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ALAS is dedicated to giving creative expression to Latino youth and families of Half Moon Bay to celebrate identity and preserve the rich traditions of Mexico through our cultural arts programs of Ballet Folklorico, Mariachi, Education, Counseling and Social Justice Advocacy. As we all live under the same moon, we believe in standing for immigrant and human rights. Our motto, tu lucha es mi lucha defines our belief that we are here to join in the struggle to soar above and dream together.

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Address: 625 Main Street
El Granada, CA 94019
Email: alas@alasdreams.com
Phone Number: 650-243-1725
Our New Home

This year in 2018 we are proud to open the doors to our first ever cultural arts center of ALAS in downtown Half Moon Bay. We are excited to have our own space at La Piazza to support the continued growth of our arts programs and increase our counseling services and community engagement. This space gives us opportunity to expand our youth programs support our Clinical Intern Counseling program with our University partners. We also dream to grow our visual arts programs for the community and increase immigration advocacy and case management. Finally our space gives us an opportunity to come together and build bridges across communities. Your donation will support the development of our programs and support ALAS as a vibrant healing space.

Ayudando Latinos A Soñar, ALAS
The Arts

ALAS is a cultural arts program that is built on foundations of community, social justice, social work, education and the arts. We are the only Latino non profit and cultural arts program in Half Moon Bay. Ayudando Latinos A Soñar was born out of the need to create opportunities for our youth to engage in identity development, embrace cultural traditions, dance, sing and have opportunities to learn music and dream forward. We also believe in preparing our youth for higher education with a focus on leadership and service. ALAS' work is centered on using the cultural arts as a foundation of entry point for our community. Our program focuses on but is not limited to working with Latino youth and their families living in our rural community, many who come from families that are farmworkers on the Coast or work in our local restaurants or hotels that fuel the tourist industry of our community .
Teaching the rich traditions of Mexican Ballet Folklorico and the music of Mariachi to our youth, ALAS hosts weekly classes to engage the youth in the arts. With a commitment to growth and leadership of our youth in the arts, we perform regularly around the Bay Area at community events, schools, Universities and yearly performance events hosted by ALAS. We have had the honor to open shows for Mexico's most famous Mariachi Vargas de Technotitlan and Los Tigres del Norte, known as the voice of the people. We have had amazing opportunities to perform at local Pixar and Google campuses.

Counseling, Immigration and Social Justice

Building trust and community through the arts, ALAS has worked with youth and families to provide counseling, advocacy and case management with a focus on Latino Mental Health and immigration stress. Due to limited counseling programs on the Coast, ALAS is proud to fill the gap for increased counseling services to our community. Our work has included building partnerships with local Universities to engage in working together to support our Coastal community. We are proud to work closely with University of San Francisco and Santa Clara University to build bridges of educational and counseling support for our youth and families. We also work to increase community support and advocacy, working together to increase relationships with our neighbors of the Coast. We have developed community programs such as Dia de Los Muertos and assisted in supporting our Half Moon Bay Posada. Every year we participate in our performing at our local parades of Fourth of July and the Pumpkin Festival. We also are involved with Nights of Lights, Cinco de Mayo of Half Moon Bay and other community festivities.

Education

A special highlight of our education program has been our work with Notre Dame de Namur University's teacher education program. Together with their Faculty and teacher education students we have develop a successful after school tutoring program. This free program has had significant success in raising reading levels and improving educational self esteem of the youth that commit to attend twice a week. Parents and youth have been fully engaged and committed to this program, seeing their youth grow both in the arts and in learning at the same time.

Community Partnerships

One of our main foundations of our program is building strong community partnerships. Over the years we have had amazing community support to make our program a reality. The Boys and Girls Club of the Coastside have opened the doors for us to be a program affilitate. They have worked with us to develop opportunities for partnership, space, support and youth leadership. Our Lady of the Pillar has been our home for our Ballet Folklorico program- as well as the Ted Acock center. Moonridge, Saint Vincent de Paul, Cunah School, the Methodist Church and many others have worked side by side to support our community and work on the Coast. Another pillar of strength is our connection to our local Universities of Notre Dame de Namur, University of San Francisco and Stanford.

Service Learning and Social Justice

ALAS is dedicated to embed our youth in opportunities to serve others. ALAS youth have volunteered at local food pantries, with church activities, at Senior housing and have taught at University of San Francisco School of Education. They have spoken to graduate students in counseling psychology, have presented in local community campaigns, and have spoken and performed at National conferences. We are very excited to have our youth engaged in making a difference. This is our mission of building dreams and spreading our wings.


How do we make this happen? What do we need?

Our commitment to the community we serve is to keep our price low for every child to be able to participate. We want each child to have an opportunity to engage in our programs. We are able to do this through a commitment of our leaders to grow the program through volunteer time. Our Board of Directors, our Executive Director and each Community Coordinator of our programs donate one hundred percent of their time to the program each week. Our fee for our arts program are low to maintain the focus of access for our youth to enter into the arts. Our Arts teachers travel from San Jose, San Francisco, San Leandro and Santa Cruz to be part of our team of ALAS. Our focus is to build funding to support our arts teachers, the development of ongoing programs, to increase our opportunities to support scholarships and funding for other youth and families to enter into the program. We also need funding to support the expansion of our counseling services. Currently we have hired one Licensed Clinical Supervisor and are looking to add a Case manager on our team. We also hope to hire an Admin Assistant and Program Supervisor to support the role and duties of the Executive Director.

We are looking to apply for grants for our program that can focus on mental health, the arts, wellness, health and immigration support. We also hope to increase personal donors that are interested in supporting the focus of our work and the youth and families of our community. We would like to find specific donors committed to supporting our new community space. We also would like to find individual sponsors for our youth to pay for their program when some of their families are struggling to pay the fifty dollar fee per month. Our education program needs continued supplies of computers, school supplies and funding for our Education Directors that oversee the weekly program. Finally, our goal is to increase our arts program and enhancing opportunities for youth to have individual voice lessons, opportunities to perform in venues further from home that include travel and life changing experiences. We are committed to building dreams for our ALAS youth and those of our community. Our goal is to be a healing and transformative space for our youth, families and community. In addition, we are focused on opening the pipeline of education to build leaders committed to social justice and higher education. We are equally committed to building community relationships that builds on creating community bonds and trust with one another with the mission that we all live under the same moon- connected by Corazón and inspired to lead our future together. Si se Puede!


"The program at ALAS is a place where youth are able to discover their own power and see more clearly the precious value of their families and their community. In addition to the huge academic gains in reading and writing English that we have seen with kids in the program, students gain confidence and a sense of pride based on knowledge about their own culture and its importance in the wider community. They learn about the history and legacy of their traditions and their connections to other communities around the country and around the world. Many also develop leadership skills as they mentor peers and younger kids. ALAS is a place where kids are not only learners, but teachers"
by Dr. Kelly Delaney, ALAS Educational Director, Assistant Professor, Notre Dame de Namur University

"When I feel sad and I come to ALAS I feel better, I feel like we are family and when I dance I feel happy. It reminds me of Mexico and I am proud to dance and show others are culture"
ALAS Tonantzin Folklorico Youth Participant

"When I fall down, Mariachi Media Luna is there to pick me up, they give you a hand and they make you feel important. For me Mariachi is like a family, they are there for you"
Mariachi Media Luna Youth Participant