El Centro de Educación de Trabajadores (El Centro) offers classes in English (ESL, ESOL), basic computer skills, preparation for the citizenship exam, Spanish, and Mandarin.
On Tuesday evenings we host an Intercambio, which is an interactive class for native English and Spanish speakers to practice language skills in a fun, informal environment.
On Monday nights qualified lawyers are on site for free consultations. Collectively, our lawyers have experience in immigration law, workplace rights, civilrights, tenants' rights and housing court, public benefits eligibility, and family law (including divorces and domestic violence issues). Legal Clinic information is entirely free and Spanish-English translators are available to assist the Clinic.
An all-volunteer teaching and administrative staff makes classes available at very low cost. The Centro fosters a friendly community environment that promotes cross-cultural understanding and support. Once founded by and for Latin American newcomers, we welcome immigrants from all over the world, serve and benefit from our diverse community.
At El Centro, decisions are made by a volunteer Coordinating Committee that meets monthly to discuss programming and budget issues, and to plan upcoming classes and special events.
We are located at Hartley House, a Community Center and Settlement House, serving the Clinton and Hell's Kitchen neighborhoods since 1897.
Volunteers find a real sense of community at El Centro, often staying for many years, and bringing their friends, family, and coworkers to join too. Volunteers themselves are welcome to take any class offered free of charge.