prevention Contacts – El Centro de la Raza.

¡Hablamos español!

​Heidi López at (206) 973-4404 or hlopez@elcentrodelaraza.org.

Ileana Garakani at (206) 957-4601 or igarakani@elcentrodelaraza.org.


Updated vendor schedule for la Plaza Roberto Maestas!


Articles of Interest

DACA recipients, families and advocates will push for permanent immigration status

Is It Time for Free Transit?

Proclamation by the Governor Amending and Extending Emergency Proclamations: Ratepayer Assistance and Preservation of Essential Services

OPINION: ‘Best Start for Kids’ Provides Vital Educational Support

An estimated 2,600 Latinos were killed by police or in custody in the past six years, preliminary report says

COVID-19/Coronavirus Impact Rent Assistance: Burien


Free Tax Support at El Centro de la Raza & Info on the Earned Income Tax Credit

South King County Health Fair

El Centro de la Raza’s Vaccine Clinics

We have an upcoming free Vaccine Clinic and free Emergency Dental coming up at our Federal Way offices on July 30th.

We have continued to host vaccine clinics at both our Beacon Hill and Federal Way locations. In partnership with International Community Health Services, Seattle Children’s Hospital, the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle Fire Department, CHI Franciscan Health (Virginia Mason), Adiós Covid, UW Medical Center, and Sea Mar we have given over 1200 vaccinations. We were excited to receive a Certificate of Appreciation from Public Health – Seattle & King County, Director Patty Hayes, Health Officer Jeff Duchin.

Need a vaccine today?

It is vital for our community that we all do our part and get vaccinated. Below you will find a quick sheet sharing Myths vs. Facts about vaccinations and a quick sheet on your vaccination rights.

El Centro de la Raza voter resources support

El Centro de la Raza believes that making our community heard is vital to our future. Although voting is often an uphill battle for communities of color, we know that voting can be one of the most powerful things that one can do to create change. In 2021 El Centro de la Raza reached out to thousands of individuals with bilingual resources to support our community by breaking down knowledge barriers and promoting access.

Cuentos From Our Programs and Community: June

Padres Preparados’ – Parent Workshops

Since the beginning of 2021, families of the Totem After School Program and Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program have been participating in the ‘Padres Preparados’ workshops series. The workshops provide an opportunity for interaction among different households to create a support system while navigating the middle school years. Understanding that the success of our students is reliant on intergenerational support, the workshop models also build family members skillsets such as joining Zoom meetings and understanding the cultural capital they instill in their youth. Workshops are offered twice a monthly, with the second workshop, titled “Si Se Puede: Roadmap to College” offers caregivers a deep exploration on the pathway towards college. At the end of the series, participants will earn a certificate of completion for their dedication.


El Toreo Tienda y Carniceria

Francisca Pineda, dueña de El Toreo Tienda y Carnicería, asistió una sesión informativa que facilito El Centro de la Raza sobre la beca Working Washington Ronda -4.  El 10 de mayo, ella fue aprobada por una beca empresaria de $12,000 por el Departamento de Comercio del Estado de Washington. La beca la ha ayudado a continuar su negocio.

“El Toreo Tienda y Carnicería le da las gracias a El Centro de La Raza por el favor de apoyarnos en la aplicación. El dinero fue depositado en la cuenta de la tienda y nos esta sirviendo para pagar la luz y renta.”

Francisca Pineda, the owner of El Toreo Tienda y Carniceria, assisted the information session facilitated for the Working Washington – Round 4. On May 10, she was approved for a $12,000 grant for her business from the Washington State Department of Commerce. This grant has helped her business stay afloat – as she is using the funds for business debts and operational costs.

“El Toreo Tienda y Carniceria gives thanks to El Centro de la Raza for their help with the application process. The funds were deposited in our business account and it helps us to pay for our business utilities and rent.”


Open Doors Youth Case Management Program

Our Federal Way Open Doors Youth Case Management Program has continuously addressed participants’ growing needs. With the ongoing pandemic leaving more students and families in need of assistance, staff have provided students with educational support and addressing their basic needs. This month staff focused on personal hygiene and delivered kits to 10 scholars’ homes—kits including body wash, deodorant, lip balm, socks, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. Good hygiene is an important part of student’s health, wellness, and self-esteem. Providing these basic essentials for scholars helps them start their day off right. Our goal is also to relieve the stress of having to purchase these necessary items. Scholars are already looking forward to the next supply delivery.


