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Latino Educational Training Institute™
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LETI Update
LETI-UW Bothell Summer Program Students Share Impresssions
LETI Student Testimonies
BIS 340 // Approaches to Cultural Research
DeSmet, Summer 2017

Earlier this summer LETI participated in a course taught at University of Washington's Bothell campus (BIS 340 // Approaches to Cultural Research), taught by Prof. Raissa DeSmet.

The course description and student evaluations follow.

Class Description

This course is an introduction to cultural theory and cultural research centered around the urgent issue of gentrification and displacement. Together we will ask: What is culture, why does it matter, and how can we study it? How can researching cultural practices reveal relations of power and privilege? And how does power structure our notions of space, place, identity, and belonging? We will examine different approaches to understanding the production of culture, as well as different methodologies for carrying out cultural research. Throughout the course, we will move between critically evaluating cultural research and carrying out mini-research assignments. As a hybrid community-based learning and research (CBLR) course, students will undertake site-based service work at the Latino Educational Training Institute (LETI), and will be asked to connect their site-based experiences to the wider themes and questions pursued in the course. Ultimately, students should leave this course with an understanding gentrification and displacement as complex processes with significant impacts for minoritized communities, a sense of the methodological possibilities within cultural studies, and a new appreciation for the ways that we produce and reproduce culture in our everyday lives.

Student Testimonials

“Not only did the service work allow us to learn more about these people in relation to the course content, but I also realized that our lives paralleled more than I thought. One of the conversations I had with someone was about the way we are perceived by others. Specifically, someone explained to me how whenever he visited Mexico, everyone saw him as American rather than Mexican, and in America people see him as Mexican rather than American. Since I am American but a minority, I feel like I am not viewed as American sometimes. Then, when I visit my family abroad, I feel that they view me as American and an outsider…. The service work at LETI allowed us to see the true impact that race and ethnicity have… [in our culture]." --RB

“I had a really positive feeling about this class this quarter as well as the partnership with LETI and I look forward to continuing to keep an eye on the work that LETI is doing in the Lynnwood area and potentially helping them out again if they need more help." --NB

“There were two significant takeaways from this [service] experience. The first is that, despite there being many cultural differences among peoples, as well as differences of “power”, having an open heart is key to truly engaging, understanding, and bridging the gap of communication or experience…. And this, I believe, is what will save our communities.” -—MC

“Visiting LETI and being a help on site has given me a clear understanding of community strength and how the neighborhood around this site is impacted from day to day. Providing service to this organization was a beneficial experience that gave me insight on gentrification. Meeting families and young members from the community and neighborhood was essential to understanding the effect the changes and transitions the area was going through, happening through the interactions between families and I directly…. I was able to make genuine…personal connections with…the community members." --SF

“My experience at LETI really opened my eyes to the LatinX community. To see how happy many of the community members were when they swung by to eat food or listen to music made me feel as if all the work we were putting in was really benefitting people. Bringing the community together and helping others get to know each other showed me just how important a well bonded community can be in bringing comfort, as well as helping one feel as if they are part of something bigger. To hear stories of travel and family from the LatinX people gave myself and my classmates a completely different perspective to consider.” -—SJ

“Learning about LETI and the work this organization is doing I think is great in many ways. They are helping those who need the help, but also sending a positive message to everyone as it is very important to help. My job at LETI was we met with Tom on first day and with classmates I would go on a trip in the Lynnwood neighborhood areas to invite everyone to the Friday barbeques that would take place for the couple of Fridays. This was my first time going door-to-door and canvassing to different areas of Lynnwood, and I would say I learned a lot from each areas…. [Through] each door we could see a new and different story and world." --MK

“I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful experience, this is my first community based learning course and I agree that learning in the classroom combined with learning outside the classroom is a beneficial method of not only comprehending the course material, but to practice, observe, and retain it." --ASL

“I am very thankful for this great opportunity and plan to stay involved in the…future." --BM

“This whole thing wasn’t about me, as a white person, coming in to help “save” the people living in this brown neighborhood. It was about getting out of my own little bubble and getting to see gentrification first-hand and hearing from the voices who are impacted by it. I’m also really thankful that I had the opportunity to cook authentic Mexican food, dance, immerse myself in a new culture, and come together with a great group of people. Overall, my time at LETI was incredibly enjoyable, rewarding, and enlightening." --GN

