February 8, 2023
"La Luz Center can help do your taxes" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune - February 8, 2023)
"As tax season sets in, La Luz Center is here to help with its annual Tax Clinic. In 2022, it helped 163 local residents, resulting in more than $259,000 in refunds.”
January 11, 2023
"Six Sonoma Valley cultural nonprofits receive impact grants" (From Sonoma Valley Sun - January 11, 2023)
"La Luz Center’s Casa de la Cultura Camps, which incorporate arts, crafts, and nature as a means to further explore the Latinx culture. .”
January 10, 2023
"Podcasts by Sonomans, for Sonomans" (From REBECCA WOLFF at Sonoma Index-Tribune - January 10, 2023)
"Podcasts became a lifeline for many of us in the isolation of the pandemic, as the number of online listeners spiked 40% in the past three years, according to Nielsen ratings. Sonoma organizations are jumping on the bandwagon, using the talk-based medium to promote their platforms.”
July 16, 2022
"Jack London park boosts student learning programs" (From Daniel Johnson at Sonoma Index-Tribune - July 16, 2022)
"It’s hands-on learning at its best: Students actively explore and collect data on plants and animals from their own suburban schoolyard and the wilderness areas of Jack London Historic State Park to compare their levels of .”
May 11, 2022
"Impact100 Sonoma announces $335k in nonprofit grants" (From Melania Mahoney, Sonoma Valley Sun - May 11, 2022)
"Impact100 Sonoma, the philanthropic collective that pools its funds to support Valley nonprofits, disbursed $335,000 in grants for 2022 — its highest total ever.”
May 1, 2022
"Cinco de Mayo celebration on the Sonoma Plaza May 1" (The Press Democrat - May 1st, 2022)
"It is an opportunity for celebration of our Mexican heritage which is so important to our community,” event organizers said in an announcement of the event.
APRIL 28, 2022
"Boyes Hot Springs couple takes pride in being part of the wine industry" (From Dianne Reber Hart, The Press Democrat - April 28, 2022)
"A portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe hangs in the living room of the Boyes Hot Springs home where Ruomaldo Argota and his wife, Marta Maria Farias, live.”
APRIL 25, 2022
"Crescent Montessori, La Luz partner on after school program" (From Sonoma News - April 25, 2022)
"Through a partnership with local nonprofit La Luz Center, Crescent Montessori will also award two full academic scholarships to children for the duration of their three-year Montessori Primary program. Crescent will be working with La Luz’s early education program, AVANCE, to identify interested students.”
APRIL 20, 2022
"Sonoma Valley Mental Health Collective brings 17 groups together" (From Sonoma Index Tribune - April 20, 2022)
"A new collective of Sonoma Valley nonprofits is banding together to fill a void in local mental health services..”
December 24, 2021
"New band performs benefit concert for La Luz Center in Sonoma" (From Cheyenne Carroll, The Press Democrat - Dec 24, 2021)
"Local band State Fair took the stage for the first time Tuesday at the Sebastiani Theatre in Sonoma for a concert to benefit La Luz Center.”
August 12, 2021
"A New Generation Leading at La Luz" (From Lorna Sheridan, Sonoma Index Tribune- August 12, 2021)
"A new executive director, two new young and enthusiastic board leaders and a smashing sell-out, annual fundraiser that raised $600,000. Sonoma’s family services and community engagement nonprofit La Luz Center is on a roll.”
August 10, 2021
"New La Luz Director is Ready to Serve" (From Jason Walsh, Sonoma Index Tribune- August 10, 2021)
"Leonardo Lobato left the corporate world long ago, but he’s bringing the problem-solving skills he picked up in company boardrooms to serve Sonoma Valley families as the new executive director of La Luz Center.”
May 17, 2021
"Education outreach: Sonia Mendoza" (From Faith Gates, Sonoma Index Tribune- May 17, 2021)
"Sonia Mendoza did not let a global pandemic or national shutdown stop her from helping kids in the community get the educational resources they need...Mendoza worked both in-person and online, connecting with parents and children through the El Verano Elementary School Family Resource Center, Facebook Live events for parents, and adapting to working through Zoom for her AVANCE families.”
May 13, 2021
"The Economic Toll of COVID-19 on Working Women" (From Jessica Zimmer, Northbay Biz- May 13, 2021)
"A large number of working women still face a list of serious struggles every day, from cooking family meals on an extreme time crunch to caring for older parents, while on a reduced budget and with less resources for childcare and mental health needs. The obstacles will likely stall women’s career development and economic opportunities for years to come.”
