Our Favorite Things of 2018

Every year, we reflect upon the victories achieved as an organization and through the support of our growing familia. Even during challenging times - with nonsensical border walls, the separation of families and acts of violence toward people of color and other marginalized communities - it is important to call out the stories that prove our community is resilient, beautiful and stronger than ever before.

Here are our Top Five Favorite Things from 2018:

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#1 Oregon Voted NO on Measures 105 and 106

With a record state voter turnout, Oregonians voted to keep our communities safe in November. We rejected dangerous ballot measures like 105 and 106 and said that we will not compromise our values of acceptance, fairness and equality for all. By defeating M105, Oregonians affirmed that racial profiling is wrong and has no place in our state. By defeating M106, we stood behind women and nonbinary Oregonians in supporting their reproductive rights. Thank you to all who voted with our community in mind this past election! Read more about the 2018 elections here.

#2 A Perfect Graduation Rate for Our Escalera Seniors

Last June, 100% of our Escalera seniors graduated and went on to attend college or vocational programs. We can’t be more proud of all 62 seniors (some of them now college freshmen!) for their dedication and passion for their futures. We know they’ll do amazing things and we are proud to have them in our family!

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#3 Juntos Aprendemos is Launching in Central Oregon

Our oldest-running program, Juntos Aprendemos (insert link), is moving to Central Oregon! With Latinos on the rise to be the largest minority group in Oregon, we understand the importance of spreading our programs throughout the entire state. We’re proud to announce that in 2018, we successfully started strategic planning for implementing Juntos Aprendemos in both Bend and Redmond. We can’t wait to see what the new year brings for this satellite program. Stay tuned for details!

#4 Record Amounts Raised for Our Community at Noche Bella 2018

Every year, we host Noche Bella to celebrate our familia, honor leaders in our community and raise money for causes that are truly transformative for Latinx youth and families. In 2018, we raised over $334,000 - this is the most we’ve ever raised at Noche Bella! This will be used to improve and expand our programming, thus fulfilling our mission to empower youth and families in our community in the new year. An read more about Noche Bella 2018 here.


#5 Our New Office Opened at the Rockwood Campus


We moved offices last year in order to better serve our community in East County. Along with our amazing partners at Open School, New Avenues for Youth and Boys and Girls Club of Portland, we have come together to create the Rockwood Campus - a group of resources and organizations that work together to transform communities in East County. We are incredibly thankful to the City of Gresham for helping make this happen! The new space allows for our Youth Education and Wellness, Family Engagement, Community Based and Family Stability programs to be more accessible to our community in this area. Read more about our new Rockwood Office here.

2018 was incredible for many reasons, and it’s all because we have amazing supporters like you who are helping us transform lives everyday. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to combat bigotry and hate with love and acceptance. YOU are the reason why our community is thriving, and we can’t wait to see what the new year holds for us.

¡Hay vamos! Let’s make 2019 the best year for our community yet!

Noche Bella 2018: What a Beautiful Night!

Thank You for making Noche Bella 2018 a Success!

Nuestra comunidad, nuestra familia: Thank you for standing with Latino Network.

Last Friday, we celebrated the strength of our community at #NocheBella2018. Our goal is to transform communities, and last week is yet another example of how this transformation can happen when we come together in solidarity, resiliency and love.

Congratulations to our 2018 Aguila Honorees—Ramon Ramirez, Nichole June Maher and Mat dos Santos—and thank you for your leadership.

A huge thank you to our donors, staff, board of directors, volunteers, sponsors and vendors for your help in making our event truly special! We raised over $334,000 this year - this is the most we’ve ever raised at Noche Bella! From the bottom of our hearts we’d like to thank all of you - nuestra gente - for making this celebration possible. We now continue to build our power, our voice and our dream. ¡Vamos adelante! Thank you all for a truly beautiful night!

Our amazing Corazones Alegres youth dancers stole the show last Friday!

Our amazing Corazones Alegres youth dancers stole the show last Friday!

Don’t miss the opportunity to give!

