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2017, La Voz in the community
Photo courtesy: Robert Martin/La Voz Photo

By Joseph Rios

2017 has been a year full of twists and turns, but one thing has remained constant: Coloradoans have been involved in their community. There’s people working everywhere in Colorado to help those in need, whether it has been from people coming together to help those who were trying to survive damage from hurricanes, or those who’ve helped gather toys for children during the holidays. Here are some topics La Voz covered in its community section.

Toward the end of August Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana, forcing an estimated 30,000 people to live in shelters at the height of the hurricane. Hurricane Irma hit the Florida coast shortly after Hurricane Harvey, and it killed at least nine people in Monroe County. People in Colorado came together to help those in need like Broncos’ receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders, and his teammates donated over $40,000 to Hurricane Harvey relief. Sanders is from the Houston area, and he also sent diapers, food and drinks to hurricane victims.

Westwood’s Community Church in Lakewood filled a truck with supplies and ventured on a journey to Houston to help those in need of help. The church supplied hurricane victims with socks, rain boots, raincoats, bug repellent, canned goods, first-aid kits, baby formula and food.

Another great community story to come out of 2017 was Morrison Road in the Westwood Denver neighborhood being transformed into a Mexican Cultural District. Denver Councilman Paul Lopez envisions the Mexican Cultural District being something like New York’s Little Italy. The area is already home to a heavy Latino population, with distinct food and art like a street mural of civil rights leader Caesar Chavez.

La Voz also took a look at domestic violence this year and found that one in three woman and one in four men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner, according to statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Colorado has numerous shelters throughout the state for those who have suffered from domestic violence like SafeHouse Denver, the Latina Safehouse and Crossroads Safehouse.

On Dec. 2 the Latina Safehouse hosted one of its signature events, Vino y Chocolate. The event was founded in 1998 by Romaine Pacheco, Director at the Governor’s Office of Boards and Commissions, and Sister Alicia Curaon, an inductee of the Colorado Woman’s Hall of Fame. At Vino y Chocolate tables are decorated with nativity settings, cultural settings and other forms of decorations, as well as food and holiday cheer.

“Vino y Chocolate is one of the few opportunities where people can come together and just celebrate the Christmas holidays. They get to enjoy a few hours of socializing with friends and just enjoy Christmas. It is done in the celebration of giving,” Pacheco told La Voz in November.





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