November 19, 2020
"Juan Hernandez to step down as head of La Luz" (From Sonoma Index Tribune- Nov. 19, 2020
"'Over the course of his tenure, Hernandez is credited with raising millions of dollars to help Sonoma Valley’s immigrant community and helping to build the advocacy organization’s new community center on Greger Street.”..
July 31, 2020
""Wells Fargo helps to mentor the next generation of nonprofit leaders" (From Todd Johnson, San Francisco Business Times- July 31, 2020
"'It was interesting seeing the older generations thinking about the way that nonprofits used to work and the way that things are working now in terms of social media, in terms of influencers,' said Veronica Vences, director of development at La Luz Center in Sonoma County.”...
June 25, 2020
"Crowded houses: Impact of coronavirus on a Latino family" (From Christian Kallen, Sonoma Index Tribune- June 25, 2020
"'If there’s anything in our Latino community that’s important, it’s having a place to live,' said Patricia Galindo, client services coordinator at the nonprofit La Luz Center, which serves and advocates for the Sonoma Valley Latino community..”...
June 11, 2020
"Food: La Luna Mezcal for La Luz ‘Noche’" (From Kathleen Hill, Sonoma Index Tribune- June 11, 2020
"Many of Sonoma’s multitudinous nonprofit organizations are trying to think of creative ways to replace their vital and usually lucrative fundraisers that they have had to cancel this year.”...
May 11, 2020
"Sonoma Valley Census rates in line with county and state" (From Lorna Sheridan, Sonoma Index Tribune- May 11, 2020
"La Luz also kicked off a new campaign called “Ponte la Máscara y Hazte Contar” — Spanish for “cover up and be counted” — that is a dual outreach effort that seeks to increase the awareness of both the importance of the new face mask order as well as the 2020 Census.”...
April 16, 2020
"La Luz reaches out to Springs business community" (From Lorna Sheridan- Sonoma Index Tribune| April 16, 2020
"La Luz, spent the past week reaching out to the Spanish language business community in Sonoma Valley to help market owners and other storefronts adjust to and comply with new social distancing regulations.”...
March 31, 2020
"La Luz Center moves “Censoteria”, Census 2020 outreach online during pandemic" (From Mayra Lopez- La Prensa Sonoma| March 31, 2020
"La Luz Center had planned to play the game at different pop-up events throughout the county, but they are now moving the game virtually. On Thursday, April 2nd at 4 p.m, they will be playing the game through Facebook Live.”...
March 30, 2020
"La Luz: ‘We need help’ here in Sonoma" (From CAROLE KELLEHER - INDEX-TRIBUNE|March 30, 2020
"At the beginning of March La Luz had $50,000 in its crisis fund. It gave out $16,000 last week to clients in emergency situations. With the resources draining Hernandez immediately launched a fundraising drive hoping 1,500 community members will donate $100 each”...
March 30, 2020
"Census bingo game launched in Sonoma" (From CHLOE VELMAN- KQED| MARCH 30, 2020
"La Luz Center, a nonprofit that provides resources to roughly 20,000 underserved, mostly Latino immigrant residents in the Sonoma Valley, developed this game. In February alone, the organization hosted more than 40 events related to the decennial count”...
March 19, 2020
"Coronavirus, citizenship and the census: California fears an undercount"(From ELIZABETH CASTILLO - CAL MATTERS| MARCH 19, 2020
"The Latino community organizer decided that standard presentations and handouts wouldn’t cut it. Instead, she reimagined Lotería, a Bingo-like game that’s a staple in many Latino households."...
December 30, 2019
"Census bingo game launched in Sonoma" (From MAYRA LOPEZ - INDEX-TRIBUNE| DECEMBER 30, 2019"When Angie Sanchez, community engagement manager at La Luz Center in Sonoma, was thinking of ways to engage Latinos for the upcoming 2020 Census, she didn’t want to just create another presentation about the importance of the nationwide population survey”...
November 11, 2019
"Sonoma students to perform in ‘Sentimiento Mexicano’" (INDEX-TRIBUNE STAFF REPORT|NOVEMBER 11, 2019
"Ballet Folklórico Quetzalén and La Luz Center are joining forces to stage “Sentimiento Mexicano,” a dance production highlighting culture and the 2020 census.