“Through this Community-Based Learning and Research program, I was taught an invaluable lesson to simply outreach, even when I don’t have the answers, if it means that I can help lead someone towards the correct direction. Overall, I was delighted to serve for an organization like LETI because I think it will make a difference in the community and enrich those in need." --JN

“It was very inspiring to work with Tom, Rosario and the class to reach out to the surrounding apartments and neighborhoods to raise awareness about what resources LETI has to offer them. Overall, I believe working with LETI was a very effective way of learning, getting to know and understand the people that have experienced or observed gentrification is an eye-opening experience, if not life changing. Real life experience is so much more effective compared to basing your knowledge and research solely on written material." --AP

“A key lesson from the class that made me think about what I can do in my personal life is to not just preach about change, but to be in the streets with people that are suffering from gentrification. Being part of LETI did allowed me to do exactly that." --QT

“This experience was so wonderful to be a part of and I loved being able to work with classmates on something that benefits a community in need." --BW

LETI is a community partner of the Bothell campus and was awarded a community service award by the University in 2017.

Come play with us - Venga a jugar con nosotros
Activities and free lunch! Wednesday, June 28th starts FREE summer meals program for youth 5-18 years old in these locations. there will also be activities! DETAILS

¡Actividades y lonche gratis! Miércoles, 28 de Junio comienza el programa de comida GRATIS para jóvenes 5-18 años en estas locaciones. También habrá actividades! DETALLES

Annual LETI Gala Set for 20 May
UPDATE 22 MAY: Consensus has it that the Gala was a success. All seemed in good form and enjoyed dinner, program and dancing. See you all next year!

LETI's Fourth Annual Gala in support of Latino Leadership Initiative will take place Saturday, May 20, at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood (flyer). The event will feature international cuisine by Sabores with music by DJ Rene along with student recognition and announcements of future activities.

Tickets are $85 in advance of $95 at the door. Special pricing is available for tables.

Download Printable Flyer (PDF)

WA L&I Presents Worker Safety Instructions
Here is a review of presentations made by the WA Labor and Industries group during the Latino EXPO 2016 (South Snohomish County Latino Safety and Health Fair). See titles below and follow (click) the links to the L&I Power Point Presentations (in English):
Occupational Asthma
Ergonomics and WMSDs
Common WMSD* Hazards in Your Workplace and Some Solution Ideas
Fire Safety
Using a Fire Extinguisher
First Aid
First Aid for General Industry
Job Safety Analysis
General Safety Analysis
Ladder Safety
General Ladder Use Hazards
Motor Vehicle Safety
Distracted Driving 

Working Alone
Working Alone Safely

Guide to Starting a Business; Guía de Emprender un Negocio
Entrepreneur magazine has published a summary of ideas and procedures to help readers understand basic concepts of forming a new company. A link to the Spanish text (PDF) follows. We recommend the article if you are contemplating a new venture.

La revista Entrepreneur (Entreprenista) ha publicado un sumario de ideas y procesos para ayudar a sus lectores entender concetptos básicos de la formación de una compañia nueva. Un enlace al texto (PDF) sigue. Lo recomendamos a ellos que quieren abrir un negocio nuevo.

UWB Nursing School Names LETI Partner of Year
LETI has been named the first recipient of the Outstanding Partner of the Year award from the University of Washington Bothell's School of Nursing and Health Services. The award was presented January 19, 2017, at a ceremony at the campus and was accepted by Rosario Reyes. Pictured at the award ceremony are LETI Vice-president Dr. Rees Clark, President and Executive Director Rosario Reyes, Intern Jasmine Sanchez, and Program Manager Tom Laing III.

Leadership Initiative 2017 Begins

Our Latino Leadership Initiative Kick-off, held at Everett Community College's Jackson Center, on Saturday, January 7, 2017, was described as an inspirational and rewarding experience by all our LLI participants.

In their evaluations, the students not only praised the "great Mexican food" but they also described the presentations by our professional team of mentors, professors, legislators (and the "Harvest of Empire" Documentary) as eye-opening, riveting, essential new knowledge and insight they most certainly needed but had lacked.

