New 5K charity race announced to promote Latino community in Central Texas

Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Consul General of Mexico in Austin, delivers a $70,000 check to Julian Huerta, Deputy Executive Director of Foundation Communities, the non-profit that will oversee and facilitate the MEXAUSTIN Scholarship program, during a press conference announcing the launch of the program at the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. (Tamir Kalifa for American-Statesman)
Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Consul General of Mexico in Austin, delivers a $70,000 check to Julian Huerta, Deputy Executive Director of Foundation Communities, the non-profit that will oversee and facilitate the MEXAUSTIN Scholarship program, during a press conference announcing the launch of the program at the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. (Tamir Kalifa for American-Statesman)

The Consulate General of Mexico in Austin and “Believe & Train” a running company based in Austin on Saturday announced a new charity race to raise funds for scholarships for Latino students in Central Texas and promote healthy habits within families in the Latino community.

The 5 kilometer race called “Corre Latino” will be held Saturday, Oct. 15 at the H-E-B Center at 2100 Avenue of the Stars in Cedar Park. Registration for the event is now open online at correlatino5k.com. Registration for adults is $30 during August, $35 during September and $40 during October. Children can enroll in the race for $25.

The Mexican consulate will provide financial assistance for low-income families who wish to participate in the race, organizers said during a news conference on Saturday at the Mexican American Cultural Center.

Funds for the event will go toward raising money for the MexAustin scholarship organized by the Mexican consulate and Foundation Communities, which provides financial assistance to Mexican and Latino students in Central Texas who are going to college. The scholarship fund gave out 140 scholarships worth $1,000 to students in its first year.

Organizers are hoping to raise $5,000 for the scholarship fund and to have at least 400 participants in the inaugural race.

“We ask you to spread the word to your friends, to people you know to other families,” Jorge Euran, owner of Believe & Train said in Spanish on Saturday. “The first year is always the hardest … but if we reach our goal the following years will be great.”

 

 

Open tryouts for new Central Texas semi-pro soccer team

Think you’ve got what it takes to play for a semi-pro soccer team? The recently formed Central Texas Lobos, a semi-pro team out of Kyle, will hold tryouts Saturday, July 23, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Gregg-Clarke Park.

The Central Texas Lobos semi-pro soccer team was unveiled this month during a ceremony in Kyle. CORTESÍA ZUZECA
The Central Texas Lobos semi-pro soccer team was unveiled this month during a ceremony in Kyle. CORTESÍA ZUZECA

Tryouts are open to all ages but the team is interested in developing young talent, said Jose Ramos, the team’s coach.

“We’re looking for youth, youth, youth,” Ramos said. “We’re looking for people between 16 and 23 or 24 years old.”

Ramos, who hails from Ciudad Juárez, said the team is focused on young players because it hopes to start a soccer academy for players under 17. Organizers also hope to eventually create farm teams that will help them develop players for the team.

The team will play in the Texas Premier Soccer League, which runs between September and March. And the team has high hopes: its goal is to one day become a fully professional team playing in a second division soccer league, like the United Soccer League or the North American Soccer League. Austin ostensibly still has a team, the Austin Aztex, in the USL, although the team was forced to sit out this season after not finding a venue to play in, and its future in the city is unclear.

Ramos coached Texas State’s men’s soccer team in 2015 and is confident in his ability to scout talent in the area to help the team move up to the professional ranks. He said the team’s goal is to discover local players who can represent the area and be scouted by universities and teams in the United States and Mexico.

140 Central Texas students receive MexAustin scholarships

The Consulate General of Mexico in Austin and Foundation Communities awarded the first annual MexAustin scholarships to 140 Central Texas students Wednesday night.

During a ceremony at the Austin school district’s Performing Arts Center, the students were awarded the $1,000 scholarships, which are open to students who are Mexican, of Mexican descent or of another Latino group. The funds for the scholarships will be awarded to the recipients upon proof of admission to an institution of higher education.

Mayte Lara, an Austin high school valedictorian who was harassed online after tweeting that she was undocumented, spoke during the award ceremony. About 30 percent of the scholarship’s recipients were undocumented.

“My best advice is keep going. If you constantly listen to the things people say about you, you’re going to be held back,” Lara said to the crowd of scholars and their families. “What they say shouldn’t matter. You should always continue to fight for our rights and advocate for everything you believe in and encourage others to do the same.”

RELATED: AN OPEN LETTER TO TEXAS VALEDICTORIAN ATTACKED ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BEING UNDOCUMENTED 

“I just hope all of you take this scholarship and continue your education and make the world a better place,” Lara said.

Carlos González Gutiérrez, consul general of Mexico in Austin, said the award was an affirmation of the hard work the students put in throughout their high school years and a show of support that their community believes in them.

“They will succeed, I know, because as a community we have their backs,” he said.

