El Centro Humanitario Header

In This Issue

1. Welcoming new staff

2. Stored Value Card (SVC) program to begin!

3. Upcoming Events


Friday, Dec 12, 2008 6:30 p.m.

765 Santa Fe Drive, The Space Gallary

UC Denver Urban Citizens Project Presents:

Fusion Under the Stars: Silent Auction and Poker Tournament to benefit El Centro


January Open House at El Centro, Jan 27, 2009


Come learn more about the work of El Centro.  Light breakfast provided.  For more info or to RSVP, please contact Anne Dunlap, adunlap@centrohumanitario.org or call 303-292-4115, ext. 103.


Don’t forget, you can donate securely online!


2260 California Street, Denver,80205


December 2008

1. Welcoming New Staff

El Centro is excited to welcome 3 new staff members!

Raul Paz Pastrana -- Organizing Director

Born in a little town in Chihuahua, Mexico (Gomes Farías), Raúl migrated to the United States for the first time in 1992. Before arriving at Centro Humanitario as the Organizing Director, he worked as a labor organizer for SEIU Local 105 Justice For Janitors program, for the Economic Justice and Tax Fairness program at Colorado Progressive Coalition, and as an organizer/campaign coordinator for Rights for All People. He also works as a consultant along with Native Americans with the Village Earth Project where he facilitates vision and storyboard/film workshops at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and the North Amazon strip in Peru and Ecuador.  Raul’s work at El Centro will particularly focus on organizing workers in Aurora, and leadership development among workers in the Denver center.

Anne Dunlap, M.Div. -- Development & Outreach Director

A recent graduate of the Iliff School of Theology, Anne has worked in solidarity with justice issues, particularly concerning Latin Americans and immigrants, for 20 years.  Her work has included coordinating a ground-breaking program for the Presbyterian Church (USA)  and partner organizations in Mexico and Central America, which sought to replace traditional dependency models of mission with ones of mutuality and justice.  She has also worked with Latin American migrant and refugee communities in the US, as well as advocating for the rights of First Nations peoples. Anne is active in the Transform Columbus Day Alliance in Denver, and is a founding member of the Denver chapter of the Interfaith Worker Justice Committee.  Anne will assist with grant-writing and fundraising events, and work with faith communities to partner with El Centro.

Celeste “Cele” Frances Spink – Education Coordinator

Celeste was born and raised in different parts of Colorado, and is the oldest of six Indigenous children. As a Hopi/Diné/Colombian, Cele co-founded the Indigenous Youth Sovereignty Project (IYSP) with her aunt Mano three years ago, in hopes to offer Indigenous youth the tools for sustainable community building, and creative decolonization within the Denver-metro area. As a queer woman of color, Cele is dedicated to strengthening Equal Rights for the GLBTQ community with Queer People of Color Lounge (QPOC Lounge). Cele has recently made the transition from youth participant for the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)  to board member. Celeste is currently pursuing her B.A. in Psychology with a double minor in Political Science and Women's Studies at the University of Colorado at Denver, with the intent to attend law school in the future.

2. Stored Value Card (SVC) Program

El Centro Humanitario is enthusiastically ready to be the fourth group of the national banking program for low-wage workers by launching their pre-paid debit Mastercard. Unlike other prepaid cards on the market this card will have a low monthly fee, no fee on purchases and will help support our work by returning a percentage of the fees to El Centro. The card will allow low-wage workers to have a bank account and save money, while supporting an organization that they use, know, and trust. 

There are many great features to the card, including:

  1. Accepted worldwide wherever Mastercard is accepted.
  2. 100% approval; people with poor or no credit can also apply and save.
  3. Flexible ID requirements allow many immigrants who may be unable to open a bank account to have all the benefits of a bank account. 
  4. No minimum balance to start or continue using the card.
  5. Cardholders will also be able make free electronic payments to anyone, while building credit without any debt being issued out to them.  

Along with the card, El Centro will also be having workshops on how to best use the card.  Financial literacy classes will expand to help cardholders with money management and help workers avoid fringe-banking services (i.e. check cashing and pay day loans).  The card will be issued to members of El Centro Humanitario first, but will be available to the public starting on December 1st.

For more information, please contact Jesús Orrantia,  jorrantia@centrohumanitario.org or call 303.292.4115 ext. 101.

3. Special Holiday Event!

Feria Internacional de Comida – International Food Fair

Date:   Saturday, December 13,2008
Place:  El Centro Humanitario, 2260 California St. CO 80205
Time:    1pm-6pm

Enjoy home-made food from all over the Americas, along with music, poetry, and folkloric dancing.  Handmade crafts done by the Women’s Co-op from El Centro will be available for sale. We have tasted the food, and it’s fabulous!

Food sampler plate $10 per person,  discounts for the seconds!  All proceeds from food sales go to El Centro.  This fundraiser is planned and led (and cooked!) by the members of El Centro’s Women’s Program.

Happy folks “taste-testing”  the food for the Feria Internacional de Comida!

Have a good holiday season!