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La Casa de la Raza

Organization Mission

Since 1971, La Casa de la Raza, the Cesar Chavez Center, has provided a community center on the Eastside of Santa Barbara. Our mission is to develop and empower the Latino community by affirming and preserving Latino cultural heritage, providing an umbrella for services, and advocating for participation in the larger community. We provide both direct support and innovative programming. Through a spectrum of need-based programming, La Casa works to empower community members of all ages with information and skills needed to overcome obstacles and achieve personal successes.

Social Change Project:

La Casa de la Raza’s Family Resource Center provides consumer rights, advocacy, and empowerment assistance to more than 20 area residents per day. The families we work with are among the most disenfranchised, isolated, and undeserved in our community. Responding to high demand and the high-stress lives of our families, we began El Arte de Amarte/The Art of Loving Yourself in January 2019. These bilingual weekend workshops and support groups for adults and youth focus on immigration/legal rights and responsibilities, mental and physical wellness, cultural arts, and overall mindfulness for self-care.

I saw firsthand how people in our community are suffering from illnesses that are direct consequences of stress, anxiety, and depression. I wanted to take action and provide support to those affected. I reached out to staff at La Casa, who are highly qualified and have created a safe and trusting environment. I now teach Yoga classes and work with staff on a workshop series, "El Arte de Amarte/ The Art of Loving Yourself". Because La Casa has supported this vision, we have seen real changes in many people who have shown a significant increases in their physical and emotional well-being. The results speak for themselves when I see participants arrive early and excited to take the class or workshop. For many of us, La Casa de la Raza is an educational and wellness refuge in this community. It's emotional medicine that soothes the body. I am very grateful to La Casa for their support

- Lidia Medina