“Latino Network helped me learn how to be more comfortable being me. They showed me how to move forward in a more positive way. And they’ve made a commitment to be there for me. This is what we need more of in the world.” –José

José was referred to our Community Healing Initiative (CHI) program a few years ago after finding himself in the juvenile justice system. CHI is designed to prevent and reduce violence and José was paired with Jesús, a Latino Network mentor and former CHI participant.

We have programs like CHI because of supporters like you who care about the future. Even if you didn’t get the chance to attend Noche Bella, there’s still a chance for you to be part of transforming the lives of youth like José.

Donate today to make the next generation of change possible:

Learn more about our annual gala here!

Take a look at our Facebook album!


We Have A New Rockwood Office!

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Familia, we have some great news to share with you: Our brand new Rockwood is up and running!

Located on SE 165th Ave. between Stark and Burnside, this new site is part of the revitalized Rockwood Campus, with neighboring agencies Boys & Girls Club, New Avenues for Youth and Open School. This  more centralized location will allow us to better serve the community in East County. We are very excited about this new extension and working alongside our partners.

We will have various programs from all of our departments operating from our new space, including:

  • Youth Education & Wellness: Conexiones, Early-Escalera, and Escalera.

  • Family & Community Engagement: Colegio de Padres, Comprando Rico y Sano, Immigration Navigation, PUAH project, Mobile Lab, and Reducing Barriers to School Attendance

  • Youth Empowerment & Violence Prevention: CHI

  • Family Life: Energy Assistance & Rent Assistance  

We would like to thank the City of Gresham and all of our staff for their support as we transition into the new space! Stay tuned as we plan for an official grand opening celebration!

You are invited to a ROCKWOOD CAMPUS OPEN HOUSE!

September 27th - 5:30-7:30pm -  With the Rockwood Boys and Girls Club, New Avenues, and Open School!


The date for our own Open House is still to be determined.


Currently at the new Rockwood Office   Clients are served by appointment only. If you have any questions please contact Ana Munoz at .

2017: Our Favorite Things


As a country and as a community, we have had a challenging year. However, 2017 was also full of moments that highlight the beauty and resiliency within our communities when we come together in love and unity.

Here are a few of our favorite moments from 2017:

#5 Portland Trail Blazer Partnership 

  • This is the second year that we have been a chosen partner with the Portland Trail Blazers. From hosting two successful Hispanic Heritage Game Nights to raising money through their 50/50 raffle, the Blazers have been an amazing partner to our organization and community. Not only have we been able to take students and families to games, but we have also had the opportunity to have our youth participate in basketball clinics and Blazer meet-and-greets. Thank you Portland Trail Blazers for an amazing partnership! We appreciate your dedication to making Portland a better place for all communities!

#4 High Graduation Rate Among our Escalera Students

  • In 2017, 98% of our Escalera students graduated from high school and enrolled in university or apprenticeship programs. Many of these students are the first in their families to continue their education after high school, and we can’t be more proud of their hard work and dedication that they put in to achieve their dreams. Great job, Escalera grads! We are proud to have been a part of your journey and can’t wait to see the amazing things you’ll do in the future!

#3 Community Response to Immigration Bans and DACA

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  • Since Trump’s decision to take actions to repeal DACA, our community has come together to protect Dreamers and their families. We have worked with many partner organizations and school districts to host community forums - including PCC Southeast Campus, Beaverton School District, Tigard-Tualatin School District, Hillsboro Public Library, and Centennial High School. Our seven successful forums have helped Dreamers, their families, and community allies learn how to protect Dreamers’ immigration status in the wake of DACA being repealed. The community’s response to this has been beautiful and resilient - thank you to all who made these forums possible.

#2 Noche Bella

  • On September 22, we hosted our fifth-annual gala, Noche Bella, at The Nines Hotel. From live music and performances by Edna Vasquez, our Corazones Alegres youth dancers, and Dina y los Rumberos to delicious food catered by Tamale Boy, Noche Bella 2017 was definitely a night to remember.  We are SO happy to have exceeded ALL of our fundraising goals for the year! A total of $284,635! Thanks to all of our amazing sponsors and attendees for making Noche Bella 2017 our most memorable gala to date.

