Board Spotlight
Our new Board President
Sujhey C. Beisser
Originally from Venezuela, Sujhey Beisser is the branch manager of Park Bank, in Sun Prairie. She is also a mother of two and a culinary chef in her spare time. She has had a long history of leadership with Centro Hispano of Dane County since immigrating to the US.   "I started on the board in April of 2008. During my first 6 years on the board I served as Treasurer in 2 different terms, 3 years total and Secretary 1 year. I have been member of the Executive Committee during the hiring process of the Executive Director in two opportunities. Member of the membership committee for 5 years, and Chair of scholarship committee for 4 years. I also started the silent auction during the banquet of 2010 (with the help of Brenda Gonzalez and Tania Ibarra!)". Centro is proud to welcome Sujhey as our new Board Chair.

Welcome Maria Alvarez-Stroud!
Three new board members join the Centro Hispano Board of Directors this year including Maria Alvarez-Stroud. Maria has long been involved in the community in several roles. In her role as Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, she created a strategic framework to address broadband as and economic development initiative applying and receiving federal grants totaling over 30 million dollars for this effort.
She is currently the Director of UW-Extension Broadband and E-Commerce Education Center. She has over 25 years of executive experience and will bring a wealth of capacity to the Board in the areas of strategic advancement, fund development and change management.  


Youth Programming @ Centro 

Latino Youth Summit back at Centro Hispano!
This year’s Latino youth summit shifted locations to Centro Hispano, were 8th grade Latino students listened to a keynote address by UW Professor Carolina Sarmiento and took part in a number of workshops talking about identity, culture, their environment and careers/aspirations. Thank you to MGE for continuing to sponsor the event and continuing to support Centro. We look forward to returning to the UW in 2016! 


Escalera High School students start Summer Internship program!
Escalera students started this summer with sessions at Centro and internships at sites across the city including CUNA, the Mayor’s Office, Dane Arts, and four placements at UW-Health. We are exciting to have the energy of the kids in-house this summer and are looking forward to their end of the year project presentation. Welcome youth!

Wellness at Centro

The Gardens at Centro are growing!  The ‘fruit’ of the community’s labor is a space where families learn about nutrition, food preservation, and a space that is the seed for discussions around food equity, farming, and broader career paths…We paint our new shed – build by Operation Fresh Start – soon! Stay tuned!  And hope you will join us in community.

Wellness Classes continue on Fridays! 

Come and move that skeleton! Over the past several months Centro has been hosting zumba and yoga classes. In the upcoming months Centro’s zumba classes will be twice a week… look out for belly dancing and traditional Mexican folkloric dancing in the near future.

Upcoming Events
detail of all our events on our website


Fiesta Hispana



Annual Celebration

El Mercadito de Centro

In an effort to recreate the Mercados found throughout Latina America, Centro brings you El Mercadito! Come join the vendors and take part in cooking demonstrations and kids activities – happening every Tuesday from 8-1p starting July 7 through November 3rd.

Staff Spotlight

Lourdes Godinez – El Link para la Comunidad 



Centro would not be the same without Luly.
Luly is committed to the Latino community because of her life experience. Her family is originally from Mexico and she attended Memorial High School. Luly knows the immigrant experience all too well and in her new role as Community Engagement Specialist at Centro she is now officially the ‘connector’ between our youth and adults, working to engage families in the community, with Centro’s vision.

Radio Spotlight

What does Centro mean to you?? Want to join us on the radio?? Reach out to Centro and let us know if you would be interested in coming on as our guest.

Support Us!

Watch this Video!


A Note from our Executive Director
Mi querida comunidad,
It is summer and we’ve been long overdue for a newsletter.  Staff at Centro have been hibernating this Spring - our fantastic new Program Directors have been working tirelessly so that our work at Centro aligns with our vision for the future.  We have placed a strong emphasis on programs driven by the community for the community, working to engage the community in what we do, so that they may better guide our efforts. 
But it has not only been a time of work but also of significant reflection - significant reflection for me as a recent immigrant to Wisconsin.  How does the Latino dream, struggles, goals, fit in, in this environment? Is it an equitable environment to have these conversations? The passing of Tony Robinson was crushing to me on a very personal level – the confusion that has emerged out of what happened, leaves many questions unanswered, much anger, frustration and unexpected sadness for me after moving to this state. I am saddened for the family that lost their son much too soon, and I am saddened for systems that are broken, unable as is to serve the needs of all in this community. But at non-profit agencies we are consistently dealing with broken systems. This is why conversations around equity are puzzling to me, because they fail to recognize the on-going work in Madison. That there needs to be a greater understanding and a new answer to fight inequities seems odd to me since so much work, including at Centro, is already grounded in and has been committed to tackling many of the root causes of disparities for 32 years.
Lastly, I am proud of our African American community that has stood up to take a lead and I refuse to allow for the work that we do at Centro to be interpreted to be in competition.  Let it be known, that we stand together, support, applaud, and will always speak out for one another, because to have equity in Madison WE don’t need to be fixed, WE need to drive the agenda and greater Dane County needs to let us emerge from the shadows, together.  Our work is too important, our communities, our kids' future is at stake - including that of my daughter Penelope, born last summer, 1 month before Fiesta Hispana.
And so we move on… enjoying summer  – I can’t wait to see you, at Fiesta Hispana 2015 in September! A celebrar en comunidad! 


Nos vemos pronto!

Karen Menéndez Coller, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Penelope, 11  months