Centro San Juan Diego Monthly Newsletter
We are in the Easter season and Spring is blooming! Just like you, I am reinvigorated by the signs of new life around us and the promise of eternal life in Christ’s resurrection. After a long, hard year of restrictions and lockdowns, the feeling of renewal that always comes this time of year is especially welcome as the world slowly opens back up and a sense of freedom and hope returns.
At Centro, my team and I have been working hard during the pandemic and are serving more individuals than before! Growing demand has us offering even more classes this year especially as students adapt to online learning. We continue to assess our processes and protocols in order to provide the services our community needs.
Thanks to the success of our distance learning programs and the support of many entities and generous individuals like you that believe in our mission, we have been able to make the best of a difficult situation.
St. Paul tells us that while faith, hope, and love remain, “the greatest of these is love.” While our Catholic faith is our driving force, your love and generosity continue to be an essential element to our success. During this pandemic, we all have been reminded of what it means to love each other and care for those around us, especially the most vulnerable.
As St. Catherine of Siena tells us, “you are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love.” Thank you for choosing to love! Please consider supporting our growing ministry by donating today or becoming a monthly donor on our website. By making a recurring donation of just $10 every month, you can make an impact!
“My life’s wish has finally come true; today I became a naturalized citizen of the United States!”
Blanca Deolarte became a U.S. citizen on February 2, 2021, after nearly 15 years of living in the United States. Originally from Mexico City, Blanca came to this country in search of a better life.
“Centro San Juan Diego was the first place I contacted when I arrived,” she says. “I consider Centro like my second home!” Blanca joined Sr. Alicia Cuaron’s
Mujeres Latinas Profesionales
group at Centro, and, thanks to support from this group and her previous bachelor’s degree studies in Mexico, she obtained a work visa which opened a pathway to citizenship.
After years of hard work and patience and only four weeks after enrolling in Centro San Juan Diego’s citizenship preparation class last June, Blanca submitted her application to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Blanca says that everything she learned in class helped her feel confident for her immigration interview and exam. She especially appreciates the real-life examples she learned about in class: “It’s easy to memorize the questions and answers, but if you don’t know the background or have a complete understanding of the connections between the concepts and the answers, you might forget.” Blanca still recognizes these connections today, mentioning that she often thinks of President Eisenhower when she goes up to the mountains through the Eisenhower Tunnel or drives on an interstate highway.
“The world is before me!” Blanca says, now that she is a U.S. citizen. “I feel like this country is finally mine. I am not an alien anymore, and now no one can tell me that I don’t belong here...It is such a special feeling.”
With the world before her, Blanca wants to continue studying, build her cleaning business, and contribute to this country. She currently enrolled in a Master’s degree program studying Human Resource Management and looks forward to applying her skills to her growing business.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity that God has provided to me. This is my new home, my new country. This is the land of great opportunities! The best country in the world! The only place on earth where you have everything you need to be what you want!”
Beyond the Classroom: Denver Museum of Nature and Science Presents Virtual Lesson on the Heart
Prior to the pandemic, field trips to local museums exposed ESL students to art, science, and history while giving them the opportunity to practice their English. Students were often visiting for the first time, stepping outside their comfort zones to better understand the world around them.
Although these visits are currently on hold, Centro is grateful for continued collaboration with our community partners to engage students beyond the classroom. “Centro always allows us the opportunity to explore different avenues that allow us to teach science to a diverse audience,” says Hugo Valdez, a Museum Program Specialist at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) who connected to the GED Science class on March 27.
Hugo presented on the heart’s basic function and anatomy, showing students how to check their own pulse and then engaging them with a virtual dance party to demonstrate the difference between resting and active heart rates. He even conducted a live dissection that was very well received by students!
“I always enjoy working with the students from Centro San Juan Diego as it is a reminder that learning can be fun no matter how old you are,” says Hugo. “The passion and curiosity for learning is always present with your students and I always look forward to the next time. Their questions are a reminder that science can be fun for everyone if we make it accessible.”
Thanks to Hugo, DMNS, and our students for their curiosity and dedication to lifelong learning!
Celebrating a Life Lived for Others:
In Loving Memory of Juan Carlos Reyes
In March of 2020, Centro’s plans to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the passing of former director, Juan Carlos Reyes, were cancelled due to the city’s stay-at-home order.
Now, a year later, we were blessed to celebrate Juan Carlos with a Mass and dinner on the feast of St. Joseph. Joined by Juan Carlos’ wife, children, and his two brothers and their families, we remembered a loving husband, father, friend, and colleague.
We will always remember Juan Carlos for his energetic and passionate service to the Hispanic community in the Archdiocese of Denver. Both his spirit and words continue to inspire everything we do at Centro San Juan Diego:
¡Estamos cambiando vidas! We are changing lives!
on Monday, April 26 at 10:13AM