Senderos is an all-volunteer organization founded in 2001, with free dance and music programs that serve 120 youth. We provide safe, supportive after-school activities promoting cultural pride, strengthening family unity, and encouraging pathways to college and career. Sharing Latino culture through performing arts and educational opportunities strengthens individuals and our larger community.
The Big Idea:
Crossing Borders: Cultural Arts for Youth
It is more important than ever to support Latino youth and their families. In order to bridge cultural divides for immigrant youth by providing positive, safe, family-centered activities, including a strong push for academic success leading to higher education, Senderos will provide free after-school dance and music instruction for Latino youth who otherwise might not afford these opportunities.
Linking young people to their heritage enhances self-esteem and promotes family unity. Youth showcase their talents and share their cultural pride at more than 20 community and school performances annually. Most of the youth participating are low-income. We need to provide traditional dance outfits on loan for performances and build an instrument lending library for our young musicians to practice and perform. Senderos brings art, culture, and community together to break down borders, increase understanding and acceptance of diversity throughout Santa Cruz County.
Senderos has provided a strong, supportive community for me since I am living here without my own family. Learning the dances of Mexico brings me pride when I perform in the community. The education support of Senderos will help me with applying to college and scholarships. Senderos has given me leadership opportunities and great confidence that I can succeed and achieve my dreams of being an engineer.
Eric V., Santa Cruz, 17 years old