JUNE 18: Vivir Unidos! …but what is it?

It’s a movement. It’s an opportunity. It’s an event.

It’s a lot of things. So to clarify, I talked to Armando Rayo of Hands On Central Texas (which is part of United Way Capital Area) about Vivir Unidos.

Q. So what is Vivir Unidos? 

Mando: It’s basically a volunteer fair for Hispanics. But it’s also a celebration of our culture and an opportunity for anyone to connect with the Hispanic/Latino culture in Austin.

There’ll be about 30 nonprofits there, reaching out to attendees to talk about volunteer opportunities. We’ll also have several local restaurants serving up food from all kinds of Hispanic cultures. There’ll be music and dance, of course, and Loteria. Plus we’re hear about the city’s Hispanic Quality of Life Initiative and our own report about Hispanic volunteering and community engagement.

Q. Wow, so there’s going to be plenty to do, but who’s it for?

We’re hoping to attract Hispanics and Latinos in Austin who are looking for ways to support their community. But it’s also a great opportunity for local nonprofits to get to know the culture and what drives Hispanics and Latinos to volunteer. Traditionally, I would say that Hispanics/Latinos are not asked to serve. Maybe it’s because so many of the people that are served are Hispanic/Latino, but I also think it’s because nonprofits need to gain a better understanding of the motivations and hurdles Hispanics and Latinos have for volunteering.

It’s absolutely essential to include Hispanics/Latinos in the service to that community. Not only do they understand the culture and language better, but they can be visible role models who demonstrate that Hispanics/Latinos in Ausitn need to be part of the change.

We definitely hope to see the Hispanic community represented, but anyone can attend. Families and children welcome!

Q. So what will attendees get out of it?

Mando: Well, they’ll have fun. It’s at the Mexican American Cultural Center, which is a few blocks south of the Convention Center and just off the west side of I-35.

And, really, the main goal is for people to learn what they can do to make a difference. They’ll come away with a list of resources for becoming more engaged, and they’ll learn a little bit more about the culture.

Q. GivingCity will be there. But now’s a good time to talk about details.

Mando: You’d better be there! Okay, here are the details…

Thursday, June 18, 2009 
6:00 – 8:30 PM
Mexican American Cultural Center
600 River Street, Austin, Texas 78702

An event hosted by United Way Capital Area and Hands On Central Texas. Come learn about how you can get involved in the community, and enjoy activities for the whole family!
* Vivir Unidos Loteria (which is basically Mexican bingo)
* La Feria de los Voluntaries (the Volunteer Fair part)
* St. Edward’s Ballet Folklorico (dance performance)
* La Esquina de HEB (HEB Corner)
* Comida Latinoamericano (Nom, nom)
* Special presentation of “Making the Connection Volunteer Report” by
Hispanic Community Leaders.

PS: There’s still time to be a sponsor! Sponsorship levels from $200 to $5000. Get creative and email Mando Rayo with your sponsorship inquiries.

Check out how Austinite Linda Medina rolls with community engagement…

How I LIVE UNITED: Linda Medina from elmundodemando on Vimeo.


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