With Dr. Jose Garcia-Pabón of Washington State University Extension as the Master of Ceremony, the morning began with a personal, heartfelt introduction by André Guzman, Associate Dean of Advising and College Success at EvCC, in which he described essential elements of a leader’s journey, his own path, obstacles to overcome and the high probability of a rewarding future, especially for college-educated Latinos.

Christina Castorena, Vice President of Student Services at EdCC, delivered an upbeat overview of the origins of the LLI program, followed by an insightful address by the City of Lynnwood mayor, Nicola Smith—both very strong supporters of the LLI Program and our Latino youth.

Next, a panel of elected officials offered insight into the most pressing social and political problems facing our communities as well as a compelling vision of their own personal path to leadership. Latino community activist Juan Peralez expertly moderated the panel that included Senator Maralyn Chase; former Washington State Legislature House of Representatives Velma Veloria and Luis Moscoso as well as the Lynnwood City Council Member, Shirley Sutton. Many students said that they were inspired by the words of encouragement they had received, at last they felt they belonged here in Washington and now felt an urgency to "get involved."

The impact of Dr. Antonio Sanchez’ stunning lecture on the "History and Contributions of Latinos in Washington State" also surprised and inspired our LLI participants, evoking some memorable comments, such as:

  • "For me, the highlight of today is that I’m a part of Washington state, I am important."
  • "I never knew that Latinos are part of Washington state history, that historically we changed our communities."
  • "I am now motivated to become the future of Latino culture."
  • "We are here to be part of the landscape, not to work it!
  • "I can do and help more than I think."
  • "Now everything is possible."
  • "I am amazed to learn that many of us did not cross the border. We were here first and the border crossed us!"

Ultimately, we would like to offer a special thanks to Edmonds Community College President Dr. Jean Hernandez, who took the time and effort to attend and participate in the program for the entire day. We are all very honored and grateful for your support as we are for the mentoring and expertise of Leadership Skagit, Leadership Snohomish and our EdCC Coordinator, Diana Bustos.

Leadership Kickoff Set for January 7
Students, parents and friends are invited to the kickoff of LETI's Latino Leadership Initiative. The event will take place starting at 9 AM, Saturday, January 7 at Everett Community College. For details contact us via the Contacts form above.

Immigration: Legal and Information Resources
Recursos de Ley y Información sobre Inmigración

Your intrepid LETI team has found information that may be useful for all our friends in these uncertain times.

Su tripulación valiente ha descubierto información que puede ser útil en estos tiempos de inseguridad social.

Inmigration - Conozca Sus Derechos (Español)
information for Families (English)
Immigration - DACA Advisory (English)
Immigration About NWIRP (EN&ES)
Immigration-Resources-2016 (English)

Volunteer Web Reporters Needed
Latino Leadership Initiative is seeking a volunteer from each participating college to write articles and expand our photo archive for the 2016 session. Please inquire via our Contacts form.


Clases de GED® en Español
Este es un curso estructurado que prepara a los estudiantes Hispanos para las pruebas oficiales de GED®.

GED significa "desarrollo general de educación" indicando que la persona así certificada tiene las mismas destrezas que tiene una persona graduada normalmente de una escuela secundaria (high school) estadounidense. La certificación puede calificar el individuo para continuación académica o para varios empleos.

Nuestro programa GED -- en español -- se ofrece en cooperación con Edmonds Community College en Edmonds, Washington.

Duración: 1 año

1r trimestre: Enero - Marzo
2do trimestre: Abril - Junio
3r trimestre: Julio - Setiembre
4to trimestre: Octubre - Diciembre

Costo: $25.00 por trimestre

Locación: LETI - Sala de Clase primer piso
6605 202nd Street SW
Lynnwood, WA 98036

Para dias y horas disponibles, sirvase mirar el calendario - Enero 2016: Spanish GED.

Enero 2016 - Calendario

Hágase Cargo De Su Futuro Financiero
Educación Financiera Ciclo de Talleres 2016

LETI, con el apoyo del Departamento de Instituciones Financieras del estado de Washington, estará ofreciendo una serie de seminarios de educación financiera a lo largo de 2016. Las clases se impartirán en formato bilingüe (español e inglés) en una variedad de temas financieros.

Cada serie se ofrecerá varias veces a la semana para acomodarse a cualquier agenda de trabajo.