#1 YOU!

  • From running our day-to-day programs to hosting events for the community, none of our success in 2017 would have been possible without YOU. You - our familia, friends, allies, and partners - are the reason why we can continue to empower Latino communities everywhere. Thank you so much for your love and support! We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!


We hope you enjoyed these memorable moments too - we hope to share even more amazing times together with you in 2018!



The Latino Network Family

Noche Bella 2017 was a HUGE Success!

Last Friday, September 22, we hosted our fifth-annual gala, Noche Bella, at The Nines Hotel. From live music and performances by Edna Vasquez, our Corazones Alegres youth dancers, and Dina y los Rumberos to delicious food catered by Tamale Boy, Noche Bella 2017 was definitely a night to remember. 

We are SO happy to report that we exceeded ALL of our fundraising goals for this year! 

This beautiful night wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing support from our sponsors, attendees, and staff. We would especially like to thank our Presenting Sponsor, Legacy Health, for their amazing support and dedication to our cause. 

Click here to see a full list of our 2017 sponsors!

“We are incredibly thankful to our sponsors, donors, volunteers, and all of our familia for making Noche Bella possible. Events like this gala and people like you are the reason why we keep doing what we do,” said our Executive Director Carmen Rubio.

We would also like to thank The Nines Hotel for hosting us in their beautiful ballroom, A to Z wines for donating all of the wine for the night, and all of our amazing staff who put in long hours to pull off our biggest party of the year. 

This year, we decided to show our attendees what their donations mean to our organization with touching videos of some of our program participants:

This year’s celebration was telling of what we can do when we come together - in a year where we have faced adversity and bigotry, Noche Bella was a night that reminded us of the power of community.

We can’t wait to see you all next year! Vamos adelante familia!

Happy Fourth of July from Our Family to Yours

Friends and Family,

As we get ready to honor our American story of Independence in the midst of a challenging time, let’s remember who we areas a community during this holiday: lets recognize ourresilience, honor our diversity as strength, and love one another for who we are as Americans.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines Independence and Independent as “the state of being independent”, “not subject to control by others” and “a desire for freedom.” It’s true that many of us bring American stories of our families leaving their countries to search for freedom; or honoring that our indigenous brothers and sisters had, for generations prior to colonization, freedom on their land that we continue to occupy.

Independence Day is a celebratory day for lighting fireworks, eating delicious food, and being with loved ones, and for many of us it is also a reminder of our strength, resiliency, love and hope. It’s a reminder that many of us – the undocumented, those in poverty, and those targeted by bigotry - are still not truly free from fear and separation.  This is why today we must recommit ourselves to our good work, to unity, and to the liberation of all communties. We all deserve this to be our Independence Day.

From the Latino Network Family to yours, we’d like to wish you a Happy 4th of July!



Carmen Rubio y La Familia de Latino Network


photo: partie traumatic

Employee Spotlight: Guadalupe Bojorquez

Every once in awhile we like to feature one of our awesome team members who is on the ground doing amazing things in our community. This month, we are dedicating our Employee Spotlight post to Guadalupe Bojorquez - a Community Education Worker on our Early Childhood Programs team.

Guadalupe has 16 years of experience working in early childhood education.

Guadalupe has 16 years of experience working in early childhood education.

Guadalupe is a part of the Community Education Worker team (called “Creciendo Juntos,” or CEW), which helps provide culturally specific resources to families with young children in the Portland-Metro area. We sat down with her and asked her about her experience at Latino Network and working in Early Childhood programs:

Where are you from? How did you your career path lead you to Latino Network?

I’m from Mexico. I started participating as a mom Early Childhood programs and later got offered to be a volunteer by Christine Taylor. From being a volunteer, I got offered a job from Latino Network and currently I’m a Health Worker and an Educational Promoter for the program Creciendo Juntos (CEW).

Describe your work at Latino Network and Creciendo Juntos. How long have you worked in this field?

