June-July 2022: Call to Action & News Affecting the Community

A signature to advance gun responsibility legislation to protect our families and future

From our partners at the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, tell Congress we need commitments to create enhanced background checks for gun buyers aged 18-21, address the dating partner loophole, crack down on gun trafficking, fund implementation of state Extreme Risk Protection Orders, and more. Sign here.

Want to get involved? See five ways below to prevent gun violence.

Mayor Harrell Statement on SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Seattle – Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell released the following statement: 

“The Supreme Court’s decision is dangerous, outrageous, and an unacceptable step back for generations of women now and to come. Just yesterday, the Supreme Court limited states’ ability to regulate guns, but today declared states can regulate bodies. We know too many states will react quickly and severely to this ruling and we know the consequences of those efforts to restrict reproductive health care will be dire. 

“Maternal mortality will increase. Infant mortality will increase. Poverty will rise and positive health outcomes will decline. Women, transgender, and non-binary people will be forced to seek unsafe abortions. The implications of this decision will disproportionately impact women of color, who are already bearing the brunt of child care in this country. Where we can counter this, we must. Seattle will remain a place where we lead with reproductive justice and where abortion and reproductive health care are available to all who seek it. 

“More people will come to Seattle from out of state to seek safe and accessible reproductive care, which is why we’re responding to this unprecedented moment in our supplemental budget proposal. Our administration is seeking to invest $250,000 in efforts to expand access to reproductive health care through the Northwest Abortion Access Fund. 

“This will complement the City’s support for ongoing efforts led by Seattle-King County Public Health to link residents to reproductive health care through Community Health Partnership, School-Based Health Centers, Nurse-Family Partnership, and Mobile Medical Vans. 

“As states enact and engage in punitive and reactionary efforts to enforce this regressive assault on their constituents’ bodies, our Seattle Police Department will not participate in enforcing the criminal laws of other states that are inconsistent with Washington laws and values. 

“Men have an obligation to stand with the women in our country who have seen their constitutional rights eliminated. A decision like this makes hope difficult and threatens our most precious rights and liberties. However, in Seattle, we reject this decision – full stop – and will ensure our response is based in a united commitment to maintain and expand our city’s embrace of privacy, freedom, and shared values.” 

NALEO Educational Fund Urges Census Bureau to Release More Data on State and Local Undercounts

Census estimates revealed a severe and devastating 4.99 percent undercount of Latinos in Census 2020; detailed state and local data are critical to understanding and ameliorating the undercount’s impact on the community 

“With several factors likely contributing to the Latino undercount in the 2020 Census, it is imperative that the U.S. Census Bureau rebuilds its trust with the public by releasing data that provides insight into the severe undercount of the Latino community.”
– NALEO Educational Fund CEO Arturo Vargas

WASHINGTON, D.C. The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund today called for the U.S. Census Bureau to provide data that would better illuminate the just-released Census 2020 state Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) results.  In March, the national-level PES results confirmed a severe 4.99 percent undercount of Latinos in Census 2020, a 3.3 percent undercount of Black residents, and a 2.79 percent undercount of very young children (ages 0–4). However, as the Bureau previously announced, today’s state estimates do not include demographic characteristics such as race and Hispanic origin and are not available for geographies below the state level.  This lack of detail raises more questions than answers about the accuracy of the 2020 Census.  

“With Latinos accounting for nearly one of every five U.S. residents, the PES estimates confirming the national undercount of Latinos is very alarming,” said NALEO Educational Fund CEO Arturo Vargas.  “We have urged the Bureau to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the impact of the undercount on the Latino community and the options to ameliorate it.  The Bureau must move forward with this undertaking transparently and in partnership with the full range of public and private stakeholders, including data experts, state and local governments, and community and civic leaders.  However, we cannot achieve this goal without relevant data on the undercount of Latinos by state and for different localities throughout the nation. 

“For example, New York City has a population larger than 40 states and Washington, D.C., and over one-fourth (28.3 percent) of the city’s 8.8 million residents are Latino.  Without additional undercount data, we will not be able to fully gauge the total severity of the Latino undercount within each state and in different parts of the nation.

