Casa Latina Inc (Florence, MA)

Name

  • Name:Amy Calandrella
  • Title:Grant Writer

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Casa Latina Inc
  • Address:140 Pine St
    Rm 5
    Florence, MA 01062
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:413-586-1569

Organization Web

User Email

Location

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General

  • Mission:
  • Casa Latina, Inc. is a community organization committed to promoting Latino empowerment and cultural pride in Hampshire County through providing services, developing educational spaces, and facilitating individual and collective action for social change among members of the Latino community.

  • Overview:
  • Founded by Latino community residents over 40 years ago, Casa Latina is the only Latino-led and Latino-focused community organization committed to promoting Latino empowerment and cultural pride in Hampshire county Massachusetts through providing services, developing educational spaces, and facilitating individual and collective action for social change among members of the Latino community.

    Annually, Casa Latina serves 1,000 low to moderate income Latino residents throughout Hampshire County of Massachusetts, primarily in the towns of Northampton, Easthampton, Hadley, and Amherst. These residents reflect an increasingly diverse community representing Puerto Rican, Salvadoran, Ecuadorian, Guatemalan, Peruvian, Mexican and other Central and South American nationalities.

    In addition to community organizing, and educational programming, Casa Latina provides access service - namely information and referral and case management services. Casa Latina's bilingual staff helps Latino families access employment opportunities; domestic violence support; health care; public assistance offices; food pantries; housing; child care resource programs; transportation resources; and immigration resources amongst other human services.

    Casa Latina's information, referral and case management services respond to over 700 non-duplicated requests for services from Latino residents of Hampshire County each year. We act as a refuge and resource for accessing culturally and linguistically appropriate services for a Latino community that is growing.

    Community education groups that Casa Latina has facilitated have included topics of financial literacy, domestic violence, and Latino leadership. As a result of the financial literacy community education group, 10 women and girls opened local savings accounts with bank that matched their savings goals. As a result of the Latino leadership education group four new Latin residents joined the organization's board of directors.

    Our yearly "Encuentro," or community meeting and "Three Kings Day Celebration," a cultural celebration in which gifts are given to children, draws more than 250 Latino residents. These events have successfully brought together Latino families who are generally isolated from each other and the community as a whole. Through these events, Latino residents are introduced to Casa Latina's services, and invited to become more active participants in the community.

    Casa Latina has long-standing and effective community partnerships with a wide variety of institutions and local service agencies. Our information and referral and case management services are founded on collaborations with the Department of Transitional Assistance, health and mental health providers, local community colleges, food pantries, interpretive services, elder services, childcare agencies, housing authorities, governing bodies, and other agencies in Hampshire County.

    Our bilingual and bi-cultural staff are expert in conducting outreach, building relationships, fostering trust, and maintaining connections throughout the community. The long-standing relationships with residents is reflected in the high-number of word-of-mouth referrals we receive through both community members and agency partners. Furthermore, the small size of our organization permits every employee and volunteer to be full knowledgeable about all aspects of Casa Latina's work. It also allows us to incorporate resident feedback into our programming and adapt to a shifting community needs.

    Casa Latina is committed to working from a perspective of community strength. We recognize the hardship and suffering within our community but will not be defined by it. Instead, our work is predicated on the potential of our community, a potential that is often hidden under layers of immediate needs and internalized oppression. Casa Latina's popular education projects challenge the systems and structures that presuppose that low-income Latinos are not capable of confronting, analyzing, and attempting to change our own marginalization. Through processes of active, collective, critical dialogue and analysis, our work provides local Latinos with tools for individual and community transformation.


  • History:
  • Casa Latina is an educational and cultural center established more than 40 years ago by area Latinos to represent, celebrate, and advocate for the Latino community in Hampshire County. Today, the organization promotes Latino empowerment and cultural pride through its educational programming, its community activities, and its access services.

    Casa Latina is the only Latino-led and Latino-focused organization in Hampshire County. Our mission is to promote self-sufficiency and a sense of community among local Latinos. We endeavor to fulfill this commitment by working directly with Latino residents to develop educational, access, and action programming based on the community’s capabilities and needs.

    As our community has grown and changed over the years, so has Casa Latina. The Latino population in Hampshire County has expanded significantly during the agency’s existence, and all demographic indicators point to its continued growth. In 1980, Latinos constituted 1.25% of the county’s population. Today, in Amherst and Northampton – the county’s most heavily populated municipalities – Latinos comprise, respectively, 10% of the Hampshire County population. In the Amherst and Northampton schools, Latino children represent 11.8% and 11.2% of overall enrollment.

    According to census data, there was a 34.1% increase in Hampshire County’s Latino population between 1990 and 2000, while the general population grew only 3.9%. We know that the increase in the Latino population is, in actuality, even greater than the data indicate, since there is a significant but uncounted percentage of Latinos here without legal documentation whose presence goes undetected in official statistics. The statistics are quite accurate, however, in their portrayal of the Latino community – locally as well as across the state – as constituting a disproportionate sector of the significantly disadvantaged. For over four decades, Casa Latina has served as a refuge and a resource for this growing Latino community.

  • Year established:1965
  • Endowment:Unknown

Staff

  • Executive / Trustee board size:7
  • Advisory board size:0
  • Staff size:2

Registration

  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID: