200 N. Chatham Ave. Siler City, NC 27344     919-742-1448

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A great day at Fiesta 2017!

The 5th Annual Hispanic Heritage Fiesta was a huge success and our biggest one yet!  Over 600 diverse participants enjoyed a sunny and warm Saturday afternoon of live music, traditional dances, delicious food, an art exhibit, Health Fair, and kids’ activities.

This year, we closed two blocks of downtown Siler City and held our first parade of traditional Latin American outfits! The parade was led by the amazing giant puppets of Folkloric Group Flor y Canto, followed by adults and children dressed in traditional clothing, and closed by the stunning indigenous dance group Azteca Tonathzin. They paraded down Chatham Avenue toward the stage at the Courtyard Café.

         

          

More photos and videos on our Facebook page

We hosted 42 information booths from non-profits, governmental agencies, businesses and craft vendors. Other new activities included Niñolandia, a tent for kids’ activities, and a Health Fair with 10 information booths from health service providers.

Folkloric dances were performed by three extraordinary dance groups – the young children and teens of Magetsi 4H Club of Sanford, teens and adults from Takiri Folclor Latino of Durham, and the indigenous dance group Azteca Tonathzin of Raleigh. There were also three musical groups – the talented and long-time friends of El Vínculo, Folkloric Group Flor y Canto from Raleigh, the soulful Alberto Zárraga from Raleigh, and Ancestor Piratas, led by Peruvian born singer, composer and artist Renzo Ortega of Carrboro. Renzo also displayed his paintings in the Arts Incubator gallery.

Fiesta was only possible thanks to the generous support of 35 sponsors and over 50 volunteers! A special thanks to the Courtyard Café, Siler City Arts Incubator, Downtown Music Series and the Town of Siler City for all their help. A huge thanks to our Fiesta Organizing Committee, which included community members and representatives from CCCC, CIS, Chatham Health Department and FVRC. A shout out to Elena Gonzalez and Juan Carlos Estrada for selling churros and popcorn to raise funds for El Vínculo. We could not have done it without all of you!

Our raffle was also a bit hit and the 4 winners were thrilled with their prizes – the first prize of $200 in cash went to a 12-year old Latinx boy from Siler City, a deliciously large chocoflan cake by Chef Elena Gonzalez was won by Karen Howard of Siler City, 4 day-passes to Shakori Hills Music Festival went to Brooke Simmons, and a $30 gift certificate to Los Compadres Restaurant was awarded to a Siler City resident.

Mil gracias to all!

Many thanks to our generous VIP Sponsors!

        

 

                      

 

    

DACA Update

On September 5, President Trump announced the termination of the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). This temporary relief was implemented in 2012 by President Obama, and granted work authorization and relief from deportation in 2-year increments for youth who were brought to the United States by their parents, passed a background check and paid a fee. DACA does not offer a path to full legalization or citizenship.

According to the NC Justice Center, there are “approximately 1.5 million individuals enrolled in the program (across the nation). In North Carolina, there are currently 49,712 DACA recipients”.  This decision has led to a profound instability in the lives of these youth and their families. The Trump administration is leaving it up to Congress to pass legislation for undocumented immigrants that benefited from DACA. Communities have begun to organize as the six-month deadline approaches and the congressional action becomes more urgent. Advocates are encouraging a clean DREAM Act ~ HB3440 (in the House) and SB 1615 (in the Senate), reintroduced by Senators Graham and Durbin.

The window of opportunity for DACA renewal was incredibly narrow ~ only those whose DACA expired between 9/5/17 and 3/5/18, giving them only until 10/5 to submit their renewal applications.  Of the 154,234 DACA beneficiaries whose benefits expire before next March, at least 36,000 did not submit their renewal applications. The reasons are fully clear, but may include fear of what USCIS could do with their information, inability to pay the $495 renewal fee, or because they could not find help in time to complete their application.

The Hispanic Liaison, along with many other non-profit and legal organizations across the state scrambled to help DACA youth. In late September and early October, free legal clinics were held across the state, and national and local donors established scholarship funds for the $495 renewal fee. Several area donors helped The Liaison create a modest scholarship fund. Sadly, the ability of organizations to mobilize came too late. Many eligible applicants had already submitted their application weeks before the free clinics were held.  We are hopeful that there may be a new window of opportunity for DACA youth and are setting aside the donations to our scholarship funds for that purpose.

We started a support and action group for directly impacted individuals and/or DACA recipients. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Emilio Vicente, Adult Leadership Program Manager.
Click here for a policy brief on DACA from the NC Justice Center.