“The PES state estimates do not tell the whole story of the accuracy of the 2020 Census count for different population groups or areas in the states.  For example, New York is the nation’s fourth most populous state, and the national undercounts suggest that large numbers of persons from population groups that make New York their home were missed in Census 2020.  However, the PES estimates are net figures derived in part from both the 2020 Census omissions and persons overcounted in the enumeration.  Thus, in the 3.44 percent net New York overcount, the persons overcounted in the state may mask the impact of the persons missed in enumeration and other significant problems with the overall accuracy of census data for New York.  

“Based on our work with and research on historically undercounted communities, we believe it is likely that Census 2020’s accuracy varied in different regions of the states.  For example, areas with large concentrations of Latinos, Black residents, and young children — such as the Boroughs of Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens — are likely to have had the highest undercounts, while places with large concentrations of non-Hispanic whites and wealthy residents — such as areas in Manhattan, Long Island, or upstate New York — likely had overcounts.

“However, without specific Latino undercount data and data on other New York population groups throughout the state, we cannot determine precisely where and to what extent these population groups were missed. 

“Data from the 2020 Census have already been used to apportion the U.S. House of Representatives and for redistricting, despite the considerable flaws in the number of Latinos.  In addition, unless the Bureau takes action to analyze and mitigate the impact of the undercount, these flawed data will now guide the distribution of more than $1.5 trillion in annual federal funding to states and localities based on an incorrect snapshot of our population.  Without reliable state-by-state data on the undercount for different population groups and localities, stakeholders cannot be fully engaged partners in the much-needed efforts to mitigate the effect of the undercounts on funding formulas and the fair allocation of resources.  These data will also enhance the ability of stakeholders to help the Bureau assess the impact of the undercounts on the enforcement of civil rights protections and other purposes for which census data are used.  Additionally, these data would also be invaluable for Census 2030 planning efforts. 

“We understand the Census Bureau’s position that the PES sample size is not adequate enough to produce data that meet the Bureau’s standards for every demographic group in each state or many localities in the nation.  Thus, we urge the Bureau to research and make available data from other sources that could help illuminate the accuracy of Census 2020 data for localities.  This research will also inform the Bureau’s work to ameliorate the impact of Census 2020 undercounts. 

“Ultimately, with several factors likely contributing to the national Latino undercount in the 2020 Census, the release of more detailed state and local data will also provide a crucial opportunity for the Bureau to rebuild its trust with the public.  The data would also enable stakeholders to work together with the Bureau on one of the toughest tasks it must undertake — making fundamental changes to how it counts the U.S. population in a manner that will significantly enhance the accuracy and fairness of the enumeration.”

Key Findings of the PES Data: PES Net Undercount Information – State The state net undercounts ranged from 1.92 percent in Texas to 5.04 percent in Arkansas. The states with undercounts include: Arkansas (5.04 percent) Florida (3.48 percent) Tennessee (4.78 percent) Mississippi (4.11 percent) Illinois (1.97 percent) Texas (1.92 percent)   PES Net Undercount Information – National The national PES data were the Census Bureau’s first official estimate of the accuracy of Census 2020.  It is a statistical analysis of a survey of the nation’s population.  Comparing the PES and Census 2020 data determines who was missed or counted in error in Census 2020. The PES data released in March revealed that Census 2020 undercounted 4.99 percent of the Latino population — 3.45 percentage points higher than the Census 2010 Latino undercount of 1.54 percent.  Moreover, the increase in this undercount is more than threefold from Census 2010. For the nation as a whole, the PES found a 1.64 percent overcount of those who identified exclusively as non-Hispanic white.   Youth Undercount Information  The PES did not provide an estimate specifically for Latino children or any children at the state and local level, and further statistical analysis is needed to illuminate 1.) the undercount of Latino children and 2.) where these undercounts occurred. At the national level, the PES revealed that Census 2020 undercounted 2.79 percent of very young children (ages 0–4), which is 2.07 percentage points higher than the Census 2010 undercount of this population group (0.72 percent).  The increase in this undercount is more than threefold from Census 2010. In 2016, research spearheaded by demographer Dr. William O’Hare found that the net undercount rate for very young Latino children ages 0–4 was 7.1 percent, compared to 4.3 percent for non-Latinos — with Census 2010 missing nearly 400,000 very young Latino children. Given that more than one out of every four American children are Latino, these figures represent a severe undercount of very young Latino children once again.

###About NALEO Educational Fund
NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

June 2022 – Cuentos from Our Work

Felicidades to Graduates from El Centro de la Raza!!

Graduation is always an exciting time at El Centro de la Raza. From 8th grade promotion to high school graduation, scholars enrolled in our youth services programs are celebrating their accomplishments.

