Cristina Arellano, Receptionist
My name is Cristina and I came to La Casa Hogar originally in 2007. I took computer and parent education classes and then later I volunteered to teach STEM classes and throughout various events. From October 2013, until April 2018, I was as a teacher’s assistant in La Escuelita. During that time, I learned to work with preschoolers and received training in early childhood education, music, first aid, obtained certification to teach the Strengthening Families workshop and received training in mental health first aid. I currently teach the Spanish-English Exchange class. In Mexico I worked in social services. I like working at La Casa Hogar because I believe it satisfies a great need in our community, and I feel that my mission is service. At La Casa Hogar I continue to learn how to navigate the system. I would like to continue learning the language to help empower more women.
Cecilia Gonzalez, Early Learning, and Parent Education Coordinator
My name is Cecilia González, I was born in Mexico, I have lived in this country for more than 25 years, which is also the number of years as I have been married. I am a mother of two. 23 years ago in 1996, I learned about La Casa Hogar from an ESL classmate. In 2008 I attended classes at La Casa and in that same year, I became a volunteer and soon after I became part of this incredible organization as the Early Learning and Parent Education Coordinator. I am currently taking classes at Yakima Valley College on Early Childhood Development and Education. La Casa Hogar also gives me the opportunity to attend countless courses, training, and workshops on children’s education, as well as training for my professional development and for the construction of resilience and human development. As an early childhood teacher, I support and strongly believe that social and emotional competence in early childhood is essential to obtain positive results in the short and long term of a child’s life. At La Casa Hogar, I have learned that equity, inclusion and empathy are basic and fundamental values to build resilience in favor of the positive development of children and everyone else who enters La Casa. In La Casa Hogar I found what I was looking for, in a humane and welcoming way that I was not imaging. They focused on my strengths and because of that, I am now working to prepare myself as best I can to do exactly the same for other families in the Valley.
I started at La Casa Hogar as a student in the English classes in 2012, while my children were also learning and developing their own skills in prekindergarten. “What I like about La Casa Hogar is the way it helps families strengthen and discover their talents, achieving with them a better and more active community.”
Magaly Solis, Citizenship Program Manager
DOJ Accredited Representative
Magaly started working for La Casa Hogar in 2014. She began her journey as a volunteer teacher for the citizenship class in Wapato and was then offered to coordinate the Intergenerational Poverty Project in Wapato. In June 2014, she assumed the responsibility of the citizenship program. In 2014 Magaly completed an Immigration Legal Training which allows her accreditation by the BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals) and to better assist people that are interested in becoming citizens. “I’m passionate about social justice, empowerment through education, and serving my community; working at La Casa Hogar has allowed me to positively impact the lives of many in our community.”
Mireya Chavez, Citizenship Program Associate
DOJ Accredited Representative
My name is Mireya Chavez I was born in Mexico City in the Azcapotzalco delegation, I lived there until I moved to Chicago at age 19. After a while I moved to Yakima where my two children were born. At that time when my first child started going to kindergarten, the school sent all the information in English and I had to find someone to translate the documents they sent me. That is how I decided that I had to learn English! A friend told me about La Casa Hogar and its programs. I enrolled in English classes and was a student for 3 years. Then I got involved as a volunteer to help my community when a job opportunity was presented to me at La Casa in July 2003. T first, I worked in the learning center and at the same time helped in emergency services. Later, I taught driving lessons and basic computer classes. Now, my role at La Casa is an associate within the citizenship program, teaching classes. I am thankful for La Casa Hogar and its team for giving the opportunity to be part of this organization and continue helping my community.
Gabriela Torres, Citizenship Program Associate
Hello my name is Gabriela, I was born in Los Angeles, California. I moved to Yakima when I was little and since then lived I have lived in Yakima. I graduated from Yakima Valley College and received my AA in Business Technology, which was one of my greatest achievements. As a student I learned skills that will help me work and operate in the real world. I live for my family, they are my inspiration and motivation to continue growing as a person. I have a dog named Cosita, he is very special to me. Something that catches my attention is technology and creating new and innovative things. I heard from La Casa Hogar through my teacher, she told me about all the amazing things that La Casa Hogar was doing. This caught my attention and I decided to contact them and I ended up doing an internship at La Casa. I like the dynamics that exist at La Casa and the space that is open to bringing new ideas to the team. In November 2018 I became part of the team and am now part of the impact and strength La casa offers to our Latina community. I am motivated and inspired by our team who works hard and is passionate about making a difference in our community.
