Year-in-review: Our 2017 accomplishments

¡Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo!

We hope you are enjoying this festive season with lots of posadas and good cheer. As we gear up for the work ahead, we’re taking stock of our accomplishments over the past year. While we had our share of challenges, Hola Cultura had a number of successes too. Here are the highlights!


Summer interns at our video premiere in June. Photo by Daniel Martinez

Education & Training

We provide internships, educational experiences and professional training to 12 college interns and approximately 30 volunteers in 2017. These volunteer contributors wrote articles, made videos, maps, photo essays, and assisted with online publications, research, operational matters, and events. Four senior volunteer advisors also assisted our staff develop a strategic plan for Hola Cultura’s growth over the next five years.


Journalism & Media

As of today, Hola Cultura, along with our volunteer team, have published 158 articles and videos in 2017, bringing you new stories several times a week. In 2017, we added weekly video on our new YouTube channel, including a new “cooking show” with local chefs that posts on the second Wednesday of each month.

Watch this month’s show featuring buñuelos by Connie Ortiz-Johnson



This year we moved forward with exciting new projects and updated research we’ve been conducting over the last few years.

Lenguas Nativas: Interviews with 21 local residents who speak Latin American indigenous languages formed the foundation of our “Beyond español” oral history project celebrating the presence of indigenous languages and cultures within the greater Washington-area’s Latino community. As part of the project, we’ve also begun production of videos celebrating indigenous cultural traditions celebrated locally.

This video about the Guatemalan temporal art tradition, the saw dust carpet, was the first in a series of occasional stories about indigenous D.C.


D.C. History & Gentrification: We also updated our previous reporting on D.C. Latino history, affordable housing & gentrification, interviewing city officials and residents about promising developments in strengthening tenants’ rights, as well as mapping how our neighborhoods change over time. Read all of the stories on Hola Cultura Más.


D.C. Latino Street Murals: We expanded our map of D.C.’s Latino murals to include 45 past and present works of street art. We will continue documenting the past and present of the District’s Latino murals as part of our work toward a guided tour of D.C.’s Latino murals coming in 2018.

Here are the highlights of our fall 2017 panel discussion.


Partnerships & Events

Each year, Hola Cultura partners with other local institutions to create programs support local artists and unearth fascinating chapters in D.C.’s history. In 2017, we partnered with the D.C. Public Library and D.C. Murals, with funding from HumanitiesDC and D.C. Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, to begin work on the District’s first guided tour of the city’s Latino street murals Tour, coming in 2018. In addition to the hundreds of local artists, writers, chefs, and other LatinX creatives profiled online, we partnered with local artists and businesses such as El Tamarindo and Pica Taco restaurants and Little Bites Catering, showcasing their cuisine at Hola Cultura screenings and presentations.

A Maya-inspired design by Frida Larios, who taught our first KCDC class in May 2017

Free class: We also partnered with Knowledge Commons DC for the first time in 2017 on a free class with with local artist Frida Larios in May. We took the opportunity to survey students who attended about what kinds of classes they’d like to see in the future. We hope to bring you more free classes in partnership with KCDC in 2018.

By working with partners that share our mission and desire to assist local Latinos, we hosted seven events this year that empowered Latino residents and enrich the lives of our inclusive multicultural and multi-generational audiences, while offering professional development opportunities to our interns and volunteers. Hundreds of people attended our research presentations, fundraisers, free class, and Hola Cultura video screenings in 2017.


Help us meet the challenges ahead!

Despite funding cuts in 2017, we were able to achieve so much this year thanks to the passion and commitment of our tiny staff and many inspired and inspiring volunteers. We pride ourselves on accomplishing a lot with few resources. However, funding cuts forced to cancel our Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) internships in 2017, despite the program’s proven record of assisting at-risk D.C. Latino high school students. We also had to postpone the 3rd TamalFest DC, which we hope to make an annual festival.

To bring back TamalFest and our SYEP internships in 2018, we need your help. Funding for LatinX arts and cultural initiatives is expected to continue declining for the foreseeable future. That’s why Hola Cultura has launched a year-end fundraising campaign this month. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far! Please add yourself to this list.

While you are here, please give us a tax-deductible donation. If everyone who reads our stories, who likes our events, and believes in our mission were to give just a little, our future will be that much more secure. For as little as the cost of a cup of coffee, or even just $1, you can support Hola Cultura. It only takes a minute to make a donation using our PayPal link below. Thank you.