I work with families who have children from newborns to three-year-olds. I help families develop develop parenting skills to help their kids connect with the educational and health resources available for them, and I have a little more than 16 years working with early education. 

What is a success story that you’ve had with families/individuals who you’ve helped while working for Latino Network? 

The greatest joy is to see the families adapt to the educational and health system of this country. It gives me great pleasure to see a child learn how to first hold a Crayon properly so that they can draw their stories. 

Any other details that you believe are important?

I would like to thank all of the people who have believed in me and in the work that I do because it has made me into the person that I am today. First I want to thank my mother, Christine Taylor, Ruby Ibarra, Sadie Fiebel, Carmen Rubio, Noelle Wiggins and Lupe Campos. I hope to continue serving my Latino community. 

Thank you Guadalupe for being such an inspiration to the Early Childhood team! Your hard work and dedication has impacted the lives of so many families and children!

Keep up the amazing work! 

Congrats to Cambio Cafe!

It was amazing seeing our latest project in Gresham City Hall come to life last week! The Grand Opening of Cambio Cafe represents Latino Network's efforts to help start youth's career paths in a positive way. Not only will this coffee cart help teach them important business skills, but they will also learn what it takes to operate a business and have something valuable to put on their resumes. 

Here are some photos of the big day!

Employee Spotlight: Debbie Cabrales

Debbie has been on the Family Stability team since summer of 2016.

Debbie has been on the Family Stability team since summer of 2016.

Every once in awhile we like to feature one of our awesome team members who is on the ground doing amazing things in our community. This time, we chose a Latino Network employee who has been working hard to help families achieve their dreams.

Debbie Cabrales is a Family Stability Program Coordinator and works for our Community Based Programs. Since she came on board in June, Debbie has worked with countless families to help them with rental assistance, education, employment, and achieving their goals for their children.

We sat down with Debbie and asked her to give us a snapshot of what it’s like to be a Family Stability Program Coordinator:

Q: Where are you from? How did you get into your career path?

I am from Woodburn Oregon. I started this career path when I started going to school at Western Oregon University. When I first went there I thought that I wanted to go into Criminal Justice, but once I took a sociology class, it changed my views and I realized that I wanted to help people and that my passion was in working more directly with the community.

Q: What is your family history or heritage?

I feel that being a first generation Hispanic/Latina woman has helped me a lot. All of the sacrifices that my parents have gone through for my siblings and I have really opened my eyes in a lot of ways. My parents came to this country from Mexico wanting a better future for my siblings and me, so when I think about motivation I think about my parents and how everything that they did for us is not going to waste.

Q: What’s your job at Latino Network like?

I meet with community members and families when they need the most support and hope. In doing so, I assist them in meeting their goals to reach stability, provide support with their education, employment and housing, and I also discuss goals for their children’s education and achieving student success. 

Q: What is a success story that you've witnessed with the people you've helped while working at Latino Network?

One of the families that I work with had just moved here from out of state. As soon as I met the family, both the parents and children were extremely hopeful and wanting to do better.

While the mother worked, the father went out looking for apartments and would submit applications, and at the same time pick up and drop off kids at school. And soon after, they had been approved for an apartment and were on their way finally being able to have a place to call home.

The family was able to celebrate the holidays in the comfort of their own home, and see their children be able to open up presents. These were things that to the family seemed like it would be impossible for it to happen. Now the family is doing great and keeps being positive, they never lost hope and were able to fulfill their dreams and make them a reality.

Q: How does your team at Latino Network help engage the community?

We do more than just help with rental assistance. We help families by trying to build relationships in order for them to have positivity in their lives. We help them achieve their goals and do anything in our power to positively get them engaged with the community and be a support system that the families need.


Thanks Debbie for being such an amazing part of our team and for helping so many families!

Keep up the awesome work!


Welcome New Board Members!

We are proud to announce three new members of Latino Network’s Board of Directors!

Patrick Quinton, Christa Stout, and Melinda Veliz were confirmed as board members in March 2017.

