| We hope our first newsletter Al Dia with El Buen finds you well. |
As we reflect on the past year, we are humbled by the outpouring of support that allowed us to continue serving our community, and the partners who have joined us in our mission. As Black History Month comes to an end, we want to recognize organizations that play an important role in the health and wellbeing of our community – moving us all towards racial equity and inclusion.
We are proud to have taken on new challenges in 2022 and found innovative ways to serve our community at levels never before seen. We have pushed the boundaries of what is possible and have made a lasting impact in the lives of those we serve. Your belief in our mission to serve families has been a driving force behind the impact we have made, and we are truly thankful.
As we move forward, we are committed to serving our community in new and meaningful ways. We are excited for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, and we are confident that together we will continue to make a real and lasting difference in Central Texas!
– Dr. Rosamaria Murillo, CEO
Amplify Austin Campaign
Amplify Austin is the biggest day of giving in Central Texas (March 1st at 6PM to March 2nd at 6PM). This year our goal is to fundraise $35,000 in support of El Buen’s Youth Programming – specifically to enable 100 youth to attend our summer camps.
El Buen’s Youth Academic Center of Excellence (ACE) is a learning village where young people explore, innovate, and advance their readiness for the next level of learning, engagement, and leadership – preparing innovators, critical thinkers, and nation builders for tomorrow’s world. El Buen’s ACE includes summer camps that offer state-of-the-art curriculum integrating academic, STEM, and Arts enrichment activities and leadership development. Early giving for Amplify has started – consider a gift to support our Amplify Austin Campaign today!
When we communicate across generations, magic happens. Our perspectives and ways of understanding the world transform and we open ourselves to having experiences we did not believe possible.
El Buen’s Juntos: Sharing Our Stories intergenerational project creates the space for youth and older adults to increase engagement, connectedness, and learning through participating in leadership development, digital and computer literacy courses, and digital photography sessions at El Buen. During the Summer 2022 session, six older adults and six youth collaborated to create a Photovoice art exhibit compromising photos they took and edited to memorialize and share their experience together. Through this collaborative effort, both generations share not only the new skills they learned from El Buen, but the new friendships and commonality each generation shares despite the age gap.
The Photovoices will be displayed in various venues around Austin, including the Consulado de Mexico, the Mexican American Cultural Center, and the Austin School of Film. A new cohort of students and adults will participate in this project which bridges generations this summer.
Building Resilient Communities
Growing economic challenges faced by our families have directly increased the need for financial resources. As families struggle to make ends meet, they often find themselves making difficult decisions between necessities, many to the extent of being at risk of eviction. Our financial assistance programs allow these families to feel more secure and remain in their homes.
El Buen is a leading provider of access to financial resources for families in Central Texas. We have seen firsthand the impact increased economic challenges have had on the families we serve. In response, we have distributed over $8 million dollars through our financial and rental assistance programs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our efforts continue to be recognized, most recently by the City of Austin through funding from Project Connect, which aims to prevent displacement of families due to a City-wide transportation upgrade. We are deeply grateful for this recognition and are determined to find new and innovative ways to address the increasing need, including our new public benefits application assistance initiatives.
La Casita Verde
We believe and are committed to creating a more secure, inclusive, and nourishing future for our community. One way we live that commitment is through La Casita Verde (El Buen’s Community Garden). Our garden is a magical place that allows us to expand the way we create access to food. While the Pandemic slowed our garden’s activities, we are back to focusing on expanding and revitalizing our “Casita Verde.”
El Buen’s community garden contains community plots for families to grow their own food as well as production plots for our food access programs. Programming largely paused during the pandemic, but we are now working with volunteers and donors to revitalize the gardens and expand its access to our neighbors in the community.
Produce costs are increasingly more expensive, so being able to grow our own fruits and vegetables gives us the opportunity to build sustainability through the land resources we have. Expansion of La Casita Verde will begin with the planting of fruit trees throughout our 11-acre campus, so that anyone who passes by can access fresh fruit. Our plans also include utilizing the garden learning lab for educating others. Through the gardens, we can talk about sustainability, nutrition, and feeding ourselves from the land.
EBS Leadership Institute
El Buen is the only bilingual Community Health Worker (CHW) Training Center in Texas to train Community Health Workers, traditionally known as Promotoras de Salud. As community members who have a uniquely close understanding of the community served, CHW’s serve as a bridge between health and social services to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. El Buen has played a key role in the strengthening and sustainability of the CHW workforce in Austin/Travis County. Certified by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the EBS Leadership Institute has certified over 55 CHW’s through our training program, and over 125 CHW’s have received bilingual continuing education units (CEU’s.)
This past year, we certified staff members as CHW Instructors and graduated a cohort of 18 Promotoras de Salud in partnership with Austin Voices for Education. A graduation ceremony was held on Saturday, October 29 for the promotoras who completed El Buen’s certification course. Councilmember Vanessa Fuentes was in attendance and gave the commencement speech.
Our team of CHW Instructors have the exciting opportunity to collaborate with Austin Public Health to train a Spring 2023 cohort. Plans include certifying additional staff members as CHW Instructors and continuing to develop our opportunities to expose students to in-the-field experience within our programs. Additionally, we will continue strengthening and building sustainability of the Community Health Worker workforce through our CEU training series each spring/fall semester.
Meet our Development Director
Cassandra joined El Buen as the Director of Development in September 2022. Born in Austin and raised in Mexico, Cassandra holds a B.A in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a M.A in International Development from University of Pittsburgh. Early on, she knew the humanitarian/development field was her calling. As a former humanitarian aid worker, she traveled extensively and worked in emergency response projects in Ethiopia, Myanmar, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Cassandra has since moved back to Austin to put down roots and become more involved in the Hispanic community of Austin.
A family in nature is a healthy family. El Buen and El Ranchito come together with partner agencies to share our annual Outdoor Families event on April 15th!
Over two summer sessions, El Buen’s Youth Academic Center of Excellence (ACE) summer camps offer state of the art curriculum integrating academic, STEM, and Arts enrichment activities and leadership development!
This year, El Buen is celebrating 35 years of strengthening families in Central Texas. Join us in reflecting on our impact to the community and co-creating our dreams for the future!
Consider supporting our mission to strengthen families in Central Texas!DONATE
Become a Friend of El BuenBecome a volunteer
Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and schedule a time to tour our campus and learn more about our programs and how you can get involved!