We believe our diversity is strength. Our mission is to empower and grow our Latino and Hispanic communities in Northwest Louisiana by providing support, social, and educational services in an environment of respect.
Board of Directors:
Mario Villafuerte, Lupita Soto, Gabriel Balderas, José Cardenas, Francisco Trejo, Dr. Bruno Alvarez, Jesús and Ely Bulnes, and Dr. Deborah Smith (See photos in Media Gallery)
RASA serves people in the Latino/Hispanic community of Northwest Louisiana. There are a few Louisiana-based organizations that serve Latino/Hispanic people but they are located predominantly in South Louisiana.
Between 2010-2020, Latino population growth outpaced general population growth in every state in the country; this includes Louisiana which had a 67.5% increase in its Latino population during the past decade. (Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/specials/new-latino-landscape)
Unfortunately, many Latino & Hispanic people are not counted in the US Census; therefore, this number represents only a fraction of the population living and working in our region of service. Additionally, Hispanic people may be of any race, and are included in other race categories in the US Census. (Source: https://datausa.io/profile/geo/northwest-louisiana-puma-la). This can skew the Census count.
Because Northwest Louisiana’s Latino/Hispanic population is not being accurately counted in the US Census, we will assist with this effort.
Many Louisianans are multi-ethnic, but speak Spanish as their first language. These people are vastly underserved by the social services sector.
RASA seeks to help this growing group of Northwest Louisianans who are not receiving important social & educational services.
Our clients live/work in the following parishes:
- Red River
Any Latino or Hispanic person who commutes to Northwest Louisiana and needs services from RASA is eligible to receive our assistance. We serve all Latino and Hispanic people regardless of their socioeconomic or citizenship status.
The majority of our clients are from other countries. These countries include, but are not limited to:
- Puerto Rico (a territory of the United States)
- Dominican Republic
- Other countries in Latin America, and countries where Spanish is the native language
- There is a perpetual need for our service in the region due to the growing population of Latino/Hispanic people who are choosing to live/work in Northwest Louisiana.
- RASA is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive range of community services to the Latino & Hispanic community here.
- Our founding Board of Directors have 100+ years of experience in community outreach, advocacy, activism, immigration, entrepreneurship, and education.
RASA offers educational, community outreach, social services, and entrepreneurship services to our clients.
Specific RASA client services include, but are not limited to:
- Translation services in person and via Zoom
- English classes
- Spanish classes for English-speaking people who wish to volunteer with RASA or learn Spanish for other reasons
- Scholarship program(s)
- Assistance with and referrals to social services provided by local community partners/providers/organizations
- School-based services including an after-school program and school supplies
- Immigration and legal services
- Entrepreneurship and job training
- Economics, long-term financial management/goal setting skills, and building and establishing good credit
RASA will also implement the following initiatives to serve the local Latino/Hispanic community:
- Community partnerships with existing outreach and wellness organizations to facilitate better general health & wellness, maternal health and wellness, children’s medical care, vaccinations, and nutrition education in the Latino/Hispanic community
- Engagement with local government officials and law enforcement to provide awareness and education about the local Latino/Hispanic community
- Community/cultural events, social gatherings, and networking opportunities to benefit the Latino/Hispanic community and Northwest Louisiana
In the future, as we discover specific needs that align with our mission statement, we will consider implementing a program to address them.
RASA will fully vet all community partners and volunteers to assure the quality of services they provide, and to confirm that their ethics, values and priorities align with ours.
Clients receive all services from RASA free of charge.