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El Centro Cultural de Someplace Else

The nonprofit community center got a last-minute extension, but its supporters are still crying 'gentrification'

Those extra days are not good enough for the nonprofit's supporters. "El Centro is an organization that has zero administration-salary budget, and all of our programs are headed by volunteers on a weekly basis," says volunteer Benjamín Vázquez, who is also a Santa Ana Unified School District teacher. "It does more with less than any other nonprofit in Santa Ana. A 60-day extension would not be considered a victory for us. We, as volunteers of El Centro and Santa Ana, feel the city can do much more to find a permanent place."

The new date for El Centro Cultural de Mexico to vacate is Sept. 14, just two days shy of Mexican Independence Day, when the city of Santa Ana will be holding its annual "Fiestas Patrias" weekend street festival. "I think an extension was the decent thing to do by the Broadway Improvement Co.," Vázquez says, adding, "In the end, we are still without a space on Sept. 15."

Portions of this story previously appeared on Heard Mentality, the Weekly's music, arts and culture blog.

Frida fighters: Yenni Diaz, Carolina Sarmiento and Benjamin Vasquez of El Centro Cultural de Mexico
John Gilhooley
Frida fighters: Yenni Diaz, Carolina Sarmiento and Benjamin Vasquez of El Centro Cultural de Mexico

This article appeared in print as "El Centro Cultural de Someplace Else: The nonprofit community center got a last-minute extension, but supporters are still crying 'gentrification.'"

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