Latina/o Excellence is the main theme for the season. This year, all graduating scholars received a sarpe graduation stole, serving as a reminder that our cultures are part of our success.

For our middle school youth promotion, their graduation stole says ‘Class of 2026’. This is no error. Our hope is that this sash will serve as inspiration for them to reach high school graduation.

Inevitably the question comes up, what are you going to do next?

For Kimberly, a senior from Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way, the answer is, “Right now, I just want to live in this moment, soak in this celebration. There was a time that I didn’t know if we would have a ceremony, so just being able to walk the stage is a moment I want to remember forever!”

Our Work Study Program at El Centro de la Raza

The work at El Centro de la Raza would not be possible without the brilliant Work Study students from our community.  They bring a renewed sense of possibility and energy and rejuvenate organizations by bringing the latest research.

This last quarter, we benefited immensely from the relentless work of two Work Study partners in the field of Social Work who helped our development department.  They worked in our procurement efforts to secure gifts to auction for our major fundraising event, the Beloved Community Gala, and later they focused on supporting our communications efforts, to tell the stories of our work. 

Marla Perez and Juan Galvez, we are so grateful for your work and applaud your work in the community and the visions you hold for the community work you will continue to do! Congratulations on your graduation and attaining your Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Washington!

Juan Galvez

To Juan, El Centro de la Raza’s fifty years of work is “a testimony of real change, fueled by empathy and good will.”  El Centro’s work is not only about serving the community, it is the community.  For him, letting the multiracial, and especially the Latinx community, know what services are available to them was a big motivator for working with El Centro de la Raza. It also inspires Juan by showing him what is possible- his goal is to create a non-profit organization that supports immigrants in King County.

Juan was born and raised in Michoacán, Mexico and migrated to Washington when he was 16 years old. He attended high school at Lake Chelan, graduated from Western Washington University with a double major in Sociology & Spanish in 2018, and completes his Masters of Social Work at the University of Washington this June.

After graduation, he will be working for the Department of Children Youth and Families for the upcoming two years.  Thereafter, he will start working as a school social worker and plan the development of a non-profit organization that will support undocumented Latinx immigrants in King County.

Beyond his work, we asked Juan to tell us something that would surprise people about him.

“I am a singer and song writer that has music in all streaming platforms! I am also currently a part of a group called “Los Preferidos del Ejido,” a new project that includes multiple talented musicians from all over the state of Washington.”

Marla Perez

Marla chose to work at El Centro de la Raza because the organization is committed to serving and empowering the individuals and communities. She wanted to learn about the organization’s efforts and support in raising awareness about their services so that as many people as possible could access their programs and resources. 

“What I find to be really unique about ECDLR is that they take different approaches to address systemic issues causing inequality and oppression while simultaneously supporting the people impacted by it.  ECDLR takes a holistic approach to support their employees, community, and society and I truly admire all that they do.”

Marla was born in Compostela, Nayarit and raised in Bothell, WA by a single mother with the help of all her siblings. Her love for her mother, sisters, and family has given her the strength to work towards supporting her community and her family. She completed her Bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Western Washington University, while working for C2C a mentoring initiative. After graduating, she worked as a sexual assault therapist at Consejo Counseling for two years. This June, she graduates with her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Washington. 

In Marla’s experience, ECDLR encourages self-care, compassion, accountability, initiative, activism, respect, community, and empowerment. Those are all things she believes in and strives to incorporate into her own personal and professional life. Through her life experiences, she has realized the significant effects of the systemic and internalized racism in our society. She has also seen how much damage the lack of access to information, resources, and community can have on children, individuals, and families. Marla says, “I am now committed to empowering, supporting, and advocating for children and families who have experienced trauma and connecting them to the necessary information and appropriate services to promote their healing, stability, and success.” 

 Beginning this summer, Marla will be working for DCYF as a child and family welfare social worker. After completing her contract with them, she would like to eventually have her own practice serving survivors of trauma, specifically within the Latinx community. 

Something people might be surprised to know about Marla is that I travel every chance she gets! “After studying abroad in Spain when I was 19, I haven’t stopped. I loved Italy and would love to live there for a short period at some point of my life, maybe after a learn more of the language!”

Dental Health- A Community Effort

We would like to thank everyone for their partnership with this first event of the King County Adult Dental Program (KCADP) for our most recent dental clinic!