SEA/FW After School Programs

Each month, scholars enrolled in our two middle school after-school programs (The Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program or the Totem Federal Way After School Program) receive a doorstep delivery with supplies, snacks, and educational material. In our last delivery, 50 scholars received snacks and material for April activities, including our Trade Camps & Model UN: Latin American Conference Project. Students love delivery day because they receive their favorite snacks, and it serves as an opportunity to connect with staff members. Each month, youth have a chance to suggest favorite snacks and create a wish list of items they would like to receive. Scholars receive a small but thoughtful gift for those with birthdays in the month. One participant could not be more excited to have received a skateboard. The text message screenshot above demonstrates her excitement and the similar excitement of our young scholars.

June Noticias and Articles Relevant to Our Community

Updated vendor schedule for la Plaza Roberto Maestas!


ECDLR’s Tobacco & Marijuana Prevention & Cessation Program

As our current legislative session ends, El Centro de la Raza’s Tobacco & Marijuana prevention & cessation program would like to thank everyone in WA for their dedicated, hard work in fighting for tobacco laws that need to be changed. Our prevention efforts focus on educating our youth, young adults and members of our LatinX community about the health effects associated with the use of tobacco, vape and e-cigarettes. We continue to promote the prevention of nicotine dependence and provide the educational resources to do so successfully. Our hope is that our work will empower and encourage individuals in our Latino/LatinX communities to stop smoking/vaping by offering services/cessation tools that may be beneficial in helping them quit successfully.

One of our strongest collaboration efforts has been reflected in our teamwork with the Tobacco, Marijuana, and Other Drugs Coalition. We worked together in addressing our support to several bills that we believe will help make a change in our fight for a smoke & vape free WA. We testified via zoom during live hearings as well as provided written testimony supporting the following bills, which affect Vape and PUP bills:

  • HB 1345 – 2021-22: Concerning the regulation of products sold to adults age 21 and over
  • HB 1550 – 2021-22: Concerning methods to prevent nicotine addiction
  • SB 5129 – 2021-22: Concerning the possession of vapor, vapor products, tobacco, and tobacco products by minors.

We were happy to have learned that on April 29, 2021, the FDA announced a federal action to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars from gaining new generations of smokers. We have recently learned that US Rep. Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) is also in support of this federal ban on menthol.

We as Washingtonians can do our part in having our voice heard that we want this change too! We want to give a HUGE Thank you to everyone in WA fighting to make this possible. We plan to continue to spread our message for tobacco cessation within our LatinX community via virtual/interactive means; COVID-19 will not stop us!

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Aunque la última sesión legislativa acaba de terminar, el programa de prevención y cesación de tabaco y marihuana de El Centro de la Raza desea agradecer a todos en Wa por su dedicado y arduo trabajo en la lucha por las leyes del tabaco que necesitan ser cambiadas. Nuestros esfuerzos de prevención se centran en educar a nuestros jóvenes, adultos jóvenes y miembros de nuestra comunidad latina sobre los efectos en la salud asociados con el uso de tabaco, vapeo y cigarrillos electrónicos. Continuamos nuestro trabajo en prevención contra la dependencia de nicotina y proporcionando los recursos educativos necesarios para hacerlo con éxito. Nuestra esperanza es que nuestro trabajo empoderará y alentará a las personas de nuestras comunidades latinas/latinasX a dejar de fumar/vapear ofreciendo servicios/herramientas de cese que pueden ser beneficiosas para ayudarlos a dejar de fumar con éxito.

Uno de nuestros esfuerzos de colaboración más fuertes se ha reflejado en nuestro trabajo en equipo con la Coalición Tobacco, Marijuana, and Other Drugs. Trabajamos juntos para abordar nuestro apoyo a varios proyectos de ley que creemos que ayudarán a hacer un cambio en nuestra lucha por un WA libre de humo y vapeo. Testificamos a través de zoom durante las audiencias en vivo, así como proporcionamos testimonios escritos que respaldan los siguientes proyectos de ley, que afectan las facturas de Vapeo y PUP (Posesión, Uso, Compra):

  • HB 1345 – 2021-22: Relativo a la regulación de los productos vendidos a adultos mayores de 21 años
  • HB 1550 – 2021-22: Relativo a los métodos para prevenir la adicción a la nicotina
  • SB 5129 – 2021-22: Relativo a la posesión de vapor, productos de vapor, tabaco y productos de tabaco por menores de edad.

Nos alegró saber que el 29 de abril de 2021, la FDA anunció una acción federal para poner fin a la venta de cigarrillos mentolados y cigarros aromatizados de ganar nuevas generaciones de fumadores. Recientemente nos hemos enterado de que la representante estadounidense Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) también apoya esta prohibición federal del mentol.

