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Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos

Organization Mission

Our mission is to promote multicultural social justice, nonviolence, and economic equity through cultural healing, civic leadership, and youth and community development.

For over 44 years Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos has provided resources — gang deterrence programs, violence prevention programs, transitional parole/probation programs, vocational training, a cultural center, events, NA and AA, Anger Management, Walter Guzman Retreat Center, clothing, food, housing, and connections — from Watsonville to Santa Cruz, and up to the mountains of Santa Cruz, SC Barrios Unidos has been there for our locals in need of a hand up.

The Big Idea 2022:
Santa Cruz Cares for Kids

This would be a project that takes place at The Spot, a warehouse center in Barrios Unidos. Your funding would cover an after-school kids program for ages 5-17 years old, from 2pm – 7pm daily Monday-Friday. We need two part-time employees, padded flooring, desks, and computers to give kids a supportive place to go after school. We hope to begin this project in January 2022.

I recently paroled to Santa Cruz after doing 8.5 years in prison. I came to BU for resources in the middle of a pandemic. I volunteered at the food distribution and helped out with their Prison Project. I completed the Anger Management and Criminal Thinking programs here for parole. I began working with BU Productions as a graphic designer and have been here ever since.


Aaliyah Person, Santa Cruz, 44