Instead of highlighting a staff member this month, we are highlighting the Latino Community Association, a partner of ours doing amazing work in Central Oregon. We spoke with Daniel Altamirano Hernandez who is currently the Interim Executive Director of Administration, Policy, and Partnerships and has a long history with the LCA. He, along with all of the staff, is extremely passionate about the work they do and is dedicated to the mission. Daniel is very honored to be the first Latinx Executive Director at the organization.
Latino Community Association (LCA) started off as a hotline in a church in 1993 and has now grown into an established non-profit with 20 staff and over a thousand volunteers. The mission of the LCA is to “Empower our Latino families to thrive, creating opportunities for advancement and building bridges that unite and strengthen us all.” Daniel emphasized that LCA utilizes a first-person and family-centered approach to meet families where they are. They use a holistic approach to make sure that the families receive wrap-around services and are connected to whatever resources or services they want to be connected to.
A unique aspect of the organization is that they are Latino led and 100 percent of the staff are bilingual, including board members. In fact, many of the staff at LCA either started as a client or a volunteer. LCA is currently the only non-profit serving the Central Oregon Latinx/Hispanic population specifically and is proud to have offices in Bend, Redmond, Madras, and Prineville.
LCA started off as mainly referral based, but over time they have been able to provide services in-house. LCA listens to the needs of the community and adapts to find ways to meet those needs. The most recent example of this, Daniel said, is having in-house immigration-accredited representatives for families to receive assistance if they can’t afford to get assistance from a lawyer. They have also recently added in-house tax assistance and OHP enrollment assistance, along with other benefits.
Healthy families, youth development, and workforce empowerment are just a few of the many programs the LCA offers. When talking about their different programs, Daniel made the astute observation that Latinx communities often experience stigma when applying for work- their work and education experience isn’t as valued as white applicants- and because of this, he is proud that LCA is able to offer workforce empowerment support to the community.
How can you connect with this great organization? LCA has an open-door policy, so if you are looking to get connected with them you can always visit one of their office sites or give them a phone call. We recommend that everyone follow them on social media and subscribe to their newsletter. If you are looking to volunteer you can sign up on their website. Latino Fest is coming up on September 9th from 11 am to 5 pm in Madras. It is the only Latino cultural fest in Central Oregon and it is an amazing event that all should support. We can’t wait to be there with them!