¡Nosotros como washingtonianos podemos hacer nuestra parte para que nuestra voz sea escuchada que también queremos este cambio! Queremos dar un enorme agradecimiento a todos en WA luchando para hacer esto posible. Planeamos continuar difundiendo nuestro mensaje para el cese del tabaco dentro de nuestra comunidad Latina a través de medios virtuales/interactivos; COVID-19 no nos detendrá!


ITIN Assistance


Opportunities in our Community


Articles of Interest

We can’t wait: Essential workers need a path to citizenship

Biden’s Plan for Jobs, Investments, and Fairer Taxes: Fact Sheet

Beacon Hill Resident Gene Moy Celebrated as One of the Oldest Living World War Two Vets

FDA Commits to Evidence-Based Actions Aimed at Saving Lives and Preventing Future Generations of Smokers

Utility Bill Assistance Available Now

May Noticias and Articles Relevant to Our Community

Updated vendor schedule for la Plaza Roberto Maestas!


Nominate or self-nominate community members for El Centro de la Raza’s Felipe Maestas Legacy Award. 

Each year at our Building the Beloved Community Gala, we celebrate two individuals in the community who exemplify Building the Beloved spirit through multi-racial unity and work to eliminate poverty, racism, and social inequity, with a Felipe Maestas Legacy Award. We will celebrate our 2021 awardees with a humble $1,000 gift in their name to an organization of their choice and recognize each awardee at our 2021 Building the Beloved Gala on October 2nd. 

Meet our past nominees here

Nominate a community member or self-nominate by May 31st, 2021, here


Info on Child Tax Credits for families with children who files their taxes by May 17th!


Articles of Interest

Biden & Treasury Secretary Yellen; Latinos will Help with COVID Recovery

Gov. Inslee Signs Washington’s New Capital Gains Tax

How Native Communities on the Front Line of Climate Change Are Feeling the Heat

Cap-and-Trade Law, Is On It’s Way to Gov. Inslee’s Desk

Latino groups calling for federal investigation of Adam Toledo killing: report

What WA can learn from Native communities’ vaccination plan


Upcoming Events in our Community

Cuentos From Our Programs and Community: May

Robotics Program – Bahlam Bots

The Robotics Program for middle school youth at El Centro de la Raza has been operating via remote platforms since Fall 2020. This month scholars began a unit on coding delivered through a logic challenge demonstrating how computer coding looks in the real world. Through this challenge, scholars are learning the importance of paying attention to the detail of their codes which the robots use as instructions to follow. In our most recent Logic Challenge, scholars provided instructions on cooking a pancake. Instructors then followed the youth’s direction precisely as instructed, and if there were gaps, the pancakes would not come out like regular pancakes. Visualizing these “coding errors” created frustration among scholars, but they could laugh at their mistakes. The picture above is a pancake from a student who requested 1/8 of the butter without knowing how much butter was needed. This was the closest we got to the “ideal” pancake. “


Paola*, Unidos in Finance 2021 Cohort 1: 01/27/2021-3/12/2021

Paola, 25, single, and recently immigrated from Africa to pursue different job opportunities in the US. Laurena was referred to us from another participant. Paola has maintained perfect attendance and has an eagerness to learn. She is the head baker at her current job and looking to use her education in Accounting and obtain more information on the US banking system and this is the reason she joined the program. Paola is currently working on improving her resume and taking the skills learned in the course to apply to banks and credit unions in the upcoming months.

*Name has been changed for privacy.


Open Doors Youth Case Management Program

Our Federal Way Open Doors Youth Case Management Program has continuously addressed participants’ growing needs. With the ongoing pandemic leaving more students and families in need of assistance, staff have provided students with educational support and addressing their basic needs. This month staff focused on personal hygiene and delivered kits to 10 scholars’ homes—kits including body wash, deodorant, lip balm, socks, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. Good hygiene is an important part of student’s health, wellness, and self-esteem. Providing these basic essentials for scholars helps them start their day off right. Our goal is also to relieve the stress of having to purchase these necessary items. Scholars are already looking forward to the next supply delivery.


