We're back!
Our physical office is open again to the public!

The past few months have been difficult for everyone, but Omaha's Latino community has been hit especially hard. We've received an unprecedented amount of requests for assistance with food, employment, utilities and more. Our team has been busy working remotely to support our community, and opening our office will allow us to assist even more people.
Our Plan to Protect our Staff and Community
We will provide a face mask to anyone entering our building.
We will take the temperature of everyone entering the building.
Everyone will be required to schedule an appointment by phone at 402-733-2720 .
We will provide hand sanitizer and follow strict cleaning protocols.
Only staff members will be allowed to enter the top and bottom floors.
A video and audio doorbell will control access to inside the office.
What We've Been Up to Lately
Marylena Pedro, a Siembra Nebraska intern, plants lettuce at our Kids Can! garden.
Siembra Nebraska

Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit South Omaha, we distributed a survey to research how our community was being impacted. More than 600 people completed the survey, which informed us that there were two main needs in the Latino community -- food assistance and employment. In response, we launched Siembra Nebraska .

Siembra Nebraska is an urban gardening program that provides employment for local youth and teaches them how to combat food insecurity. Interns spend four days each week at garden sites with The Big Garden, and on Fridays, the interns head to the Latino Center of the Midlands to plan how to distribute the produce.

HACE Award Distribution
Each year, the Community Academic Achievement Awards Committee and the Latino Center host the HACE Awards Ceremony for graduating Hispanic/Latino Seniors in Omaha Public Schools with a 3.0 GPA or higher. In May, our Pathways to Success team was able to distribute more than 400 awards at each OPS drive through graduation. The team was also able to send HOPE Awards to more than 900 middle school eighth graders that maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

The team also continued supporting their students in a virtual manner, assisting them with their online coursework and holding Círculo sessions over group video calls.

Bryan Hernandez Torres, an HACE award recipient at Omaha South.
Fruit and Personal Hygiene Supply Distribution
Hygiene kits included information on voting, the 2020 Census and important COVID-19 resources.
Our Family and Community Well-Being program organized two different deliveries to families in our community: the first included bags of fruit along with important COVID-19 resources; the second was a delivery of face masks, hand sanitizer and other important personal hygiene supplies.

These allowed for us to see families in our community (at a social distance) and check-in on them during quarantine. We were able to assess how to continue supporting our families and adjust our programming to do so. The Family and Community Well-being team also hosted a live cooking demonstration in partnership with Whispering Roots and began the second year of Siembra Salud programming.
Adult Basic Education Online Learning
All of our Adult Basic Education classes were able to continue virtually through Google Classroom and Zoom. Many of our students are essential workers, but their commitment to continue their studies remained. More than 100 ESL, GED, Literacy and Computer Literacy students completed the term at the end of June. Now we are gearing up for the next semester of classes set to begin in August.

Supporting Our Community with Online Resources
It has always been our duty to provide our community with bilingual resources. In response to the pandemic, we updated our website with a bilingual resource page where the community could find information on unemployment, utility assistance and other support services. We also created an interactive pantry map where individuals can type in their address and find directions and information for the nearest pantry to their location.

Omaha Gives! Diversity and Inclusion Celebration
This year, we kicked off our 2020 Omaha Gives! campaign with a Virtual Diversity and Inclusion Celebration. We were able to raise over $20,000 thanks to our generous donors.

A special thanks to all of the outstanding leaders and panelists who made this event a success. Our Healthcare Panel with Rodrigo Lopez (Children's Hospital), Selene Espinoza (DCHD Board Member) and Dr. Armando de Alba Rosales (UNMC) touched on how different local healthcare providers are supporting diverse communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Leadership and Resilience Panel featured Madeline Moyer (Security National Bank), Cristina Castro-Matukewicz (Wells Fargo Bank) and Ricardo Castro (Castro Realty Group). The 3 panelists highlighted how their diverse backgrounds have allowed them to lead successful careers. Maya Saenz (KMTV) facilitated both panels.

As always, we are grateful for your support of the Latino Center of the Midlands. We could never have anticipated the impact COVID-19 would have, and we will continue working hard to maintain the health and safety of our community.

Wishing you and your family the best,
The Latino Center of the Midlands
Latino Center of the Midlands | Website