The concert will take place on Saturday,”...
October 15, 2019
"La Luz creates game encouraging Latinos to participate in 2020 census" (LA PRENSA SONOMA|OCTOBER 15, 2019
"The number of Latinos that reside in Sonoma County is hard to pinpoint. It’s not easy to count us, especially when thousands are undocumented and have a deeply-rooted migratory culture.
But La Luz Center wants”...
October 16, 2019
"The Census Could Miss Millions, Even Without a Citizenship Question" (North Bay Business Journal|OCTOBER 1, 2019
"Lizette Escobedo, director of the census program for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (Naleo) Educational Fund, oversees staff in six states. She runs”...
September 2, 2019
"Leadership shifts inside Sonoma’s La Luz Center" (INDEX-TRIBUNE - STAFF REPORT|SEPTEMBER 2, 2019
"La Luz Center executive director Juan Hernandez announced last week a handful of leadership changes within the Latino advocacy nonprofit.
Veronica Vences, previously La Luz associate executive director,”...
July 25, 2019
"Imaginists to perform in Sonoma for the first time on July 31" (From AARON MARCUS-WILLERS - INDEX-TRIBUNE| JULY 25, 2019
"Peace, Liberty and Democracy have been imprisoned by President Corn and his cabinet. On Wednesday, July 31, the Imaginists will make a rescue attempt, bringing their satirical show “Peace: the Redacted Version” to La Luz Center.”...
June 28, 2019
"Two Sonoma Valley sisters give fire survivors meals, donations and more" (From Dianne Reber Hart to Press Democrat - June 28, 2019
"When the North Bay wildfires broke out in 2017, sisters Angie and Sandy Sanchez sprang into action.
As managers at La Luz Center in Sonoma Valley, they’ve barely slowed down in the nearly two years since the devastating fires. From providing meals,”...
June 22, 2019
"California faces multiple crises. Can we solve them without help from philanthropy?" (From By Kathleen Kelly Janus Special to The Sacramento Bee - June 22, 2019
"Nearly 20 years ago, when we were experiencing rolling blackouts across the state and the fallout after the dotcom bubble burst, the governor invited nonprofits and philanthropists to join him in solving the most pressing social problems of the day. But philanthropy”...
May 29, 2019
"Sonoma's littlest graduates" (From CORRESPONDENT - INDEX-TRIBUNE STAFF - May 29, 2019
"A year ago, La Luz Center took the reins of a unique early childhood education program from the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation. The program, which continues to be funded by First Five Sonoma County, is called AVANCE and,”...
May 20, 2019
"Sonoma's La Luz Center fosters Latino leaders" (From CORRESPONDENT - INDEX-TRIBUNE| May 20, 2019
That’s been the objective of its Latino Leadership Program since its launch in 2017 – challenging young Latinos in Sonoma Valley to “transform their values into actions, visions into realities, obstacles into innovations,”...
May 2, 2019
"Sonoma celebrates Cinco de Mayo" (From KATE WILLIAMS - INDEX-TRIBUNE| May 2, 2019
One hundred and 57 years ago on May 5, a ragtag band of Mexican troops rose up against well-armed French soldiers and bested them in the Battle of Puebla. Despite inferior weaponry, despite being grossly out-manned, despite the superior playbook of Napoleon III, the Mexicans,”...
April 26, 2019
"Sonoma Valley’s La Luz: bridging a spectrum of needs" (From PRESS DEMOCRAT| April 26, 2019
For many years Noemi Vasquez worked solo as a seamstress in Sonoma County’s Valley of the Moon, earning a part-time income doing small jobs, hems and alterations. She was skilled,”...
April 25, 2019
"Pulitzer-winner to talk immigrant status at La Luz" (From KATE WILLIAMS AND LORNA SHERIDAN - INDEX-TRIBUNE| April 25, 2019
Sonoma Valley is home to an estimated 3,000 “Dreamers,” young people enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program who — as children — were brought by parents into the U.S.,”...
April 18, 2019
"Sonoma Take Back the Night march planned for April 25" (From STAFF REPORT - INDEX-TRIBUNE| April 4, 2019
Take Back the Night aims to end all forms of sexual, interpersonal, and gender-based violence through awareness, empowerment and advocacy.
Sonoma Valley High School, La Luz Center,”...
