Friday, December 10th, 2021
An authentic legacy of culture, engagement, and direct services describes the Guadalupe Centers (GCI) community. Since the center’s inception in 1919, the stories of serving the Latino community and building a dedication to assist ALL people continues to be part of the Guadalupe Centers vision. From its history, to the current work in this community, Guadalupe Centers continues to build, motivated by its own vision.
Have you ever wondered about the Guadalupe Center’s vision? Or what it even means? Let’s dig in:
“Embracing our Latino legacy, and our opportunity to serve ALL cultures, the Guadalupe Centers is dedicated to improving the community and the quality of life for people of ALL ethnic backgrounds, and to the celebration of cultural heritage.”
So, let’s ask around? Check out a few responses of what the vision means to some of our Guadalupe Centers community members.
“To me, I feel that this means that although we may have Latino/Latinx roots, we are wanting to better the community as a whole and not just Latinos/Latinxs. We will try to do this by providing our services to everyone regardless of their background.”
– Natalie Brady, Human Resources Coordinator
“What this means to me is helping protect and preserve our Latino heritage and culture as best we can while also providing helpful services to those communities who need it the most. We support all backgrounds and enjoy helping those celebrate their heritage and cultural roots as well as sharing ours with our community.”
– Andres Chaurand, Community Affairs and Social Media Manager
“To me it’s about coming to help and get helped by people however they can, with whatever skills.”
– Josephine Rodriguez, Senior Center Participants
“Guadalupe Centers has and is a great personal passion for me and my family, and one I am proud to support and serve as a volunteer. It is a consistent and trusted staple in the Latino community providing much needed services for every stage of life. Building on our long history and traditions, I am excited for the future and new services and traditions we are creating. I am equally enthusiastic about broadening our services to welcome new cultures, and ultimately an important and vital resource for a better Kansas City.”
– CiCi Rojas, Guadalupe Centers 1st Board Vice Chair
Let’s break it down?
Embracing our Latino Legacy:
Our Latino Legacy is real whether at GCI or the people we continue to serve. In the early 1900’s during the Mexican Revolution many Mexican nationals left their homeland in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families. For many that meant residing in the Westside. Many facing discrimination, a lack of opportunity and community. To answer the important need within the growing Mexican community of the Westside a Catholic women’s club in 1919 decided to establish a volunteer school and clinic which eventually evolved into Guadalupe Centers, now one of the nation’s first social service agencies serving Latino communities in the United States.
We embrace it all.
Opportunity to serve all cultures:
While originally the center was moved to serve Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants, due to the needs of the Westside population, the center has evolved with the times by also extending its traditional services boundaries to include the Metropolitan Kansas City area regardless of race, to serve all underrepresented communities.
Dedicated to improving the community and the quality of life for people of all ethnic backgrounds:
The inclusive continuum of services that GCI offers ranges from health and social services, education, youth development, and adult training. The GCI staff, board, and in conjunction with our dedicated volunteers empowers approximately 10,000 individuals every year of diverse backgrounds.
The Celebration of cultural Heritage:
For most at the center this is every day, nevertheless the range of opportunities for the celebration of cultural heritage from food, partnership, and events. We take pride in our cultural events like Blanco Y Negro, Cinco De Mayo, Día De Los Muertos, hosting the Latino Arts Fair, and authentically remembering and sharing the true stories of Guadalupe Centers and its people.
The vision is strong, and continues to support the mission and people served by Guadalupe Center. It is clear the vision is important to the Guadalupe Centers as it continues to build and act out of the interest of the community we continue to serve.
So, what does the VISION mean to you?