Arts & Culture

Ballet Folklórico Helps Youth Learn About their Heritage


As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we must make it a priority to teach our next generation that who they are and where they come from is celebrated and loved - this is what our Arts & Culture programs aim to do in our community. 

With this in mind, we’re happy to say that one of our youth dancers from Corazones Alegres was featured in an Americans for the Arts blog post!

Gema Huizar Rios, an 8th-grade dancer in Corazones Alegres, talked in the blog about how the program helped her get in touch with her heritage and become proud of her cultural identity. 

“For someone who is Mexican American, arts education is very important because it helps me learn about who I am and who my family is. And for me, my family is unique and full of culture,” she said. 

We are incredibly happy to have programs like these that help our youth be proud of who they are! Thank you Gema for your kind words about Ballet Folklórico!


Voz Alta was born out of love and wanting to be heard and seen, and it’s only fitting that we return to that theme during this time of adversity in our country. My hope for the show this year was to bring people together to celebrate our identity as a Latino community: We are love, we are hope, we are strength.
— Joaquin Lopez - Creator of Voz Alta and Arts and Culture manager at Latino Network

Thank you to all who attended last week’s Latinx storytelling event that celebrated the Latino Community - Voz Alta: Amor en los Tiempos de Guerra was a huge success!

For nine years Voz Alta has mixed true stories, live music, and poetry to create a theatrical performance celebrating Latino/a/x stories. Actors perform the narratives in English while musicians perform songs related to the narratives in Spanish. This year was something special because Voz Alta returned to the theater where it all began - Milagro! 


Anabertha Alvarado was born in Guanajuato, Mexico. As a child she cared for her siblings. She entered the man dominated world working her father’s lands. She rebelled, fought, and cried. Ending in an unknown country with the man she loved, she gave her life to this community. Now she is a mother of 4 children, 2 stepchildren, widowed, and remarried. “I love and am loved. With faith, hope and courage I share my story.”

The part of Anabertha was performed by Nurys Herrera

Dawn Joella Jackson is a mother, an educator and a dancer. She is from New Mexico and Colorado where her families have lived for generations. She and her partner are celebrating 20 years together this week! She is currently the principal of Helensview, an alternative school for students ages 12-21. She loves Joaquin and is honored that he tells her story!

The part of Dawn was performed by Sasha Neufeld.


Thank you to the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, and PDXLatinXPride for making Voz Alta possible.


Click here for the full program and to learn more about the cast and crew!

First Year of Ollin: Social Justice Film Series is a HUGE Success!

We would like to thank everyone who came and supported our first annual social justice film series at The Hollywood Theatre! The Pan’s Labyrinth, Salt of the Earth, and El Norte screenings and discussions were an incredible opportunity to share Latino stories with our communities, our partners, and our allies. We are always grateful to be able to connect with the community.

Together, we were able to raise $2,000 to support critical programs for our Latino youth and families!

The goal of this series was to connect people through a common passion and theme: Leadership and Social Justice. Thank you to all our speakers and moderators who helped facilitate rich discussions: Commissioner Nick Fish, Maria Elena Campisteguy, State Representative Diego Hernandez, Andrea Valderrama, Serena Cruz, and Joaquin Lopez.

From discussing sanctuary city policies with Commissioner Nick Fish and the resilience of Latino communities with State Representative Diego Hernandez, to the issues surrounding healthcare in minority communities with Former Commissioner Serena Cruz, Ollin Films helped attendees relate themes in art and film to current issues within our community in Portland.

Enjoy these photos from the last film in our series, El Norte, with a discussion led by our own Arts & Culture Manager Joaquin Lopez and Former County Commissioner and Executive Director of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation, Serena Cruz!

Thank you SO MUCH to the Hollywood Theatre for hosting this amazing series! We can’t wait to see you at Ollin Films next year in 2018!

Check Mate! Students Learn Sportsmanship and Strategy through Chess

Last month, Latino Network launched a new partnership with the program Chess for Success! 

"Our youth LOVE Chess 4 Success!" Said Joaquin Lopez, our Arts and Culture Manager. "They're learning strategy, patience, and friendly competition, tools that will continue to develop as they grow and build character. Chess has no language barriers, once you know the steps and moves, everyone can participate is this time-honored dance of strategy and sportsmanship."

We decided to pay a visit this last week and see how the students were coming along!

Chess has no language barriers, once you know the steps and moves, everyone can participate is this time-honored dance of strategy and sportsmanship.
— Joaquin Lopez

Latino Network has Joined Oregon Cultural Trust

We’ve joined Oregon Cultural Trust! ¡Qué fantástico!

Latino Network is excited to announce our partnership with Oregon Cultural Trust. Recently, the group of over 1,450 nonprofits statewide has added Latino Network to the trust. We’re now a part of the largest coalition of nonprofits in the state!

What does this mean for you? It means that when you donate to both the Latino Network and the Oregon Cultural Trust, you get a tax write-off of that same amount. It’s a win-win for us AND for you!

