Sunday, May 20, 2012

Casa Azafran location, size, and even kitchen are gift to Nashville immigrants from city and Conexion Americas

Design of Caza Azafrán facade. Source: Conexión Américas. Used with permission.
By Ralph Noyes

Nashville’s immigrant population is expanding, and so is Conexión Américas. The April 21 groundbreaking of its soon to be headquarters, Casa Azafrán, marked the 10th anniversary of its existence.

David Esquivel, board member of Conexión Américas, says that “it’s about time.” Conexión’s current headquarters sits off of Music Row, a location that doesn’t allow the visibility to the people that it aims to serve. “We needed more space and better facilities. We exceeded capacity three years ago. We had multiple offices sharing one room. There was no place to meet clients and no space for expanding the staff or growing the program,” says Esquivel, “The immigrant population has grown a lot in the past 10 years, and their need has grown with it.”

Casa Azafrán will be more than equipped to meet these needs. Language classes, afterschool programs, business services, legal consultation, counseling, and even a community kitchen are all advertised on the small blue signs hanging from the ceiling. According to Esquivel, “We’re doing a lot to broaden the scope of services, change the way we interact with the community, encourage people to work for themselves. Hispanics are huge food entrepreneurs. All this commercial grade equipment is to help start and grow businesses. We’re trying to integrate them into the social, political and economic situation in Nashville. Giving them the tools to get up on their own feet is a big step towards that.”

Conexión has also grown in its ability to attract major supporters, including HCA, the Frist Foundation, State Farm, and many others who were all present at the ceremony. The event also drew heavy television coverage, political celebrities, and a sizeable crowd, something that “probably couldn’t have happened a few years ago, all these people wouldn’t have fit under one roof.”

The new building is located on a main bus line, close to an area heavily populated with immigrants of all types. “I think it will be the link between downtown Nashville and Nolensville Road”, says Esquivel. “This building was actually built for retail, but we’re making it into so much more. It will make us accessible and prepared in a way that we’ve never been before. It’s close to the community.”

Executive Director Renata Soto and board member David Esquivel hold two of the bricks laid at the groundbreaking ceremony. Photo by Ralph Noyes.
For more information about Casa Azafrán, visit the Conexión Américas web site at or see other coverage of the event by Tracy López for FoxNews Latino, Andrea Cline-Thomas for NewsChannel5, and Rebecca Zanolini for

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Three of the Cinco de Mayo 2012 events in Nashville; wear those seat belts and designate a driver


Sponsored by Activa 1240 AM.  All waterpark tickets will be $19.99 plus tax -- a $12 savings.    
Fun and entertainment includes:
- A day of waterpark admission
- A car giveaway courtesy of AutoMasters
- Live music
- DJ
- Authentic, ethnic food
- Dance performances
- Appearance by Miss Tennessee Latina 2012
- Giveaways
- Prizes
- Aztec dance troupe
- Loteria (Mexican Bingo)
- Much more
Time: Regular park hours (10 am - 6 pm)

Click here for more information.


Date: May 5th, 2012
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Music Row & Demonbreun St
More information Here

From 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., next to the Tin Roof, there will be vendors selling tropical paletas, sweet Latin pastries, Mexican pottery and art and Conexion America's own Rumba Roast coffee blend.

Conexion America's popular house band, Rumba, will provide the sounds and energy starting at 6 p.m.

Gaylord Opryland Hotel Cinco De Mayo "Cerveza y Comida" Celebration Vacation Package

(Limited to only 50 couples, and is for ages 21 and older only)
Bring a sombrero and your fiesta spirit to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Solario inside Gaylord Opryland Resort's Conservatory atrium and enjoy a very special beer, tequila, and cooking seminar, plus a signature Mexican dinner. Come sample Cocoa Mole Beer by New Belgium Brewery, learn how tequila is made and see how Chef Paulina Suarez creates some of her award-winning salsas and entrees!
Availability: Saturday, May 5, 2012
Duration: 1 night (extra nights may be available at prevailing rates)

To Book: Call 1-866-972-6779

Package includes:
  • 1 night accommodations at Gaylord Opryland Resort
  • Tequila seminar and sampling
  • Introduction to new Cocoa Mole Beer infused with Cocoa & Cayenne
  • Cooking seminar by Chef Paulina Suarez, showcasing how we make our award-winning salsas and Solario's signature Mexican Paella.
  • Dinner featuring Solario's signature Mexican Paella
Package price: $198* per room for double occupancy; extra adult $44.50* each
*Per room for double occupancy, plus tax, resort fee and parking. Extra adult $44.50 plus tax each. Rates include restaurant gratuity. Atrium upgrade may be available for an additional $40 plus tax. Not retroactive or valid with other offers or groups. Other restrictions may apply.

