During Hispanic Heritage Month we honor agencies that are working to strengthen and unify the Bay Area community in celebration of this year's theme, "Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation"
We are at the halfway point of Hispanic Heritage month, an annual 4-week-long period of celebration from September 15 - October 15 in the US. This is a time to reflect on and honor the cultural traditions and contributions of the Hispanic community and the histories behind them.
Celebrations kick off on September 15 because, according to the official government website, “it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.”
Did you know?
According to the 2020 Census, the Hispanic and Latinx population was the largest racial and ethnic group in California at about 39.4%
1 in 4 people identified as Hispanic or Latino/as in Santa Clara County
The US Hispanic population is 62.1 million people large, making it the largest racial and ethnic group in the nation.
It’s no wonder we have a whole month dedicated to celebrating the Hispanic community's rich cultural traditions and history!
In honor of this theme, we'd like to highlight a partner agency whose work exemplifies the action of unifying community: Arriba Juntos —a nonprofit located in the Mission District of San Francisco.
Founded in 1965 by 3 social justice workers, the original mission of Arriba Juntos was to support the influx of Latino/as immigrants moving into the Mission District by providing basic needs to help them create new beginnings. Those needs included housing, education, employment, childcare, and health care.
Today, Arriba Juntos promotes economic self-sufficiency for families through occupational training and employment opportunities. The center also offers professional clothing, transportation, and daily hot meals to assist SF neighbors facing financial challenges as they navigate life in a new city.
We spoke with Patrica Melgar, Program Coordinator at Arriba Juntos, to learn more about the role the agency plays in strengthening our community and promoting inclusivity in San Francisco.
“The agency is open to all San Franciscans regardless of their gender, race, color," Patricia explained. Aiming to promote equity for new residents, she told us that AJ partners with its networks to "provide information regarding legal issues, housing referrals, and digital financial literacy."
We are honored to support the mission of Arriba Juntos and are continually uplifted by the hospitality, unity, and joy exhibited by the staff, those volunteers, and the community they serve each time we are able to visit. Thank you, Arriba Juntos!