The Oregon Cultural Trust is a unique program and we are pleased to join the network of exemplary nonprofit organizations advancing arts and culture in Oregon
— Carmen Rubio, Executive Director
Ballet Folklorico group Corazones Alegres performing at the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade 2016

Ballet Folklorico group Corazones Alegres performing at the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade 2016

Latino Network is dedicated to sharing the range of Latin American arts and culture traditions and heritages with our Latino communities and with all Oregonians. This year, we are proud to run arts programming including Studio Latino and Ballet Folkorico as well as the Voz Alta celebration of LGBT Latino voices. Our partnership with OCT means we are now a part of a statewide cultural movement in Oregon. From music and dance to cultural traditions, the Oregon Cultural Trust deliberately seeks to increase cultural involvement and education throughout the entire state. And we are excited to be in the middle of it all!

[Click here to see a music video produced by students from Studio Latino]

Interested in learning more? Visit the Oregon Cultural Trust website here to see the full list of nonprofits apart of the trust.

Ready to get your tax deduction? Donate to Latino Network today!

¡Qué Fantástico – Hemos Unido Oregon Cultural Trust!

El grupo de Ballet Folklorico está bailando en el Desfile de La Fiesta de Rosa Grande 2016.

El grupo de Ballet Folklorico está bailando en el Desfile de La Fiesta de Rosa Grande 2016.

enemos buenas noticias hoy – Latino Network ha unido un grupo sin fines de lucro de Oregon Cultural Trust (OCT). Recientemente, el grupo que tiene más que 1,450 miembros y ha incluido Latino Network en la asociación. Ahora, somos un parte del grupo sin fines de lucro el más grande en el estado, ¡y somos muy emocionadas!

El grupo de Ballet Folklorico está bailando en el Desfile de La Fiesta de Rosa Grande 2016.

¿Qué significa para usted? Cuando se dona al Latino Network y el mismo al OCT, recibe un deducción de impuestos de estado. Ganamos su apoyo y usted va a estar recompensado. ¡Todos ganan!

El OCT es un programa único y estamos agradecidos para unir un grupo excelente de organizaciones sin fines de lucros que están avanzando la cultura y los artes en Oregón
— Carmen Rubio, Directora Ejecutiva de Latino Network.

Latino Network está dedicado en compartiendo los artes, patrimonio, tradiciones y cultura de América Latina con todos los Oregonians. Este año, estamos orgullos para empezar los programas de artes, incluye Estudio de Latino, Ballet Folklórico y la celebración de Voz Alta.

[Aquí está un video de musica por los estudiantes del Estudio de Latino]

Nuestra asociación con OCT significa que ahora somos parte del movimiento por todo el estado en Oregón. De la música y baila al tradiciones culturas, el OCT se busca al aumentar el enredo de cultura y educación por todo de Oregón, ¡y estamos emocionados para estar en el medio del movimiento ahora!

¿Está interesado en aprendiendo más? Se puede ver la lista completa de los grupos sin fines de lucros de OCT aquí. También, se puede aprender como donar al Latino Network y recibe un deducción de impuestos aquí.

Latino Network Featured in Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade

On Saturday, June 11, Latino Network was featured on the Rose Festival Foundation’s float. 

Youth and parents marched in the Grand Floral Parade. It was an honor to be one of the floats representing the Latino communities here in Oregon.

“It is such a moving experience to see yourself as a Latino or Latina and to see your culture represented in the Rose Festival, which is the quintessential Portland experience,” said Carmen Rubio, Executive Director. “It was an important moment for us as an organization, and we were proud to be able to represent our community members and culture.”

The float featured youth from our Ballet Folklorico and Zumba groups accompanied by local renowned mariachi singer Edna Vazquez y Mariachi de Oro.

The Ballet Folklorico program teaches youth ages 7-18 the traditional Mexican folkloric dances. The group is called Corazones Alegres, which means Joyful Hearts. They have performed at Noche Bella, at El Grito, and at the Cinco de Mayo Waterfront Festival. Parents from our family Zumba class also walked in the parade, led by instructor Gisella Contreras.

See photos below or check out our full album on Facebook.

Volunteer with Ballet Foklorico

Ballet Folklorico Coordinator Assistant


Studio Latino Ballet Folklorico “Corazones Alegres”


  • Assist in preparations for public performances such as: loading and unloading suitcases, boxes, and costumes for dancers.
  • Assisting in preparing and organizing costumes for dancers such as; ironing, hanging up, folding, labeling, etc. 
  • Assisting in making headpieces/props for dances. 
  • Some clerical work (entering data, making copies, passing out flyers to parents, taking role, etc.)


Spanish is not required but preferred


No skills necessary for this work, on the job training available


Volunteer opportunities available, estimated 2 hours/week 

Other dates are TBA. 

Specific Dates: February 5th, 6th, 25th, 26th 


  • Ages 15 and above
  • Willing to be active and assist as needed
  • Must pack Background check