Cuentos from Our Work- April 2022

Jimena is in the front row to the right with our other winners!

Winning through Art & Health at the Mexican Consulate!

We are super proud of Jimena Rico-Diaz for the gorgeous mask she designed in a mask coloring competition hosted by the Consulate of Mexico to highlight health and safety!

She won third place and was awarded four tickets for the Woodland Zoo Park and four tickets for the Seattle Aquarium.

Two other students from El Centro de la Raza also received honorific mentions for their creativity.

We are very proud of their work and pleased to work with organizations like the Consulate of Mexico that encourage creativity and health to flourish in the community! 

Federal Way Community Shredding Event

In collaboration with the City of Federal way, we were able to divert 1.6 Tonnes of confidential paper waste from a landfill!

For context, that is the equivalent of the weight of a Toyota Corolla or an adult hippo! 

Have some papers been accumulating with sensitive information in your household?

Follow and share updates here for future events: Community Shred Events | Washington State

Join the Community! May 2022

March with us May Day 2022!

May 1st – May Day is a day to convene and march to support immigrants and workers! We will be joining forces with El Comite, MLK Labor, UFCW 3000 Union, Bayan Seattle, Washington State Labor Council, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action.

Sunday, May 1, 2022
Judkins Park 
20th Place S & S Dearborn Street

For more updates as the event approaches, please check

Give Big- We need you!

May 3-4, 2022 – We are counting on our donors yet again to meet our fundraising goal of $50,000 for this year’s Give Big Campaign!

Programming your donation is easy and can start right now! All you need to do is check out our profile here and schedule the payment for Give Big donating!

Mil Gracias! El Centro de la Raza | Washington Gives (

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations are back!

May 3-4, 2022 – We are THRILLED to invite the Beloved Community to join us to celebrate our culture with us in an amazing outdoor event at our Plaza!

Acompáñenos con su familia a celebrar nuestra cultura en nuestro gran evento! Tendremos variedades de deliciosa comida, ¡música y muchas sorpresas de entretenimiento! Los esperamos!

¡Celebra Nuestra Cultura!
Sábado, 7 de Mayo
10:30 am – 4:30 pm
Plaza Roberto Maestas
1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St, Seattle, WA 98144

Register and invite your friends!

Art for (Summer) Days with Beacon Arts!

May 14, June 11, July 9, Aug 13, Sept 10-Join us for sunny days filled with art, good company, and people showing love for plants and pop artists in the neighborhood at the Beacon Arts Street Fairs!

May 14 | June 11| July 9 | Aug 13 | Sept 10:00AM- 4:00PM @ Roberto Maestas Festival Street

Upskilling as a Family

The Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Monroys

Meet Adriana Monroy, an example of a person who infuses her entire life (and family) with an entrepreneurial spirit!

Originally from Mexico, Adriana and her five children moved to Washington after seventeen years in Michigan.  She discovered El Centro de La Raza and soon after she engaged with several of the programs, including, Bebes Hope, Alma, Unidos en Finance, and our Work Force Development Program.  Soon after empowering herself with knowledge in different areas, she wanted to share with her community and family. She soon introduced her son, Job Monroy, to El Centro de la Raza.

At the height of the pandemic in 2021, Job Monroy graduated. He decided to take a gap year and use the year to learn a trade that would allow him to pay his way through university.  He explored a pre-apprentice program info session we hosted, and learned about opportunities in the maritime, aerospace, and construction industries.

Through this session, he chose to deepen his exploration into the construction industry and connected to the Pre-Apprenticeship Training (PACT) Program with Seattle Colleges and the ANEW Program.  Since then, he was accepted to ANEW’s free 12-week pre-apprenticeship program.

Job is excited to start and learn about a new trade! We love to see families progress together on many fronts!

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

How one business navigated the PPP program and the Pandemic

According to the NIH, in early 2020, the number of active businesses dropped in the US by 22%.  Latinx business owner activity dropped by an astounding 32% and women-owned businesses also took disproportional losses of 25%.

Elizabeth Sevilla, Owner of Yayis Service LLC

Like other residential construction businesses, by early 2021, Yayis Service LLC, saw their revenue decline as homeowners postponed projects due to the pandemic and material expenses continued to increase.  After several years of running a successful business, Yayis Service LLC owner, Elizabeth Sevilla, decided to reach out to our Business Opportunity Center Small Business Development (SBD) program to see how she could help her business cope with the pandemic.

To her relief, SBD walked Elizabeth through all of the requirements for eligibility of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a government funded program that provides low interest rates turned into grants through the Small Business Administration.  Through one-on-one conversations, SBD helped her navigate the process, in Spanish.  Together, they completed the application, from documentation gathering to contract signing.  The SBA approved Elizabeth for a $19,400 loan at 1% interest rate.  This allowed Elizabeth to keep her team on and fund payroll and continue her business.  

A photo from a Yayis Service LLC project on

Beyond navigating the process together, the SBD kept in touch with Elizabeth to ensure Yayis Service LLC was keeping records of its spending on eligible expenses, such as payroll.

In January 2022, Elizabeth became eligible to apply for forgiveness of her SBA loan. SBD guided Elizabeth on the forgiveness application process and she was indeed approved for loan forgiveness.  Thanks to the PPP and its forgiveness program, Elizabeth was able apply for a $19,400 loan, apply for forgiveness, and successfully turn her loan into a business grant – meaning no money owed!

