While times have changed since El Centro was founded in 1976, one thing that has stayed constant is our commitment to the people of Wyandotte and Johnson Counties, particularly the growing Hispanic population.
The mission of El Centro, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, is “strengthening communities and improving lives of Latinos and others through educational, social, and economic opportunities.”
El Centro was established in 1976 with a $10,000 grant from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, along with the blessing of Archbishop Ignatius J. Strecker, Father Ramon Gaitan, the commitment of the Cordi Marian Sisters, and a group of energetic and caring community members who saw a need for an organization to address the needs and concerns of Kansas City, Kansas’ Hispanic population. With that care and commitment, El Centro de Servicios para Hispanos was born.
Fast-forward to the present day. In the intervening years since our humble beginnings, we have grown from a single location to three locations in Kansas City, Kansas and Olathe, serving more than 12,000 individuals and families per year. Our programming has evolved from our first program for elders – the Senior Day Program – to include The Academy for Children – a dual-language Pre-K program, workshops on money-management and home ownership, health education and healthy living outreach through our Promotoras de Salud (Health Promoters) volunteers, health navigation and intervention, and our policy and advocacy efforts for issues of special interest to our community.