Written by Dawn Lemons
Program Assistant and Resource Coordinator
Congregational and Community Vitality, Mountain Sky Conference
Since 1972, Servicios de la Raza’s goal has been to “Prevent, Promote, Protect” through culturally responsive services, programs, and advocacy. From behavioral health to family skills, assistance for victims of domestic violence to re-entry aid, Servicios de la Raza incorporates the motto, “For the people, by the people” in every service they provide throughout the state of Colorado from their home base in Denver.
“Moving from one country to another is interesting to people who love to experience and explore new things. Nevertheless, it is difficult for other people because the strange land means a new life linked with worries and pressure brought by cultural clashes,” said Julissa Soto, Director of Statewide Programs at Servicios de la Raza.
In addition to providing support and educational opportunities to Spanish-speaking communities through presentations and trainings, Servicios de la Raza has introduced Familia Adelante to Colorado Springs. This 12-week program reaches at-risk Latino youth ages 10 to 17. Acculturative stress, substance abuse prevention, sex education, and HIV risks are among the topics covered in a program tailored to look at these issues through “culturally-competent skills building.” This focus on “primary prevention, early intervention, and equipping families with the skills they need to thrive” provides clients with the strategies to prevail over the risk factors and stressors life can bring.
“People who experience acculturative stress often consider it tough and confusing to adjust to the new environment with a wide range of strange things such as language, climate, customs, and food. Familia Adelante helps Latino parents and youth learn how to cope with such challenges,” Soto shared.
Future goals include bringing their services directly to those communities most in need and continuing to “foster resiliency” to those they serve.
To learn more about Servicios de la Raza, please visit: