Ricardo Barrientos

It is with great sadness that we must report that one of Casa’s former directors, Ricardo Barrientos, passed away this week. As the Gazette reported:

He was a longtime educator in the Northampton school system and later in Springfield. He was a very serviceable and community-oriented person, helping many people and organizations, especially the Hispanic community. He loved his students. He was on the Board of Directors at Florence Saving Bank, was a former member of the Northampton Housing Authority, and was the former acting director of Casa Latina in the 1970s. He was a sports fan, enjoying football and especially basketball. He was a wonderful husband, father, and grampy.  

 The staff and board of Casa Latina offers its condolences to Ricardo’s family. 

2007 Reencuentro

At the 2007 Reencuentro, we honored local politicians and long-time board members in addition to our normal reencuentro activities of updating and getting feedback from the Hampshire County Latino community. The Gazette reported:

The guests of honor were the politicians who helped secure the new grants and three Casa Latina board members who stepped down recently after lengthy terms. The former board members, Dalila Balfour, Paul Hyry and Carlos Santiago, helped guide Casa Latina out of a similar fiscal crisis about 10 years ago, and helped shape the organization’s mission since then, Garcia said.   

Last week’s celebration, called El Reencuentro, was also a chance for members of Hampshire County’s Latino community to give feedback. The event has been held every December for eight years.

Garcia said it was the most diverse Reencuentro yet, with people representing Mexican, Salvadoran, Ecuadorian and Colombian backgrounds.

Garcia said state representatives Peter Kocot, D-Northampton, and Ellen Story, D-Amherst, as well as state Sen. Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, and Northampton Mayor Clare Higgins, helped Casa Latina find and apply for grants from the state Department of Health and Human Services, Hispanics in Philanthropy, the Western Massachusetts Community Foundation and Highland Valley Elder Services. 

First Annual Latin Dance

Casa Latina holds its first annual fundraising dance this Saturday (October 6th) from 7 to 11 p.m. in the Northampton Center for the Arts, at 17 South St. There will be Latin dance music, dance lessons, a raffle and silent auction, food provided by area restaurants, and a cash bar. Tickets will be sold from $15 to $25, on a sliding scale, and are available at State Street Fruit Store, Cooper’s Corner, Food for Thought, and at the door. Come out and support Hampshire County’s Latino community. For more information, call Casa Latina at 586-1569.

Casa Latina Receives Grant from Inaugural Fund

Casa Latina was one of the local recipients of a one-time grant from the Gov. Patrick Inaugural fund. The Gazette reported: 

The nonprofits were among 215 in the state to benefit last week from the Patrick-Murray Inaugural Committee Charitable Giving Program. 

The program passes along unused inaugural funds.Stephen Crawford, a spokesman for Gov. Deval Patrick’s political and inaugural committees, said that the committee wanted to foster civic engagement – a major tenet of Patrick’s campaign.

“The mission of the inaugural was to encourage civic engagement,” Crawford said.

Other area recipients included The Amherst Survival Center, The Center for New Americans, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

The only Latino-led and Latino-focused organization in Hampshire County, MA