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

February 2022: Salud in the Community

Vacúnese el 20 de febrero! Get Vaccinated for COVID-19 February 20th!

Charlas En Confianza y En Comunidad resumen cada Martes hasta Marzo!

Acompáñenos cada Martes a las 5pm para recibir la información más actualizada del coronavirus, compartir recursos, sus preocupaciones e identificar soluciones, mientras nos apoyamos uno al otro con confianza y en comunidad.

Aqui tiene el enlace para registrarse a la proxima charla:

Refuerzos de COVID-19 y el Embarazo

Apoyo de FEMA para costos de funerarios para victimas de COVID-19 // FEMA assistance for funeral expenses for COVID-19 victims

February 2022: Cuentos from Our Work in the Community

Organizing & Training Our Environmental Justice Leaders

Training has begun for El Patio and Plaza Roberto Maestas residents in environmental justice leadership, education and community organizing in the Latino community.

Through this program, Beacon Hill residents are learning how to advocate for better health and environmental outcomes and influence policymakers to protect their community from the disproportional impacts of massive transportation developments in the works.

For context, Beacon Hill is already surrounded by major roadways.  On average, every 90 seconds, an aircraft will fly over Beacon Hill.  70% of aircraft traveling to and from Seattle fly over Beacon Hill. This causes intense noise pollution, which has adverse effects on stress levels, sleep, cardiovascular health, and youth’s learning capabilities. Though they are certainly considered a vertical fenceline community, they are not a fenceline community and are not eligible for mitigation. Additionally, residents of Beacon Hill are predominantly people of color, who already tend to be disproportionately harmed by environmental issues.

Apart from learning to measure air and noise pollution and advocate for bills that address this issue, participants were able to connect with other environmental justice-based organizations such as the nonprofit organization Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC).  Residents learned how other communities are organizing and supported the DRCC’s signature-gathering efforts for their petition on 

Through storytelling, community building, and leadership development, participants are prepared to effectively fight the proposed Sea-Tac Airport Sustainable Air Master Plan (SAMP).  Follow and join our movement against SAMP here:  We Fight For Environmental & Health Justice – El Centro de la Raza

Our Highest Turnout and Certification for New Homebuyers Yet!

In the face of a deepening housing crisis, we are proud to report the highest level of enrollment and certification for our first-time homebuyer workshop of 2022.  A total of 84 participants enrolled, and 42 received a two-year certificate that will grant them access to Washington Housing Finance Commission programs and Down Payment Assistance.

Apart from providing these classes online in English and Spanish at no-cost, our program is unique in providing home loan options for ITIN holders. 

To offer a comprehensive overview of the process, we welcomed a real estate agent and a lender certified by the Washington Housing Finance Commission.  The topics we covered ran the gamut from credit-strengthening and budgeting to title, escrows, home insurance and inspection.

Please share our joy with the future homeowners from our program below:

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

Legacy Award Nominations are Open

El Centro de la Raza turns 50 this year! Help us celebrate by nominating someone who is doing important Social Justice work in our community for the Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award. The Legacy Awards are our way of honoring of our late founder, Roberto Maestas, who helped organize the 1972 peaceful occupation of the abandoned Beacon Hill school, which later became El Centro de la Raza as we know it today. Roberto Maestas’s life was dedicated to building “Beloved Community” through multi-racial unity. He deeply believed that poverty, racism and social inequity could only be eradicated if people of all races and backgrounds came together to do so.

The 12th Annual Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Award will recognize two individuals who have exemplified Building the Beloved Community through multi-racial unity and working to eliminate poverty, racism and social inequity. We encourage people of all races, ethnicities, ages, and gender identities to apply for this award. 
El Centro de la Raza will celebrate awardees and their contributions by making a $1,000 gift in their name to an organization of their choice.  Award recipients will be recognized at El Centro de la Raza’s 50th Anniversary Building the Beloved Community Gala, which is set to take place on Saturday, October 8, 2022.
Legacy Award applicants can self-nominate or be nominated by someone else. Recipients are asked to attend El Centro de la Raza’s Building the Beloved Community Gala.
Deadline for application submission is Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 5:00pm Pacific Time. 

Please nominate yourself or someone you know today via our form.

Read about our 2021 honorees, Dr. Estell Williams and Edwin Lindo

The health and success of El Centro de la Raza begins with you. Support from a broad base of community members including foundations, individuals, and corporations is critical to our success and we ask that you carefully consider making a personally meaningful gift – it may be the largest gift you have ever made.

February Classes & Programs

Curso de Computación Incial para Familias! Apúntense!

Is your home at risk of foreclosure? Our counselors at El Centro de La Raza are here for you

El Centro de Raza is offering education and counseling one-on-one for individuals at risk of facing foreclosure. Sometimes, circumstances might arise that make it difficult to keep up with the mortgage payments. The good news is there are different options to avoid foreclosure and keep you housed.

El Centro de la Raza is a Certified Agency by Housing and Urban Development Department and counts on Housing Counselors to help people to navigate through the lender’s options to find an alternative before you lose your home.

For more information, contact Oliver Contreras, Business Opportunity Center Manager at or (206) 717-0085.

Upcoming Training Sessions at the Business Opportunity Center

Want to sign up or learn more? Please contact our Business Opportunity Center Specialist, Ivette Aguilera at 206-883-1981 or via email