· Lunes 9:30-11:30 am
· Martes 6:30-8:30 pm
· Sábado 9:00-11:00 am
· Sábado 12:00-2:00 pm

Donde: Centro de Entrenamiento de LETI
6605 202th Street SW, Suite 201
Lynnwood, WA 98036

Espacio limitido, para reservar su asiento llame hoy mismo al 425-775-2688 o envíe un correo electrónico a

Chequee el calendario

Taller: Bienestar Total para la Mujer Latina
LETI le ofrece gratuitamente una variedad de seminarios dictados en español pur un equipo de profesionales altamente calificados en diversos campos y representando un esfuerzo para promover el bienestar de familias latinas mediante el desarrollo personal y profesional de las mujeres en nuestra comunidad.

Serie de Talleres: del 20 de Enero a 9 de Marzo 2016
Donde: Centro de Entrenamiento de LETI - 6605 202th St. SW, Suite 201, Lynnwood, WA 98036
Cuando: Miercoles de 9:00 am a 11:00 am

Se provee cuidado de niños gratuitamente.

Los temas incluyen educación financiera, desarrollo de negocios, operación de un negocio en su comunidad y en Lynnwood especialmente, reducir el estrés en su vida diaria.

La serie de talleres es gratuita y cuenta con el apoyo parcial financiero de United Way del Condado de Snohomish.

Toda emprendedora exitosa reconoce sus propias fortalezas y debilidades. Le esperamos en nuestro centro de entrenamiento localizado en LETI, 6605 202nd St. Suite 201, Lynnwood 98036. Para más información escriba a o use nuestro formulario siguiendo el enlace abajo.

Clases de GED® en Español
Descripción del Curso: Es un curso estructurado que prepara a los estudiantes Hispanos para las pruebas oficiales de GED®. Los alumnos aprenderán nuevas técnicas y habilidades de estudio, así como habilidades de Computación y Matemáticas. En nuestras clases los estudiantes también mejoran sus destrezas en Lectura y Escritura, utilizando temas analíticos que son clave para obtener su Certificado.

(Information on LETI's GED® program, taught in Spanish. To date we have graduated nearly 100 students in collaboration with Edmonds Community College)

Este curso también está diseñado para ayudar a aquellos estudiantes que desean continuar sus estudios en el Colegio o Universidad.

El GED consta de 4 exámenes por separado (que se pueden tomar en cualquier orden):
Lectura, Estudios Sociales, Matemáticas y Ciencias. Normalmente toma UN AÑO (de 3 a 4 trimestres) para aprobar los 4 exámenes y recibir su Certificado. Aunque hay alumnos que pueden aprobar las 4 materias ANTES del año, pues depende del empeño y disponibilidad que cada estudiante aporte.

El costo de Inscripción por Trimestre es de $25 dólares

El costo de los libros, los horarios y otra información importante se da en la Clase de Orientación.

Contamos con 2 opciones de Horario:

- Clases en la Mañana: Martes y Jueves de 9:30am - 12:00 del Medio-día
en el Centro de Entrenamiento LETI - 6605 202nd St. SW (primer piso), Lynnwood WA 98036

- Clases en la Tarde: Lunes, Martes, Miércoles y Jueves de 6:00pm - 8:30pm
• Lunes y Miércoles en LETI ó en EdCC (Se les avisará en la Clase de Orientación)
• Martes y Jueves en la Iglesia del Perpetuo Socorro - 2619 Cedar Street, Everett WA 98201

¿Cómo Registrarse?
El paso#1 para registrarse en este curso es estar apuntado para la Clase de Orientación:

• Llama a la Oficina del Departamento de Pre-College al 425.640.1593
• También puedes ir en persona al Edificio Mukilteo, 4to piso #403

Personal en la recepción te podrán atender para quedar registrado en la Clase de Orientación.
Se recomienda hacer este trámite por lo menos UN MES ANTES de que comience cada trimestre.

Aquí están las fechas de inicio de cada trimestre, para ayudarte a planear con ANTICIPACION:

• Winter quarter - Empieza en Enero
• Spring quarter - Empieza en Abril
• Summer quarter - Empieza en Julio
• Fall quarter - Empieza en Septiembre

Gracias por tu interés en nuestro programa de GED® en Español!!

Betty Koteles
Coordinadora General

Leadership 2016 to Launch December 5
Orientation for the 2015-2016 cohort of the Latino Leadership Initiative will be held on December 5. Contact LETI for details.