CLLARO Que Si! August 2023 Newsletter
CLLARO, formerly known as LARASA, was created in 1964 by 27 community leaders in Colorado that believed in improving the lives of Latino/as in our state. One of the co-founders was Donald Norman Pacheco, and today we honor his legacy and dedication to social justice and service. 
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Donald Pacheco, a guiding light and cornerstone of his family, passed away at the age of 88 on July 27, 2023. Born on March 31, 1935, in Trinidad, Colorado to Norman Bonnie Pacheco and Eva Duran.  Donald was forever grateful that he was raised by his grandparents, Catalino and Josephita Duran and his four aunts, Helen, Emma, Dora and Beatrice who taught him the value of obtaining an education.  He lived a life marked by devotion, intellect, and joy. Donald was a proud alumnus of the University of Denver, where he earned a law degree and laid the foundation for a successful career. He enjoyed being a member of one of Colorado’s oldest fraternal organizations, La Sociedad Protección Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos (The Society for the Protection of United Workers).
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The 28th Annual Bernie Valdez Awards
The CLLARO team is excited to welcome you this year at the 28th Annual Bernie Valdez Awards the morning of September 21st. Not only will we be honoring seven amazing Latino/a community leaders, but you will also have the opportunity to make a difference by supporting CLLARO’s work through our fundraising efforts.

We would like to congratule the seven Latino/a community leaders that were selected as the recipients of this year's 28th Bernie Valdez Awards. Each award category received  numerous nominations, and each recipient received the majority of votes from the selection committee. It will be an honor for CLLARO to celebrate them at our event this September! 

Debbie Ortega
The Federico Peña Lifetime Achievement Award

Juanita Martinez-Rocha
The Sheldon and Jan Steinhauser Community Service Award

Dr. Luis Torres
The Lena Archuleta Education Award

Denise S Maes
The Polly Baca Justice Award

The Honrable Julie Gonzales
The Roger Cisneros Public Policy Award

Andrea Colmenero
The Distinguished Capitol Fellow Award 

The CLLARO Alianza Award 
This year, if it is a fit for you, there will be some fun opportunities such as the INSPIRATO For Good vacation packages!  

If you are interested in purchasing individual tickets, please click here.

For sponsorship packages, click here. Contact for questions regarding sponsorships. 

All Capitol Fellowship Program alumni get 60% off tickets –– such a great deal! If you’re a CFP alumni interested in attending, please contact

Latino Action Council Summit 2023
The collaborative efforts of the Latino Action Council at CLLARO and CSU Pueblo culminated in the highly successful 2023 Aztlán Research Center Summer Institute & CLLARO Latino Action Council Summit held in Pueblo, CO. This impactful two-day summit drew a diverse and engaged audience of over 200 attendees.

On Day 1, our focus centered on the exploration of Mestizaje, a concept of great significance. Expert voices provided profound insights into this theme, enriching our understanding of its cultural and historical dimensions. Day 2 unfolded as a dynamic amalgamation of networking, community forging, and empowerment. Renowned keynote speakers, including Rep. Elizabeth Velasco and Secretary Federico Peña, along with other prominent civic leaders, graced the event. The day was enriched by illuminating breakout sessions that encompassed topics like Colorado Voting Strategy, Civic Engagement, the Colorado Latino Achievement Gap, and an enlightening DPS - A Case Study: Resegregation Report.

This comprehensive two-day experience brought together thought leaders, subject matter experts, breakout sessions, and panel discussions, all delving into our shared past while propelling the pursuit of political representation, social advancement, and economic prosperity for Latinos/Chicanos across Colorado. 

We are currently recruiting the next generation of diverse Latino leaders to be part of the Capitol Fellowship Program (CFP) in 2024. The application is available online (, and closes Sunday, September 24 at 11:59PM.

The CLLARO Capitol Fellowship Program provides public policy training to college students--typically the first in their families to attend college--and places them in paid internships with state legislators and other public officials and policy advocates during the Colorado legislative session. During the program, Fellows also build their professional networks, and gain new leadership skills that can be applied in any career. 

Fellows can apply to receive a monthly scholarship of up to $875 to support their education committment during the program, or receive a $3,500 scholarship upon completion of the program. 