SEA/FW After School Programs

Each month, scholars enrolled in our two middle school after-school programs (The Plaza Roberto Maestas After School Program or the Totem Federal Way After School Program) receive a doorstep delivery with supplies, snacks, and educational material. In our last delivery, 50 scholars received snacks and material for April activities, including our Trade Camps & Model UN: Latin American Conference Project. Students love delivery day because they receive their favorite snacks, and it serves as an opportunity to connect with staff members. Each month, youth have a chance to suggest favorite snacks and create a wish list of items they would like to receive. Scholars receive a small but thoughtful gift for those with birthdays in the month. One participant could not be more excited to have received a skateboard. The text message screenshot above demonstrates her excitement and the similar excitement of our young scholars.

9 Stories from the El Centro de la Raza Community

El Centro de la Raza began in 1972. Since then, we have continued to serve as a voice and hub for the Latino community and a support system for communities of color in Seattle. We have grown quite a bit since then, but we keep the same values. Our community means everything to us and we continue to be grateful for the community members who use our services and trust us as they go through both difficult and exciting parts of their live. 2020 was especially difficult for many in our community and we saw even more need for our services. If you are interested in supporting our organization and the services we offer the community, please click the donate button on the top right of our site. A recurring or one-time donation is always appreciated and an valued action. Here are some stories from this last year that we hope will give you a picture of our familia and the work that we do.  

Javier*

People at El Centro de la Raza Care about us, says Javier*, 60, who has been joining us during our Senior lunches since September 2020, after some friends told him about it. He says that the free hot lunch five days a week has helped him emotionally through difficult times. He made a point to mention the care Flor, one of the coordinators of our lunch program, gives to the community. Javier feels the program is like a blessing to him. 

*Name has been changed for privacy

Image Description: Senior in blue sweater smiling in front of El Centro de la Raza building

Hilda & Lourdes

Early on in the pandemic, our Business Opportunity Center staff contacted Sabor Delicioso co-owners, Hilda and Lourdes, with good news to share. Hilda and Lourdes breathed a sigh of relief: the City of Seattle approved their small business to receive a total of $10,000 in funding and mitigate the loss of their income caused by COVID-19. With that money, they: 

  • Paid for food permits and licenses 
  • Paid rent, utilities, and transportation 
  • Recouped their loss in revenue from catering and other events 

Our BOC staff helped Hilda and Lourdes by providing hours of assistance over a conference call to translate and offer guidance in applying for the City’s Small Business Stabilization Fund. El Centro de la Raza’s Business Opportunity Center continues to help small businesses owners with applying to grants and loans. Support Sabor Delicioso and our other food vendors by visiting our plaza. You can find our food vendor schedule here.

Image Description: Photo of Hilda & Lourdes standing in front of their food cart smiling and laughing

Adrian*

Adrian* worked two jobs to meet his family’s needs. Due to the pandemic, he lost one of his jobs and his family of five was significantly impacted. He lost his second job after the Stay Home Stay Healthy Order’s extension. 

Adrian was increasingly stressed and concerned about their situation. He had to somehow make rent, in addition to buying groceries and paying for utilities. Your support of our Emergency Response Fund made it possible to provide Adrian’s family with food and rental assistance. He said, “Mi vida ha cambiado drásticamente por la mejor.” (English translation: “My life has changed drastically for the better.”) 

Adrian feels blessed that El Centro de la Raza understands and meets the community’s needs. El Centro de la Raza is also providing Adrian’s eldest son a laptop so that he can continue his education from home. 

*Name has been changed for privacy

Photo of man in front of El Centro de la Raza

Martin*

Since March 2020, El Centro de la Raza has been partnering with the Schultz Family Foundation to distribute funding to restaurant workers impacted by the pandemic through The Plate Fund. The Plate Fund is a one-time funding source of $500 Visa gift card that can be utilized in any store to purchases necessities like food or even for things like online payments for utility bills or rent. During the pandemic, the restaurant industry was incredibly unstable due to the constant closing and reopening of businesses due to the changing restrictions and phases. Many restaurant workers lost income due to the businesses shutting down, to severe reductions in hours, or even contracting COVID-19 forcing them to take time off work. The pandemic has shown us how difficult it is to navigate resource, however, many restaurant workers also had to deal with the language barrier that they faced when they tried to find any assistance or aid. 

One participant, in particular, called El Centro de la Raza and told staff that they were rejected from many other organizations and were in desperate need of support. This participant, Martin Sanchez*, is a 70-year-old man who could not work as a result of his age and diabetes, making him at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. His daughter was also laid off from Mcdonald’s in early March and had not been able to find work since then. Both father and daughter had exhausted the last of their savings and sold their car for additional income but were in dire need of financial support as they had medical expenses and housing and food expenses. Due to the language barrier, technology barrier, and limited ability to read or write, the family had difficulties accessing relief resources. Our staff at El Centro de La Raza was able to work with them to get Martin’s daughter qualified to receive a $500 Visa gift card to the Plate Fund and referred them to receive rental assistance as well. 