We scheduled 12 patients– the maximum we were allowed to schedule ahead of time! We had a total of 7 walk ins, four of which we were able to accommodate, and an additional three we referred to our public health dental clinics.

Folks were also enrolled into Apple Health (Medicaid), the Breast, Cervical, Colon Health Program (BCCHP) and distributed Orca Lift cards! We are grateful to volunteers and our community partners who made this possible!

Thank you once again.

Have a magnificent day!

Events: June – July 2022

July 16, 2022: Summer Market at El Centro de la Raza!

Come enjoy the summer with an outdoor market, local food vendors, and entertainment for the whole family! // Ven a disfrutar del verano con un mercado al aire libre, vendedores de comida locales, y entretenimiento para toda la familia!

Event: Summer Market // Mercado de Verano

Date: Saturday, July 16, 2022

Time: 10:00 AM  4:00 PM

Location: Plaza Roberto Maestras, 1650 S Roberto Maestas Festival Street, Seattle WA 98144

July 16, 2022: Somos Seattle Pride Celebration at El Centro de la Raza!

Everyone is invited free event to celebrate our 4th Annual Seattle Latinx Pride Festival! Let’s celebrate our LGBTQ and Latino/a/x identities

Acompañanos en el cuarto festival del Orgullo LGBTQ Latino! Ven celebrar el orgullo de la comunidad Gay, Lesbiana, Bi, Trans Latina.


Event: 4th Seattle Latinx Pride Festival

Date: Saturday, July 16, 2022

Time: 5:00 PM -10:00 PM

Location: Plaza Roberto Maestras, 1650 S Roberto Maestas Festival Street, Seattle WA 98144

August 13: Movie Night at El Centro! Noche de Pelicula!

El Centro de la Raza looks forward to our monthly market to support our local businesses and to host a movie night!

More information to follow as the date approaches in the link below!

Event: Noche de Pelicula y Mercado!

Date: Saturday, August 13, 2022

Time: 10:00 AM  8:00 PM

Location: Plaza Roberto Maestras, 1650 S Roberto Maestas Festival Street, Seattle WA 98144

October 8: Reserve your tickets for our 5oth Anniversary Gala now!

Celebrate 50 triumphant years of El Centro de la Raza with us at our annual Building the Beloved Community Gala on October 8th, 2022. It has been an honor to spend the last half-century dedicating our work towards serving our community, and we have so many people that we are grateful to. We want to dedicate this momentous anniversary year to:

  • Pioneers of social change, including advocates for mutli-racial unity, shepherds of anti-war movements, local faith communities, volunteers, and activists
  • The people who originally occupied the old Beacon Hill school in the name of dignity and for a better life for the Latino community
  • Our generous supporters from all walks of life, who have made it possible for us to continue our work, from 1972 to this present day

It is an honor to still be here today providing critical services, life-changing opportunities, developing resiliency, and hope. We are so fortunate to not only be surviving, but thriving, with all thanks due to our incredible community of supporters, donors, residents, and staff.


Join us on Saturday, October 8, 2022 for our 50th Anniversary Building the Beloved Community Gala and take part in an exciting live event that raises funds for vital programs and services that benefit more than 21,000 individuals and families across our region. The evening also includes the presentation of our Roberto Felipe Maestas Legacy Awards & Scholarships. Registration will become available later this year.

Please call (206) 957-4649 or email for more information.

Upcoming Events – May-June 2022

Redistricting Discussions Resume

May 19, 2022 – In response to the drastic growth of Seattle since 2010 of 21.1%, the Seattle Redistricting Commission is currently examining how to redraw the boundaries of Seattle’s seven City Council Districts and is inviting community members to learn about the process and provide feedback at upcoming public forums. They are considering expanding boundary lines in District 1, 2, 5, and 6 and contracting Districts 3, 4, and 7.

This is an opportunity to present our concerns and ask questions about how redistricting can impact civic engagement, geographic boundaries, and waterways.

We will be hosting one at El Centro de la Raza, and invite you to register and join in person or virtually if you can.

Register in advance at

District 2 Public Forum: May 19, 2022 from 5:30pm-7:30pm
Thursday, 19th of Mayo
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
El Centro de la Raza, Centilia Cultural Center
1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival St, Seattle, WA 98144
In-Person or Virtual:

Art for (Summer) Days with Beacon Arts!

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!