Schedule of Events

Saturday May 5, 2012
  • 3:00 p.m. | Guests should check-in by 3:00 p.m. (event tickets will be distributed at check-in)
  • 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. | Beer, Tequila, Salsa, & Mexican Paella Demonstration at Solario
  • 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Dinner at Solario featuring the Mexican Paella dish as prepared in the demonstration

THP steps up enforcement for Cinco de Mayo
The Tennessee Highway Patrol will increase its highway traffic safety enforcement efforts on Saturday, May 5th, to coincide with Cinco de Mayo celebrations. During the 24-hour holiday period, Tennessee State Troopers will focus heavily on seat belt safety and DUI enforcement.
The 2012 Cinco de Mayo holiday period begins at 12:00am on Saturday, May 5th and ends that same day at 11:59pm. One person was killed on Tennessee roadways during last year’s Cinco de Mayo period. The only fatality was wearing a seatbelt and alcohol was not involved. In 2010, four people were killed on state roadways during the 24-hour Cinco de Mayo holiday.
“The Tennessee Highway Patrol will aggressively enforce our state’s seat belt and impaired driving laws to protect the public this Cinco de Mayo holiday,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. “Particularly, the number of seat belt related fatalities is on the rise this year. We want to remind everyone to wear your seat belt and act responsibly this weekend.”
“Sobriety checkpoints and DUI saturation patrols have remained an effective strategy for removing impaired drivers from the roadways,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said.  “We will utilize these measures and strictly enforce seat belt violations to ensure everyone arrives at their destinations safely this Cinco de Mayo weekend.”

A list of Cinco de Mayo safety tips are listed below:

  • Plan Ahead. If you plan to drink, arrange a safe way home before the festivities begin.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys.
  • If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use public transportation, or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • Use the local Sober Ride program.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, promptly contact your local law enforcement agency (Dial *THP)
  • Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you or someone you know is about to ride with one that is impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.
As part of the Cinco de Mayo public safety awareness and enforcement campaign, the THP has scheduled saturations and sobriety checkpoints in high volume and high crash corridors across the state to look for aggressive and impaired drivers as well as safety belt violators.
State Troopers will also conduct seat belt saturations, line patrols and bar checks this weekend.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Assembly and relocation centers

From Wikipedia:
May 3, 1942: General DeWitt issued Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34, ordering all people of Japanese ancestry, whether citizens or non-citizens, who were still living in "Military Area No. 1" to report to assembly centers, where they would live until being moved to permanent "Relocation Centers."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Radio fundraiser for YMCA Latino Achievers this Thursday and Friday

by Rebecca Zanolini

Thanks to committed organizations such as YMCA’s Latino Achievers (YLA) program, Latino youth across Middle Tennessee are being provided motivation and leadership development skills, after school club meetings, information and preparation for higher education, and scholarship opportunities. According to the program’s coordinators:

The YMCA Latino Achievers Program exists to “Illuminate the path to success, where students dream, discover their strengths, and plan for their future”. YLA was created to improve the lives of Middle Tennessee's Hispanic youth and families. The program is focused on mentoring Latino youth in order to help them realize their full potential. The YMCA Latino Achievers program is dedicated to helping this important and growing community achieve its fullest potential in spirit, mind and body.

Serving over 300 students every year, YLA focuses on the collective Latino profile by targeting Latino youth and young adults along with their families. Furthermore, the program points out:

YLA aims to strengthen character and leadership skills as well as students’ academic achievement, in order to increase the high school graduation rate among Hispanic youth, and move on to higher education and eventually, career success according to their personal strengths. In addition, the program provides Latino youth mentorship with a focus on developing personal and professional leadership skills such as interviewing, communication, and a cultural appreciation component to build self-esteem and an awareness of their culture.
Thus, the YMCA Latino Achievers will be partnering with La Sabrosita 810AM on Thursday, May 3 and Friday, May 4 to host their second annual fundraising Radiothon. This event aims to raise funds for the Latino Achievers Scholarship Fund.  Since 2008, the YMCA Latino Achievers has awarded $84,720 to deserving youth in Davidson, Williamson, and Rutherford counties. This year, the program hopes to meet their milestone of $100,000. The program coordinators remind us:

Juntos Triunfaremos - Together, we will succeed! By giving to the YLA Scholarship Fund, you are building dreams and illuminating the path to success for our youth. Remember to tune into La Sabrosita this Thursday and Friday. Please pass this information along to friends, family, and community members, and encourage them to give by calling 615.743.6206 on those days or giving online at YMCA Latino Achievers students and families are truly grateful for your support.

The Radiothon will take place from 6:00am-6:00pm on Thursday, May 3 and from 7:00am-6:00pm on Friday, May 4. Please show your support to our area Latino families by donating to this valuable cause!

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