*Name has been changed for privacy

Image Description: Photo of Elizabeth in front of computer

Elizabeth

Elizabeth, originally from Colombia, started her tax services business United Enterprise Tax Services 10 years ago. With the help of the Business Opportunity Center (BOC) of the Center de la Raza, she was approved funding for her business under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This government aid program provides funding to businesses impacted by the COVID-19. Elizabeth happily continues her business operations and serves her community due to these funds. For her services, please contact Elizabeth via email: uetaxes@gmail.com

“It is great labor and excellent work that you [BOC] and el Centro de la Raza are doing for our community. May God bless you! 

Elizabeth, originalmente de Colombia, comenzó su negocio de contabilidad e impuestos United Enterprises Tax Services hace 10 años. Con la asesoría del Centro de Oportunidad de Negocios del Centro de la Raza, fue aprobada para recibir fondos de ayuda empresaria por parte del Programa de Protección de Pago (PPP). El programa gubernamental proporciona fondos a empresas impactadas por COVID-19. Elizabeth felizmente continua su negocio y sirviendo su comunidad con la ayuda de los fondos. Para sus servicios, pueden contactar a Elizabeth por correo electrónico: uetaxes@gmail.com

“De verdad es una maravillosa labor y un excelente trabajo el que usted y el Centro de la Raza están realizando ayudando a la comunidad. ¡Que Dios les bendiga! 

Sandra*

Sandra*, who emigrated from Venezuela 3 years ago, says she approached El Centro de la Raza seeking information about resources that will help me succeed as I face the reality of living in a new country. Sandra enrolled in the Business Launch and Grow and the First Time Homebuyers webinar, both trainings offered by our Business Opportunity Center. She says that she was pleased by the level of commitment, clarity, and knowledge of her instructors. She is now that every training that El Centro de la Raza provides leaves a seed of knowledge and wanting to continue learning and growing. She emphasizes the value of finding people to guide you when you are adjusting to a new language, culture, and education. Since joining these trainings, she has been sharing about the opportunities El Centro de la Raza provides to her circle of friends.

*Name has been changed for privacy

Our José Martí Child Development Center

Our teacher at José Martí Child Development Center reads a story in Spanish for the children who are following along from their homes. Click to watch how we are engaging young children at this time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eazipYwkkBI.

It has been amazing that José Martí Child Development Center has continued its work through the pandemic. In August we celebrated our brilliant youth graduates with Pizza, Cupcakes, gifts, and most importantly, their diploma!

Totem After School Program

On March 17, 8 middle school youth from the Totem After School Program attended Latino Legislative Day Leadership workshops. To their surprise, the workshops were completely led by high school youth. Among the topics discussed were Anti – Blackness in Latinx communities, mental health, and environmental justice. As youth left the workshop they shared with the facilitators, “I learned A LOT today, I’m glad I was here”. During reflections the next day in the after school program, youth wanted to know how they could get to that level, “How do I facilitate a workshop like them when I grow up?” youth were reassured, they are already capable and on track to lead their own workshops. The lessons offered during the cultural enrichment segment are providing youth a social justice framework. 

Image Description: Totem after school participants with El Centro de la Raza sign.

Through an interdepartmental partnership, youth from the Plaza Roberto Maestas After School and FW Totem After School Program were invited to submitted entries to the Scholastics, “Vaping is Not My Thing” contest. To enter the contest participants had to create an infographic poster targeted to their peers and informing them of the dangers of vaping. Two youth of the Plaza Roberto Maestas After School program were able to submit entries. Through the process, both scholars developed their own stance to say no to vaping and encourage their peers to also steer away from the dangers of vaping. We are very proud of them both! Here are is one of our scholar’s entries: 

Image Description: Photo of student project poster with headline Vaping is Not Cool

Piedro*

Piedro*, 67, who says he found out about El Centro de la Raza’s senior lunch program, has been joining us for hot lunch in September. He says he is happy to part of the community that is present for lunch. Piedro also mentioned how coming to the lunch program has helped him with other resources, most notably support with signing up and getting his COVID-19 vaccination. Piedro has enjoyed the other activities the lunch program has for seniors during the 11a-1p M-F schedule, including dancing and painting activities. El Centro de la Raza offers 43 programs and continues to be a resource hub for the community.  

*Name has been changed for privacy