April 4, 2019
"Film: A life's 'Harvest' for Vanessa Robledo" (From STAFF REPORT - INDEX-TRIBUNE| April 4, 2019
When Vanessa Robledo saw herself on the big screen, her story brought to life as one of the primary plot lines in the new documentary, “Harvest Season,”...
March 11, 2019
"La Luz offers free workshops on how to make herbal remedies at home" (From ANNE WARD ERNST - INDEX-TRIBUNE| March 11, 2019
Passing around fresh sprigs of rosemary, Jocelyn Boreta tells a small group of women..."
February 11, 2019
"La Luz Center hosts One Billion Rising event to speak out against violence against women on Valentine’s Day"(From ANNE WARD ERNST
INDEX-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER | February 11, 2019
La Luz Center on Valentine’s Day will be all about women and coming together..."
November 8, 2018
"Dia de los Muertos Sonoma's La Luz Center" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Staff Report, November 8, 2018). "La Luz Center hosted the festive annual community celebration for Dia de los Muertos..."
November 6, 2018
"A Festive Dia de los Muertos at La Luz" (From Sonoma Valley Sun, November 6, 2018). "La Luz Center hosted the annual community celebration for Dia de los Muertos..."
September 6, 2018
"Local Sonoma coach arranges sports scholarships through La Luz"
(From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Elizabeth Kolling, September 6, 2018). "Belinda Halloran started working at age 11. She was an avid athlete and needed to earn money to help her parents..."
August 13, 2018
"Latino leaders sought in Sonoma" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Staff Writer, August 13, 2018). "The La Luz Center is beginning the second year of its Latino Leadership Program and seeking applications from..."
August 10, 2018
"A mystic "Noche" for La Luz" (From Sonoma Valley Sun, Anna Pier, August 13, 2018). "Just another night in Mystic India, courtesy of the annual Noche gala thrown by La Luz..."
August 10, 2018
"La Luz's Noche in Mystic India" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Kathleen Hill, August 10, 2018). "La Luz’s Noche fundraisers seem always to be the best parties of the year, and are always conceived and produced by La Luz board president..."
August 6, 2018
"Noche party raises $550K for La Luz Center" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Staff Writer, August 6, 2018). "La Luz transported more than 300 guests to magical Noche in Mystic India on Aug. 4 and raised more than half a million..."
August 2, 2018
"La Luz to take the reins to AVANCE from Sonoma Valley ED Foundation"
(From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Lorna Sheridan, August 2, 2018). "The local iteration of the national early childhood education program, AVANCE, is being handed over from the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation..."
August 2, 2018
"Shortage of construction workers to rebuild Sonoma County focus on Building Trades Training Program" (From The Press Democrat, Alvin Jornada, August 2, 2018). "The air at Hanna Boys Center was filled by the mechanical screaming of saws and a steady drumming of hammers Tuesday evening..."
July 27, 2018
"Transcendence lauches Diverse Sonoma A collaborative partnership with La Luz Center" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Staff Writer, July 27, 2018). "Transcendence “Theatre Company has developed a new summer theater initiative with the Latino community in Sonoma. In collaboration with La Luz Center..."
July 5, 2018
"Sonoma's July 4 Parade Winners" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Staff Writer, July 5, 2018). "The Old Fashioned July 4th Parade had many jaw-dropping parade entries, so the parade’s panel of judges – including...
July 5, 2018
"Meet Sonoma's newest citizens" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Carole Kelleher, July 5, 2018). "Pure joy. That was the look on the faces of the new United States citizens celebrating their hard-earned accomplishment at the La Luz Family Resource Center last week. Almost just as joyful were the 22 volunteer...
June 11, 2018
"La Luz gets $100K Impact grant" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Kate Williams, June 11, 2018). "The La Luz Center was selected from three finalists as the winner of Impact100 Sonoma’s annual $100,000 grant on Saturday, June 9, at Hanna Boys Center. The prize will fund development of the center’s computer literacy and employment services program...
June 9, 2018
"Latino Leadership brings new vision to Sonoma Valley" (From Sonoma Valley Sun, Anna Pier Writer, June 9, 2018). "A remarkable collaboration is developing and supporting a new generation of leaders for nonprofits..."
April 16, 2018
"La Luz grows loan program" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Staff Report, April 16, 2018).