Angelica Reyes, Adult Education Coordinator
Angelica began her journey with La Casa Hogar in 2003 as a volunteer instructor for the Learning Basket program (a parenting class), and in 2008 was hired to work for the program. She is currently the Classes Coordinator, receptionist, an instructor for various programs. She also supports the Early Learning Center. She has been trained in the Learning Basket curriculum, Leadership (through the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic), the Creative Curriculum, the Salsa, Sabor y Salud nutrition program, Conevyt (Secretaría de Educación Pública Mexicana), Leadership through Education (through Hispanic Affairs), and is a DSHS certified Peer Mental Health Counselor.“I like that our students feel safe here at La Casa Hogar. They grow trust through relationships with staff and gain confidence to achieve their goals.”
I grew up in the lower valley in a small town named Buena and graduated from Toppenish High School in 2006. My goal is to further my education and receive a degree in Social Work to further my career. I first became connected with La Casa in 2016 when many of my family members began participating in the Citizenship Program and later became U.S. Citizens. I started working at La Casa in 2017. “La Casa Hogar is an amazing organization, very inspirational, dedicated, supportive and educational for immigrant families like my very own. I look forward to continue being a part of transforming lives alongside La Casa Hogar for our Latina/o community.”
Alejandro Guerrero, Financial Assistant
My name is Alejandro Guerrero. I was born in Michoacán, México. I have lived in the state of Washington for more than 20 years and have lived in Yakima for the last 16 years with my wife, son, and daughter. I enjoy doing outdoor nature-related activities. I took accounting classes, and in 2017 obtained my AA degree from Yakima Valley College as a Bilingual Administrative Office Assistant, which is one of my major achievements. I was first connected to La Casa Hogar in the summer of 2016 when I became a volunteer intern. I enjoyed doing my internship at La Casa because I had the opportunity to build good relationships, learn new skills, and quickly learned about the impact La Casa has on our Yakima Valley. In August of 2016, I officially joined La Casa’s team in the role of financial assistant.
Enriqueta Flores, Development and Events Manager
Hello my name is Enriqueta Flores, I was born in Coahuayana, Michoacan, Mexico. I arrived in this country as a child and I have resided in Yakima since I was eight years old. I graduated from Davis School and I love living and raising my daughters in this beautiful city. One of my greatest achievements is to have visited my country in 2018. My dream is to be able to support my daughters in achieving their goals and hopefully see them change the world. I met La Casa Hogar from a friend who told me there was a job available. After joining the team in the fall of 2018, I quickly learned about the impact that La Casa has on our Yakima Valley and the connections it creates in our community. The resilience of the families of La Casa Hogar inspire me to work with more passion and compassion for my community.
Laura Armstrong, Executive Director
DOJ Accredited Representative
Hola! My name is Laura. I joined La Casa’s team in 2015. I grew up on the east coast, went to school in South Carolina, and moved to Yakima originally in 2010. In 2010, I was a full-time volunteer with a local nonprofit and partnered with the community of Mabton to turn a weed-lot into a community park. I stayed for a couple years, moved back east for a couple years, and then moved back west again (lots of driving)! I feel privileged to work alongside the farm workers who grow, cultivate, pick and pack food to feed the world and I believe that each person, each farm worker, deserves access to what they & their families need to thrive. I daily see the ways that systems & institutions (of all sizes and types) are made for people of my race & privilege and systemically exclude those who La Casa serves every day. I believe in leveraging my own privilege in all of its various forms to address basic needs while simultaneously shifting systems to become more equitable and accessible to immigrant, farm working, and communities of color in Yakima Valley. In my role at La Casa, I strive for transparency, openness, holistic listening, and creating a culture that values collective care & celebration as two of our most powerful tools to sustainably combat oppression. If you have more questions about me or what I’m about, please ask. My personal hobbies are running, hiking, backpacking, painting, gardening and enjoying Yakima’s sunny weather.
Maria Ines Lozano, ELC Teacher Assistant
My name is Maria Ines Lozano, I was born in Zapotlanejo, Jalisco, Mexico. I arrived in this country in 2008 when I was 16 years old. I have lived in this country for more than 13 years. I graduated from Davis High School in 2012, the same year that my son was born. I started at La Casa Hogar as a student in the English classes in the spring of 2016, at the same time that I was in classes, my son attended La Escuelita, that made me feel more secure. I like La Casa Hogar because it makes you feel at home. After a year of being at La Casa Hogar I started working with La Escuelita team. I have been a Teacher’s Assistant in La Escuelita for over a year now and I am still learning new things.
Andrea Hernandez Romero, ELC Teacher Assistant
My name is Andrea Hernandez Romero I was born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico. I have lived in Yakima Washington for 15 years. In 2008 I volunteered for the summer program at La Casa Hogar. I was also a student in English classes. At the same time my children were also learning and developing their own skills in prekindergarten in La Escuelita. Now La Casa has given me the opportunity to work in La Escuelita as a teacher’s assistant. I like La Casa Hogar because it is like a family. One of my goals it to continue learning and pursue more educational opportunities.
Elizabeth Torres, Pre-GED Instructor