June 11| July 9 | Aug 13 | Sept

10:00AM- 4:00PM @ Roberto Maestas Festival Street

Two more weeks to nominate a Community Leader for the Roberto Maestas Legacy Award!

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.

Pictures from Recent Events

For the first time since 2019, we were able to celebrate our culture with you all again in-person! Thank you to everyone who attended despite the chilly weather to dance, play, and support our local artists and vendors!

Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more coverage of our events, including pictures and videos from our events:

Facebook | Instagram | Our Event on Fox 13!

May 2022 – Cuentos from Our Work

Sister Innovators in Education, Teacher Mari and Teacher Titi

Between both sisters, Teacher Mari Rico and Teacher Martha Diaz have almost half a century at El Centro de La Raza! Not only has their work shaped several generations in our community, they continue to shape the landscape early child development by pioneering federally-recognized programs and techniques that incorporate bilingualism, cultivate a feeling of belonging, and foster lifelong commitments to social justice in early childhood development

2022 marks Teacher Mari’s 25th year at El Centro de la Raza, where she oversees the Luis Alfonso Velasquez Afterschool Program. For Teacher Martha, she is entering her 23rd year at The Jose Marti Child Development Center!

Teacher Mari Rico

While working full-time, Mari obtained her (CDA) Child Developmental Associate’s degree at Seattle Central Community College, and her (AAAS) Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences with a specialization in Bilingual/Bicultural Education at Shoreline Community College. She then completed a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Education from the Praxis Institute, and a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Master’s Degree from Goddard College.

Under Mari’s supervision, the Luis Alfonso Velásquez Afterschool Program achieved accreditation from the National Afterschool Association in 2008.  In 2018, School’s Out Washington recognized Mari with its Champion Award. As a STARS state-approved trainer and Early Childhood Education coach, she also trains other teachers in the field.

When asked how she manages to teach and find time to learn, innovate, and contribute to her field, she said it makes her job easier. Teaching as a profession is constantly evolving; everything from toys to technology is continually changing, and staying ahead of the curve is important to meet students where they are.

Classrooms at El Centro de la Raza create a sense of family, which includes a feeling of responsibility and being agents of community empowerment. For this reason, kids in her program often participate in marches and encouraging civic engagement in their families.

One of the most rewarding parts of Mari’s program is seeing students return, who sometimes enrolled as early as age one! Students have come back to work and volunteer at El Centro, invite her to their graduations, and some have even proudly brought their children to meet her.

Teacher Martha Diaz

Martha Diaz is also a pioneer in the field of bilingual education at the national and international level in early childhood education.

For Martha, creativity and art are essentials for teaching–especially when it comes to teaching more complex issues around social justice and inclusivity. In the classroom, she uses poetry, music, and all mediums of visual arts, including changing the décor to reinforce lesson plans. Students are invited to bring in artifacts from their home culture to teach appreciation of other cultures.

Bilingualism is as imperative for a native English or Spanish speaker in our classrooms, and children are taught that all languages have equal value. It is a truly unique environment, especially for children of color, that strengthens their confidence and gives Martha a deep feeling of commitment to her classrooms at El Centro de la Raza.

Martha Diaz’s preschool classroom is a model for the Soy Bilingüe approach and receives visitors from across the country and globe. In her classroom, Martha implements educational strategies from the Seattle Early Education Collaborative (SEEC), Early Childhood and Assistance Program (ECEAP), and Creative Curriculum as well as maintaining standards of accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAYEC).  As a part of her graduate studies at Goddard College, Ms. Diaz created a visualization of the 100-Point Soy Bilingüe Preschool Assessment Tool, earning her MA in Education with the Dual Language ECE Concentration. Martha is an extraordinary, creative, and conscientious educator and learner. With nearly twenty-three years of experience at El Centro de la Raza’s José Martí Child Development Center, she has achieved incredible outcomes for children in their language and literacy development, their socio-emotional development, and their anti-bias and cultural competency development.

When asked about what it was like to work with their sibling, both reported a strong sense of gratitude. They have the unparalleled honesty shared between siblings for constructive criticism, and enjoy comparing notes on the latest methodologies that help them bring the most innovative advances to their classrooms. Along with our students, we echo our appreciation for the lifechanging innovations they are bringing to the field of education and future generations to come in our community.

