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3 posts from March 2011


Upcoming Forum: Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Online flyer 2 La Luz Center will present a public forum, conducted in Spanish, on drug and alcohol abuse on Monday, April 4th 2011.  A panel comprised of representatives from Social Advocates for Youth (SAY), AlAnon, and Alcoholics Anonymous will address various issues related to drug and alcohol abuse in both teens and adults.  Panelists will discuss topics including how and where teens obtain alcohol, the Social Host Ordinance, signs someone is suffering from an addiction, options for recovery, and resources for friends and family members of alcohol/drug abusers.  The presentation will begin at 7:00pm, with snacks and coffee served at 6:45.  For any questions, please contact Rosie Mottsmith at (707) 938-5131 x.101.

El Centro La Luz presentará un foro público en español sobre el abuso de las drogas y del alcohol el lunes 4 de abril del 2011.  Representates de Social Advocates for Youth (SAY), Al Anon, y Alcóholicos Anónimos hablarán sobre cómo reconocer si alguien tiene un problema con el abuso, recursos para amigos y familiares, donde pueden los adolocentes obtener a las drogas y el alcohol, y mucho más.  La presentación se llevará a cabo a las 7:00 de la noche, empezando con botanitas y café a las 6:45.  Para más información, llame a Rosie al (707) 938-5131 x101.


La Luz Center Presents "La Copa César Chavez"

IMG_0730 La Luz Center’s Vineyard Worker Services (VWS) program is proud to present the first ever Copa César Chavez, or the César Chavez Cup.  Four soccer teams composed of workers from St. Francis Vineyards, Carneros Vineyards, Enterprise Vineyards, and Enrique Vineyard Management will compete in the tournament beginning Sunday, March 6, and ending Sunday, March 27.  All players are young vineyard workers, ages 25 to 30, who have never before played for an official team or competed for a trophy.

The tournament is part of La Luz’s new initiative to promote healthy living through diet, exercise, and a focus on our daily habits.  Other components of this initiative include the ten-week cooking/nutrition program Tu Corazón, Tu Vida (Your Heart, Your Life), a forum with the Sonoma Valley Health Roundtable on children’s nutrition, and an eight-week child abuse prevention course.

The tournament will culminate in a reception at La Luz Center on March 27 from 6:00-8:30pm.  The event honors the participants of this initiative, the workers in our Valley that help bring the best wines to our tables, and César Chavez himself (a champion of the rights and dignity of field workers).  Dinner will be provided by students from Tu Corazón, Tu Vida.  Also at the reception will be an awards ceremony for the winning soccer team, recognition of the winners of the 2011 Sonoma Valley Pruning Competition, and acknowledgement of the twenty recent graduates from Tu Corazón, Tu Vida.

“Through this event, La Luz wants to acknowledge both the contributions the vineyard workers make to the Sonoma Valley and the importance of maintaining good health,” says Mario Castillo, Outreach and VWS Coordinator for La Luz Center.  “Healthy workers make healthy wines.”

La Luz Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting our Sonoma Valley neighbors, who contribute to the economic, cultural and social well-being of our community. La Luz provides English language training, teaches computer skills, distributes food, hosts medical services, offers crisis counseling, and supports events that celebrate the richness of our multicultural community.

For more information on this event, or to find out more about VWS, contact Mario Castillo at (707) 938-5131 x.102.



La Luz Hosts First Líderes Campesinas Conference in Sonoma Valley!

Lideres5 On February 5, 2011, La Luz hosted the first ever conference of Líderes Campesinas in the Sonoma Valley, bringing together community members, organizers, and professionals to discuss the pressing issue of domestic violence.

Women from our community met with various organizations and agencies that address domestic violence in its many forms.  Representatives from the Sonoma County Sherriff’s Department, YWCA, Catholic Charities Immigration, and La Luz Center, as well as Dr. Joaquín Gallardo, were among the presenters.  This conference highlighted the importance of recognizing and combating the problem of domestic violence in farmworker communities.  Beyond disseminating information, however, the conference also provided resources and outlined possible solutions, empowering all attendees to apply what they learned to tangible strategies for change.

Líderes Campesinas is a statewide nonprofit organization that is dedicated to developing leadership among female farmworkers (or campesinas), thus equipping them to serve as agents of political, social, and economic change in their communities.  In January of this year, La Luz and its Poder Popular program partnered with Líderes Campesinas to form the Sonoma Valley Chapter of the organization.  The formation of this chapter unites Sonoma Valley with the twelve other chapters across California in an effort to improve conditions for campesinas and their communities.

Promoting capacity building, democratic decision-making, advocacy, peer-training, and leadership development, Líderes Campesinas gives women the tools they need to make significant change in rural California.  The organization uses both traditional and innovative approaches to mobilization.  Líderes Campesinas employs strategies ranging from holding house meetings to spark and sustain grassroots campaigns to catalyzing change beginning with visual and performing arts as a means of political, social, and personal expression.

To learn more about Líderes Campesinas, or to view the programs offered by other chapters, please visit