Patrick Quinton is the founding principal of Civic Innovation NW consulting firm. Previously, he was the Executive Director of Portland Development Commission. Under his leadership, PDC was the Presenting Sponsor for Latino Network’s annual gala, Noche Bella for several years. We are excited to have his expertise guiding us. Read his full bio here.

Christa Stout is the Vice President of Social Responsibility for the Portland Trail Blazers. Previously, she managed the Portland Timbers Community Relations Department. Latino Network is currently a community partner with the Blazers, and we look forward to continuing to deepen that partnership and work with Christa. Read her full bio here.

Melinda Veliz works in Public and Community Relations for Legacy Health-Silverton Medical Center. Melinda is a graduate of our Unidos program, Cohort II. We look forward to having her on our board! Read her full bio here.

Our Board of Directors:

Employee Spotlight: Thalia Garcia-Aguilar

At Latino Network, we are always trying to find new and fun ways to recognize the people who are on the ground making a difference in our community: our staff. That's why we're starting a blog series that features our employees who are doing amazing things with youth, families, and communities here in Portland.

To start, we're featuring our very own AmeriCorps Vista, Thalia Garcia-Aguilar!

Thalia became our AmeriCorps Vista and Volunteer Coordinator in August, 2016.

Thalia became our AmeriCorps Vista and Volunteer Coordinator in August, 2016.

Thalia helps coordinate all of our volunteers at Latino Network. From recruitment to training, she's the one who helps our organization connect with awesome people in the community who want to volunteer their time with our programs. 

Before she became our AmeriCorps Vista, Thalia was with Latino Network as an AmeriCorps Summer Vista, helping our School Based Programs in our Ninth Grade Counts summer program. In August 2016, she became our resident Vista and started her volunteer coordinating position with us. 

Here is what she had to say about her experience at Latino Network:

Question: What motivated you to go into AmeriCorps?

Thalia: Throughout my undergraduate schooling I meet a lot of people who told me about their experiences in AmeriCorps and it seemed really rewarding. I also remember receiving different job offers right after graduation, but none of them fit according to what I thought would be my next step in my career, so I joined AmeriCorps. Once I got involved I knew it was the right choice.

Question: What do you think about working for Latino Network?

Thalia: I ran across Latino Network during my undergraduate studies at Warner Pacific. The people I met were great and because I'm a first-generation Mexican-American, working here feels familiar. There's a lot of parallels between working at Latino Network and the family atmosphere I grew up with at home.

Question: What are you studying in school now? What would you like to do with it?

Thalia: I received my B.S. in May 2016 in Social Entrepreneurship. I originally wanted to get my MBA, but after working in the 9th Grade Counts program this past summer, I decided to pursue my Masters in Education. I don't know what my dream career is, but it definitely involves running a business in the interest of education, social justice, and diversity. I also would love to travel throughout the country and teach schools how to dismantle systems of oppression and become more inclusive and equitable environments.

It was amazing to create the connection between the student and my friend, and to help foster a passion within the student that inspired him to succeed.

Question: What's a success story that you've experienced while working at Latino Network?

Thalia: During my Summer Vista service with 9th Grade Counts, I connected one of my students who was into skateboarding with a friend of mine who was starting up a skateboarding company called Quartet. I asked him for Quartet stickers because my student liked the one on my water bottle. I told him how passionate my student was to learn how to skateboard, and how he was a great leader in the classroom. He was one of my students who can rally this peers together and often would help get his peers to be involved in activities. My friend gifted a skateboard and t-shirt to my student because of the student's initiative to lead and make a difference. 

Months later, I got to meet my former student's mother. She wanted to let me know how well her son was doing in school and how meeting my friend has motivated him to graduate high school. He's also getting better at skateboarding! It was amazing to create the connection between the student and my friend, and to help foster a passion within the student that inspired him to succeed. That's what education is all about, and that's what I plan to do in the future!

Thank you Thalia for your amazing work at Latino Network and your passion to help the community! We can't wait to see what you'll achieve in the future!

If you're interested in connecting with Thalia to volunteer with us, click the button below: