Serving Families Since 1919
According to the National Register for Historic Places, the Guadalupe Centers is the Longest Continuously Operating Agency Serving Latinos in the United States.
During the early 1900’s in exodus of the hardships caused by the Mexican Revolution, many Mexican nationals began to leave their homeland in pursuit of a better life for both themselves and their families. These Mexican immigrants followed jobs to the north in areas of migrant farming, railroad and livestock. While many stopped in the already predominant Mexican-American Southwest, others went further north and decided to settle in the Westside Community of Kansas City, Missouri.
Upon their arrival, the Mexican immigrants faced yet another hardship. Discrimination. Mexican children were not allowed into certain schools, while their parents were not allowed to shop in many places. The Mexicans were also exploited in the workplace and basic services offered by area hospitals and government agencies were not granted to the Mexicans. Not knowing where to turn or how to respond, the need for basic services within the Mexican community continued to grow.
To answer this growing need, a Catholic women’s club in 1919 decided to establish a volunteer school and clinic for the underprivileged Mexican immigrants who had settled in the Westside. Naming the entity after the patron saint of Mexico, the Guadalupe Center became one of the nation’s first social service agencies for Latinos and has grown to be the heart of the Latino community within Kansas City.
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I work every day, pay my bills but there came a day when I knew my drinking was destroying me, I could see it in the mirror staring back at me. I didn’t want anyone to know, I randomly called Guadalupe Center, I figured there, no one would know me. The counselor worked with me and let me see her individually she didn’t make me do the groups at first, I didn’t want to. It took me a while but I stopped drinking, I learned that I wasn’t an alcoholic rather a woman, mom, wife, that was “is” living with a disorder. A treatable disorder. I am 11 months clean now. I started groups eventually and I love them. I am not alone. The random call I made nearly a year ago, has changed my life, I am feeling better. Signed: B