A Call that led to Housing, Employment, Day Care and more for one family

Once a family is enrolled in our programs, Susan Banhegyi’s work begins. As our Family Navigator, she meets one-on-one with parents and caregivers to get to know parents and caregivers and help them navigate available services in King County, and create a warm connection between our participants and other service providers that are linguistically and culturally appropriate.

In April, Susan received a call from a participant who was having trouble attaining housing. She and her baby daughter, who has down syndrome, had been living in a drafty mobile home full of leaks and their landlord had asked them to leave by the end of the month. Despite applying to several apartment complexes, she was not approved because of her lack of credit history. Additionally, she had no proof of income as she was paid in cash.

Within four days after contacting Susan connected the participant with our partners at Seamar, mother and daughter were approved for housing. At the same time, Susan worked with her to apply for Supplemental Security Income, secure childcare, and employment.

Next steps? Susan is helping the participant connect with legal services for support with immigration paperwork and counseling services.

As a single mother herself, Susan is constantly inspired by her participants’ resilience and resourcefulness. She asserts, “I am always mesmerized how single moms manage to excel even when having every hardship thrown their way.” She is able to meet her clients where they are on a personal level; as a single mom, she put herself through school while working full time too.

Through her work, she is helping our community tackle homelessness by working with one family at a time to secure safe housing.

In April, Susan made 54 referrals like this and continues to build connections with external partners to provide holistic solutions to help families not only survive, but excel.

Without emergency funds, families run the risk of becoming homeless, going hungry or becoming ill. If you can please consider donating!

Connecting our Senior Citizens with Katie Yuen

Katie Yuen

In a time when Seattle’s cost of living has sky-rocketed, seniors in our community on fixed incomes have faced even deeper isolation and tough choices during the pandemic. In response, our Community Connector, Katie Yuen, has worked with seniors to connect them with our food bank and programs and external public benefits and services to make sure our seniors don’t have to choose between paying housing, healthcare, utilities and food. In honor of her work and this month celebrating the aging community, we share Ms. Lew’s story.

Ms Lew is a retired senior and longtime resident of Beacon Hill. Since her husband passed away many years ago, Ms. Lew has lived alone and relied on social security benefits. Until the pandemic, this was enough, but as prices for everything increased, her benefits did not cover her expenses and she needed food assistance.

Despite the tough situation, she reached out to El Centro de la Raza and was immediately at ease when she met Katie, who was able to speak with her in her native Cantonese. Katie relates deeply to the experience of many immigrant seniors in her care on a personal level. She remembers when her parents newly migrated a social worker at a nonprofit changed their lives by helping them navigate the public benefit system in their own language. This experience changed her family’s life, and has inspired her work with El Centro de la Raza for five years now!

Katie helped Ms. Lew apply for Fresh Bucks program for food and introduced her to El Centro de la Raza’s staff and Food Bank. She now looks forward to coming to el Centro’s Food Bank to also connect with community in her language– our Food Bank Coordinator also speaks her language!

In the last six months, Katie has assisted more than 95 seniors with public benefit applications and has helped them feel like they have a home at El Centro de la Raza.

To support work like Katie’s, please consider donating or volunteering with us!

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

From Nicaragua to the Embassy of Guatemala

“I give it a ten,” said Fatima Trana de Flores, when she was asked how important El Centro de La Raza is for the Hispanic community.   

Originally and very proudly Nicaraguan, Fatima Trana de Flores was happy to share her story about how El Centro de La Raza helped her interview and land a job at the Embassy of Guatemala. 

Like many immigration stories, she spent several years separated from her husband, as he worked in the US several years before she could join him.  Once she arrived, it took time to adjust to the climate, food, different culture, but the hardest by far was the language barrier.  

When she indicated to her human resource manager where she worked that she wanted to grow professionally, they referred her to El Centro de La Raza to find training opportunities for Spanish-speakers.  Though she had worked in Nicaragua, she definitely appreciated the ability to refresh several work skills she had not used in a while. 

Through El Centro de La Raza, she was able to improve her resume, develop her office skills, practice job interviewing, and find a great fit by attending career fairs.  

Her recommendation? Always study to better yourself as a worker and a person.  She encourages people to study and to find ways to contribute their grain of sand to the economy and development of this country.   

Fatima says her next steps include practicing English on a daily and eventually, she hopes to find work in defense of human rights with a nonprofit or government agency and address gender violence, in particular. We look forward to continuing to see her grow and inspire! 

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.

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.