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.

April Noticias and Articles Relevant to Our Community

Vendor Food Schedule

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


May Day Fest streaming on May 1st at 6p

Register for the event, here.


Upcoming Events in the Community

Nia Tero & SIFF’s cINeDIGENOUS showcase

Nia Tero and Seattle International Film Festival’s cINeDIGENOUS showcase

This program focuses on global Indigenous filmmakers sharing Indigenous stories and culture. Centering Indigenous art and artists amplifies voices and perspectives that are essential to our global well-being. cINeDIGENOUS is curated and presented in partnership with Nia Tero.

Articles of Interest

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

An Overview perspective of the U.S / Mexico Border

White House Releases State-by-State Fact Sheets to Highlight Nationwide Need for the American Jobs Plan

Pew: 5% of 2019 US Black Population Identifies as Afro-Latino

Study indicates the Jan. 6 riots were motivated by racism and white resentment, not ‘election theft’

CDC Director Says Racism Is ‘serious public health threat’

Who Are The Insurrectionists and Where Did They Come From?

On Tuesday, March 30th Washington State Senate Voted to Ban For-Profit Prisons

What WA can learn from Native communities’ vaccination plan

Cuentos From Our Programs and Community: April

Marisa*, 77, is one of our senior lunch program’s longest-standing participants. She has been joining us for lunch since 2004 or 2005 since she met Raquel, one of our program coordinators. Marisa has also supported the community by volunteering with our food bank and with other senior programs. She says the program has helped her with many parts of her life and she has met many people over the years, being part of this community. Marisa is a great example for our community and a wonderful member of it. We appreciate her support, her presence, and the love she brings with her.

*Name has been changed for privacy


Latino Legislative Day 2021

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 discussions around 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. During the cultural enrichment segment, the lessons offered are providing youth a social justice framework.


A story about El Centro de la Raza & The Plate Fund

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 resources, 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 was not able to 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 further income but were in dire need of financial support as they had medical expenses as well as housing and food expenses. Due to the language barrier, technology barrier, and limited ability to read or write, the family had a difficult time accessing resources for relief. 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


Vaping is Not My Thing Contest

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 stance to say no to vaping and encourage their peers to steer away from vaping dangers. We are very proud of them both! Below is one of our scholar’s entries.

March Noticias and Articles Relevant to Our Community

Latino Legislative Day

“Allow yourself to ask your community for help” – Nina Martinez Board Chair of Latino Civic Alliance.
on March 16th, LCA hosted the annual Latino Legislative Day. The program featured experts on COVID-19 and the Latino community, advocates for safer policing in crisis, and folks working towards reopening schools safely. We look forward to continuing to participate in this day and advocating for our Latino community. Latinos have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and are disproportionately forgotten when it comes to the vaccine. We appreciate points of view from our diverse Latino community advocating for the safety and support of our community.

Articles of Interest

Union leader Pedro Espinoza named to Housing Finance Commission

The ‘Crisis’ at the Border Won’t End Until We Admit We Need Immigrants at Least as Much as They Need Us (OPINION)

TRABAJEMOS JUNTOS PARA VENCER AL COVID-19(VIDEO) 

Free Multilingual Tech Support

Seattle NAACP among dozens of groups now supporting full ban on credit scoring in insurance

Important Statements from AAPI Community Orgs in Seattle

National CAPACD is Devastated by Loss of Lives in Atlanta Shootings

Love to all Massage Parlor Workers & Those Harmed by White Supremacist Violence – API Chaya

ACRS Mourns Georgia Shooting Victims, Calls for Solutions to Root Causes of Anti-Asian Violence

El Centro de la Raza’s COVID Relief Fund

El Centro de la Raza’s COVID Relief Fund

Mil gracias for your generosity and support of our Emergency Response Fund during the COVID-19 pandemic. You are helping community members rebuild their self-sufficiency during one of the worst crises in our history. With your help, we are providing emergency assistance to struggling families and small business owners. Our Emergency Response Fund has expanded our ability to answer calls for help from our community members.

With the rollout of the vaccine this year, 2021 presents opportunities for us to heal our communities and restore our local economy by getting families back to work and our children back to school. Until then, we will continue to help our community members weather the pandemic.