Latinos Unidos Envisions a More Empowered York
How one organization is building a structure to uplift Latinos and York as a whole
It’s one thing to gather a few survey responses. It’s another thing to take a grassroots approach and meet people where they’re at. For Latinos Unidos of York, the latter method is where the real change occurs.
Jose Santiago, Chair at Latinos Unidos, says, “We spend a lot of time in neighborhoods talking to families and finding out what their actual needs are.”
For the past few years, the team at Latinos Unidos has been working on a lofty mission: empowering the Latino community and strengthening bonds to promote social, civic, and economic integration of Latino families in York.
One of the key ways they’re doing this is by developing a partner network of services that can help community members. Angie Garrison, Secretary of Latinos Unidos, says, “The services are already available. It’s just bringing the people to where they need to be.”
The organization’s new Ambassadors Program helps to connect the Latino community through events, bringing awareness to issues that the organization can address, and fostering a sense of community empowerment.
Latinos Unidos also has a talent pipeline to build the professional network of Latinos workers in York, as well as a rating system designed to inform community members of the quality of services available to them. They collaborate with community partners to hold events like Spanish children’s book drives, conversational Spanish classes for York City’s police and fire departments, and even Second Friday Latino nights at varying locations in York.
Through all this work, Santiago and Garrison hope to achieve a vibrant, connected Latino community that reaches its full potential. With a growing team of volunteers and board members (including Vice Chair Delma Rivera, Treasurer Jose Colon-Bones, Liliana Garcia-Fisher, Sandra Quinones, and Jonell Ruiz), they’re picking up steam.
All of the people working tirelessly to make an impact through Latinos Unidos are volunteers with full-time jobs and busy personal lives. As Santiago reckons, “It’s all about serving community. It’s not about us.”
What is your hope for York County in the next five years?
“Latinos Unidos’s hope for the York Latino community is that they are connecting to resources with more confidence and ease. Also, that our partner organizations will have the correct information to meet those ever changing and growing needs. LU hopes that our efforts will foster a more united and understanding York County.”
– Jose Santiago, Chair, Latinos Unidos
- 2 W. MARKET ST. YORK, PA 17401