As we come to the end of our 2016, we stand ready to embark on the next 40 years and beyond! However, before we sprint off into the future, we take time to reflect on our beginnings and how El Centro was shaped through the use of “Head, Heart, and Hands”.

Father Ramon Gaitan, Richard A. Ruiz, and caring community members used their Heads when they saw a need for a place where people could gather and share a sense of community. Many of those they saw were becoming isolated in their homes through not having a place to go where both they and their culture and language would be valued. The Cordi Marian sisters joined this movement as they felt in their Hearts a place was needed for these community members. With that thought, along with a $10,000 grant from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, and the skills of many Hands, El Centro was born.

From then until now, El Centro has grown over the past 40 years to serving over 18,500 individuals last year by engaging those “Head, Heart, and Hands”. Through our vast network of partners, advocates and beneficiaries, El Centro works with each individual and each family creating this place we call community!

El Centro is uniquely positioned to bring those services and programs to Spanish-speaking   people to assist them in finding those “Heads, Hearts, and Hands” to make their family—their community—a better, stronger place. For each child who graduates from our dual-language Academy for Children ready for Kindergarten, for each person who gains work skills through computer classes and learns more about their rights when it comes to workplace safety, for each family who now understands how to end the cycle of poverty through our one-on-one counseling or group classes by one of our Economic Empowerment Team, for each person who works through the challenges of healthcare by teaming with one of our Health Navigators, and for each neighborhood that accesses information about healthy eating and healthy living, all on a budget through our Promotoras de Salud, people see how the Head, Heart, and Hands of those who access our services and those who provide our services work together to establish those community connections to make the community a stronger, more healthy, and better educated place.

Please consider closing our 40th anniversary year on a high note by making a financial contribution to El Centro. By your becoming one of the Head, Heart, and Hands that we need to be able to do the work we do in the community, it can only become better, stronger, and more dynamic. You can donate online via this website by pushing the donate button  or at http://razmobile.com/25294 .

Wishing you all the blessings of the season and a most Happy New Year!

Irene Caudillo

President & CEO