Proclamations for Hispanic Heritage Month ~ 2017

Thank you to Chatham County and the Town of Siler City for issuing bilingual proclamations for Hispanic Heritage Month!
Click below to read the proclamations:
Chatham County Proclamation was issued at the Board of Commissioners’ meeting on August 21st.
The Town of Siler City Proclamation  was issued by the Town Commisssioners on September 5th.

Many thanks to all who attended the meetings with us!

 

Congratulations to El Vínculo’s new board officers!

At our last meeting on August 17, the board unanimously elected our new Board Officers. We are grateful for their commitment and service to El Vínculo and our community.

 

Welcome Emilio Vicente!

We are thrilled to have Emilio Vicente join our team as Program Manager for Leadership & Civic Engagement.

Emilio is originally from Guatemala and grew up in Siler City, NC. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in Public Policy. He brings many years’ experience on immigration and LGBTQ advocacy. Click here to learn more about him.

An amazing year!

We are proud to celebrate 22 years of service!

In the year since we reopened, our small staff and dedicated volunteers accomplished a great deal:
  • Helped 710 individuals through our Community Support Program, including 240 children.
  • Hosted 5 major events, including:
    • 4th Annual Hispanic Heritage Fiesta  attracted over 300 diverse participants who enjoyed live music, folkloric dances, an art exhibit by Cornelio Campos, and 18 information booths by local agencies and businesses. Photos here
    • Day of the Dead/Death Fair in partnership with Abundance NC in Pittsboro. Over 600 diverse participants enjoyed arts and crafts for children, face painting, live music, an ancestors’ altar, workshops, “ded-talks”, films and information booths. Photos here
    • Legal Fair on Immigration in Siler City to connect immigrants with resources and to empower them with knowledge about issues that impact their lives. We had 257 participants, 47 volunteers, 26 presenters and 25 sponsors. On offer were 6 workshops and 2 plenary sessions on a variety of immigration topics, and an expo with 15 information tables by attorneys and agencies. A highlight was the dialog session with local law enforcement officials with Sheriff Roberson, Captain Gardner, Siler City Chief Gary Tyson and Pittsboro Chief Percy Crutchfield. This was the first dialog of its kind in our community with all local law enforcement agencies represented. During lunch, participants enjoyed live music and poetry by 3 local poets, including a 6th grade Latinx student. Photos here
    • Power of Attorney Legal Clinic in Siler City in collaboration with the NC Justice Center. We helped 31 individuals complete POAs with the help of 7 attorneys, 6 interpreters and a notary volunteered for the clinic. POAs are critical for helping community members protect their children and their assets in case of deportation. Photos here
    • Youth Soccer Tournament in collaboration with the 3 Kings Soccer Association. The event was held at Chatham Middle School for high school age boys and girls. We had 170 participants, including 56 players and 26 volunteers. EVH raised $1,000!

These are a just a few highlights. With your help, we will have many more amazing years!

DONATE NOW

 

 

 

Welcome Selina Lopez!

We want to give a warm welcome to Selina Lopez,  who joined our team as the Youth Program Manager.

Selina is originally from Mexico and grew up in the small town of Vaughn in Warren County, NC. She is a graduate of  UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in psychology and Hispanic Literature and Cultures. Selina is the first person in her family to attend and graduate from a university. Click here to learn more about her.

Very soon we will be starting our new youth group for Latinx High School students.

 

 

 

Yosselin can continue to fight for asylum

CBS News link

Wonderful news! Yosselin Herrera, the young lady from Siler City who has been fighting for the right to stay in the U.S., will be able to plead for asylum in November. A huge thank you to all the organizations and individuals who are collaborating with The Hispanic Liaison to support Yosselin – SEIRN, United We Dream, National Lawyers Guild, the NC and Chatham NAACP, teachers and students, and Yosselin’s family.

We also wish to thank and recognize the leadership of our elected officials who passed resolutions on her behalf – Chatham County, the towns of Siler City and Pittsboro, and the Chatham School Board. It was an unprecedented and strong show of support for Yosselin and our entire community. We’re SO proud of Chatham County. THANK YOU!!

Support our efforts! Donate today

Thank you, Commissioners!

This is what compassionate and courageous leadership looks like! We are very proud of our Chatham County Commissioners for unanimously approving a bilingual resolution asking the federal authorities to grant Yosselin Herrera’s petition for asylum in the US.

Beyond the crucial and wonderful support for Yosselin, it is a message to all of our community that Chatham Commissioners value and respect us, and are willing to take risks to protect us.

Thank you, Commissioners! Please read the resolution below and send them your thanks and praises.

Find out more about upcoming events in support of Yosselin here.

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