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RACINE COUNTY — The Spanish Center of Racine, 2501 Douglas Ave., is helping to break down barriers and close the language gap in the City of Racine as a newly-founded nonprofit organization.

Leading this new nonprofit are Joshua Martinez and Samantha Altamirano. The center is sponsored by Blink Employment Agency, a business within the same location, founded and operated by Martinez and Altamirano.

Services offered

The Spanish Center of Racine provides services such as translation services from Spanish to English and English to Spanish, as well as assisting with taxes, insurance, providing classes to the community, document reading and guidance, access to community resources, legal assistance, and more.

Likewise, the nonprofit is connected to a business that can help community members gain employment.

“The employment agency is another way that we can help the community, to help them find good careers, to put them in places with great clients that we vet out,” says Martinez, the Director of Operations. “All the proceeds from the employment agency fund the Spanish center so that we can keep the doors open.”

“We eventually want to be a one-stop shop,” says Altamirano, Director of Community Engagement.

Recognizing the need

Being connected to the community is what led these organizers to establish a foundation that serves residents.

Martinez and Altamirano understand the challenges that impose hardships on community members who do not speak English as a first language. As the first generation in Racine, they recognize the difficulties their parents have had to face as well as immigrants.

However, it wasn’t until moving to Texas that the pair realized what opportunities their hometown was missing out on.

Spanish speakers in Texas had resources widely available. Every time Martinez and Altamirano visited Racine, they knew Spanish speakers in Racine and others would benefit from a place where they could receive help.

Upon moving back home in March, Martinez and Altamirano were destined to create a space for community members that could help them improve, grow, and strengthen themselves.

“It motivated me and inspired me to really bring all my knowledge and experience back home where I know for a fact the services and resources are of high need,” says Altamirano who worked in the nonprofit sector dealing with Spanish speakers in Texas.

By May 2023, the community-oriented Spanish Center of Racine opened. Thus far, they report having served over 300 community members through their nonprofit.

“We love when people come in and their eyes light up because you know they just feel welcome. They know that we’re here to help really anyone,” shares Altamirano.

Growing The Spanish Center of Racine

Our center was built on the idea of creating a space where community members can receive services that can enhance the quality of life for individuals and their families in (the) Racine community.

The Spanish Center of Racine mission statement

The Spanish Center is growing, and this fall they will roll out a Beginner English course. Following this, they hope to offer a Beginner Spanish class to continue establishing themselves as a bilingual resource.

“We’ve received a lot of love, a lot of support and we couldn’t ask for anything else,” says Altamirano.

As Martinez and Altamirano continue to work on providing for the community, they seek the help of volunteers to help expand their mission by assisting with programs and events.

Contact or to learn more about what is offered or to volunteer to help.

Keep up to date by visiting their website or by following their Facebook page.

Resources in Racine

Racine County Community Resource Directory

The Racine County Eye has compiled a helpful Community Resource Directory to provide assistance when someone is in need of available resources. This directory contains resources such as emergency resources,…

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