Casa México will return to SXSW in 2017

The Mariachi del Sur from Bedichek Middle School under the direction of Philip Swasey performs at the Casa Mexico SXSW Interactive showcase at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center on March 11, 2016. (John Clark for American-Statesman)
The Mariachi del Sur from Bedichek Middle School, under the direction of Philip Swasey, performs at the Casa Mexico SXSW Interactive showcase at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center on March 11, 2016. (John Clark for American-Statesman)

Just a day after the end of Mexico’s first large-scale participation in South by Southwest, the consul general of Mexico in Austin, Carlos González Gutiérrez, said Tuesday that the Casa México showcase would return to the festival in 2017.

The event, organized by various sectors of the Mexican government, private businesses and a prestigious Mexican university, was held at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center from March 11 to 14. Its focus was on promoting Mexico as a hub for culture and innovation and was home to several panels on entrepreneurship and technology and various fast-pitch competitions.

“The event went very well,” González Gutiérrez said. “I think Casa México filled a void and it’s here to stay.”

Lee esta nota en español aquí 

The Mexican diplomat said there were some growing pains during the showcase that led to poor participation in some of the events. It also had difficulty attracting people from other showcases. Other setbacks included musical acts not arriving in time for their scheduled sets. Famed Mexican DJ Toy Selectah, for example, missed his set playing the inaugural ceremony Friday and was rescheduled to play Saturday.

González Gutiérrez said some of the logistic failures were due to a rushed preparation. The organizing committee for the event planned Casa México in three months.

“I think we learned a lot from our mistakes,” he said. “We needed to jump into the water to learn how to swim and I think we demonstrated that Mexico has a very important role here and a very strong presence.”

Still, the event also had significant success. It attracted big names in the technology field such as Mario Valle Reyes, director of business development in emerging markets for Electronic Arts, and high-ranking Mexican diplomats like Carlos Perez-Verdía, the country’s undersecretary to North America. And the showcase was also the site of the announcement of a new $30 million venture fund in Austin that will help develop foreign-born entrepreneurs.

González Gutiérrez said that in 2017 the event’s organizers will look to include discussions with SXSW organizers so that its panels can take place inside the Austin Convention Center or in another venue downtown, where much of the festival’s foot traffic is. Next year’s event, González Gutiérrez said, will likely be shorter than four days and the marketing and promotion will be improved. The space for networking sessions, which was one of the most popular features of the showcase, will likely be enlarged, he added.

Additional reporting by James Barragán

Latino groups participating in Amplify Austin

Amplify Austin, the annual online day of giving, has kicked off. It’s the chance for more than 600 nonprofits across Central Texas to get some much needed exposure and donations. This year, the event hopes to raise $9 million.

Here at Somos Austin, we’ve compiled a list of nonprofits that specifically serve Latinos or have it in their mission to enrich the understanding of Latino cultures in Central Texas. It’s complete with links to their donation sites. Give away!

Amigos de las Americas, Austin Chapter

Goal: $6,000

This group trains young leaders in high school and college to become immersed in cross-cultural experiences and sends its members to go live and volunteer in various Latin American countries including Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador , Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Paraguay.

Casa Marianella

Goal: $25,000

This nonprofit aims to create community within Latin American immigrants and international refugees by providing hospitality and promoting self-sufficiency.

Esquina Tango

Goal: $4,000

A nonprofit group that aims to foster personal wellness by promoting an appreciation for Latin cultures through dance and language classes as well as social events.

Hispanic Scholarship Consortium

Goal: $6,000

Provides scholarships for Central Texas Hispanic students.

Manos de Cristo

Goal: $100,000

Promotes dignity and self-reliance by meeting basic needs with food and clothing for low-income individuals. The group also provides essential oral care and helps further educational development.

Mexic-Arte Museum

Goal: $5,000

The museum dedicates itself to cultural enrichment and education through  the collection, preservation and presentation of traditional and contemporary Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art and culture to promote dialogue and understanding among its visitors.

LUPE Arte

Goal: $15,000

Latinas Unidas Por El Arte (LUPE Arte) promotes the arts and culture by providing arts education to youth and helping connect emerging and professional artists with employment opportunities. The group is also focused on promoting women artists and sharing Latino arts and culture with the community.

Roy Lozano’s Ballet Folklorico de Texas

Goal: $3,000

Aims to enrich culture in Austin through traditional Mexican folk dances and other educational programs.

Teatro Vivo

Goal: $10,000

This nonprofit produces and promotes Latino theater that provides a window into the Latino community and makes theater accessible to all audiences, especially those with little exposure to the arts.

The Hispanic Alliance

Goal: $5,000

This group works to ensure the success and growth of Austin’s Hispanic community by providing access to tools, training and other opportunities that allow Hispanic individuals to reach their full potential.

Goal: $15,000
A statewide, membership-based organization that empowers low-income workers to achieve fair employment through education, direct services, organizing and strategic partnerships.
If you know any Latino-specific nonprofits we missed, email jbarragan@statesman.com to let us know.