"The La Luz Center microloan program has been expanded to aid in business recovery and expansion in Sonoma Valley after the North Bay fires. Created three years ago, the microloan program was founded with private funding. Since then, the program has provided both low-cost loans and business guidance to foster the growth and success of new and existing enterprises in the Sonoma Valley..
April 12, 2018
"La Luz, SRJC partner for job training" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Staff Report, April 12, 2018).
"La Luz Center is partnering with Santa Rose Junior College on a Business Trades Training Pathway to provide training in basic construction skills for low-wage earners, especially those impacted by the October 2017 fires in Sonoma Valley...
February 28, 2018
"Wine Country Rises from the Ashes" (From wine-searcher, Liza B. Zimmerman, February 28, 2018).
"At La Luz Center, a family resource center in Sonoma dedicated to people in need, Executive Director Juan Hernandez has identified 20 people who lost homes. La Luz has been dispensing $3500 in financial assistance on a case by case basis including paying the rent for families for two to three months in new homes. He adds that while the community is very focused on rebuilding "there's no labor and the cost of material has shot up." All the aid dispensed by La Luz was sourced from private donations...
February 8, 2018
"Marcelo Defreitas named Sonoma’s 2018 ‘Alcalde'" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Kate Williams, February 8, 2018).
"What’s the most coveted accessory in the City of Sonoma? The silver-tipped cane of the city’s Alcalde, or honorary mayor. Rather than signifying difficult mobility, like other canes do, it is evidence, instead, of robust vitality. Bestowed every year on an exemplary citizen, the cane serves as an emblem of community service and heart...
February 5, 2018
"Thanks to La Luz, Sonoma has a new food truck" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Lorna Sheridan, February 5, 2018.
"La Luz’s microloan committee members agreed that Carlos Mendoza’s idea was a strong one. Fill the gap in the local food truck market by specializing in unique and upscale Mexican recipes. But, at 22, he was the youngest entrepreneur they had ever considered for the still-fledgling loan program...
December 14, 2017
"Elizabeth Kemp honored by La Luz" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Kathleen Hill, December 14, 2017).
"Last Friday the Brown Baggers, Sonoma Overnight Support (SOS) and La Luz placed a brass plaque naming the Booker Hall kitchen as the Elizabeth Kemp Kitchen. Elizabeth Kemp, who passed away a year ago, saw it as her “mission” to feed the hungry and poor, after a decades-long career as a daycare provider. Kemp first joined the La Luz board of directors when the nonprofit merged with Vineyard Workers Services...
November 27, 2017
"La Luz Center provides support for Sonoma Valley fire victims" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Christian Kallen, November 27, 2017).
"The fires that devastated much of Sonoma Valley brought not only disorientation and hardship, but also an outpouring of support for the Hispanic community – which has seen over $1 million pour in from across the country to La Luz alone, and as much as five times that for the county as a whole...
View video of Executive Director Juan Hernandez's October 20, 2017 interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! The interview focuses on immigrants fleeing after the fires, affordable housing pressures and the increasing challenges faced by undocumented immigrants in Sonoma County.
View video from the San Francisco Chronicle (October 2017) about La Luz's role after the North Bay wildfires.
August 29, 2017
"La Luz offering citizenship class" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Staff Report, August 29, 2017).
"Free citizenship classes will be offered by La Luz from 6 to 8:00 p.m. beginning Monday, Sept. 11, at the El Verano School Family Resource Center (EV-FRC), Room 31, 18606 Riverside Drive, Sonoma...
August 7, 2017
"La Luz fundraiser brings in nearly $450,000" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Staff Report, August 7, 2017).
"Guests donned traditional Chinese outfits – or Sonoma versions of such – and enjoyed tasty Asian cuisine at Noche of China Moon, the La Luz Center’s annual fundraiser which took place Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building...
July 20, 2017
"La Luz offers produce subscriptions in Sonoma Valley" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Staff Report, July 20, 2017).
"La Luz Center and Benziger Winery have joined forces this summer to bring locally grown produce to the community, while raising funds to support community health programs related to nutrition. The goal of this pilot program is that it will grow to a “Mercadito” or community market in 2018...
July 7, 2017
"Sonoma parade winners" (From Sonoma Index-Tribune, Staff Report, July 7, 2017).
"Sonoma’s Fourth of July Parade featured more than 60 entries in seven different categories, and the entry from The Other Hometown Band was named Best of Parade...