Who can apply for a Capitol Fellowship position?
- College students that are sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate and Ph.D. students.
- We are opening up this great opportunity to young professionals in the early to intermediate carreer level.
Applicants in academics must submit unofficial transcripts with a minimum 3.0 GPA
- All applicants must complete the online application and submit the required doucuments (resume, one letter of recommendation, writing sample (research preferred))

Program Committment: 
- Attend an in-person orientation and meet & greet on Saturday, November 18 from 9AM - 4PM

- Work 20 hours/week from the first day of the legislative sesison in January to the end of May 2024

- Attend weekly Friday seminars on policy, leadership and more (part of the 20 hours)

- Attend the program graduation on Friday, May 24

For more information contact 

Meet CLLARO's new intern, Mari Alvarez! 

Mari Alvarez is a non-traditional student from the educational system. She began her education in the United States at 36 years old with English, Computer, and General Education Development (GED). She suspended her education for personal and health reasons. She then resumed her studies in 2017, entering Arapahoe Community College (ACC) and later transferred to Community College of Denver, graduating in 2021 (with honors and being first generation); she is currently a student at Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSUD), she is in the Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) program in her senior year, undergraduate carrier.

"As a Latina student, I seek to enhance and gain new skills through the teaching and advice of CLLARO to know and serve my community better in my professional environment as a Social Worker."
Marketing, Communications, and Development Specialist

The marketing, communications, and development specialist will report to the development director, as CLLARO philosophically views development, marketing, and fundraising as being under the same category. This individual will manage social media initiatives, assist with online giving and fundraising, assist with grant writing and grant research, will be the primary contact for CLLARO’s media relations, and will be responsible for marketing CLLARO’s brand among donors, community partners, and the general community.

Click here for more information. 

Research and Policy Analyst 

CLLARO is hiring a research and policy analyst to support the research and advocacy programs of the organization. This position will help align CLLARO’s research with policy analysis and advocacy centered on the Latino population in Colorado. We seek a candidate who has two to four years of experience in policy analysis with strong skills in organizing and community building; experience in analyzing issues and impacts of policies in education, health, workforce development, criminal justice, or family economic security; a strong commitment to equity and engaging community voice; and the ability to communicate information effectively. 

The policy analyst will work closely with the Director of Research and program team members in assisting in the related analytical needs to support CLLARO’s agenda. This position reports to the Director of Research.

For more information contact  or visit the LinkedIn post here.
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FirstBank Financial Fiesta  

FristBank is hosting a Financial Fiesta in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. This will include Sonoran Style Hot Dogs (if you haven’t had one you should attend just for that reason), face painting, non-profit organizations sharing information, fire truck for kids (pending confirmation), and much more!

This is a FREE community event
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Adelante Community Development te invita a el Festival Latino del Condado de Adams County

Únete para celebrar la rica herencia hispana través de música vibrante, sabores auténticos y tradiciones cautivadoras.

Por primera vez en Adams County celebraremos nuestra hispanidad con nuestra música, comida y diversión. Así que, ya sea que seas parte de la comunidad latina o simplemente quieras experimentar la belleza de nuestra cultura, te invitamos a unirte a nosotros en el Festival Latino del Condado de Adams.

Mas informacion aqui. 
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CLLARO CFP Alumn Christian Caldwell needs your support. He created a petition to fight racial discrimination in the Cherry Creek School District: 

Cherry Creek Schools is up to it again with its racist and discriminatory behavior. At the same time, it continues to provide fuel for the school-to-prison pipeline. District leadership told my family and me that expulsion isn't meant to be a bad thing, nor a label placed on a kid. As white administrators, they never understand how and what those words imply in the black and brown community. This implicit bias thinking explains why in 2021-2022, CCSD expelled 120 students of color versus APS had 59, DPS 19, Jeffco 68, Harrison 5, Colorado Springs 41, and overall, the state had 599 compared to its white counterparts of 39 CCSD, APS 0, DPS 0, Jeffco 30, Colorado Springs 17, Harrison 0, and Douglas who had 8. The state had 304 white students expelled (Suspension/Expulsion Statistics for 2021-2022 | CDE ( How do Blacks and Hispanics make up roughly 20% to 25% of the state's population according to U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Colorado, but our kids have some of the highest expulsions, suspensions, and referrals to law enforcement? This is all according to CDE's Colorado Education Statistics on Suspensions/Expulsion Statistics.
Sign petition here
CLLARO’s mission is to empower Latinos through leadership development, advocacy and policy research to strengthen Colorado. CLLARO’s vision for the future is a State of Colorado where Latinos achieve their fullest potential.
 Donate today to support our work.