Daniel VanZweden

WMU Student

As part of the Spanish class I was taking at WMU, I was paired with the Hispanic American Council as a volunteer. I really enjoy working with Adrian and Rosalba and have learned so much about the Hispanic community in Kalamazoo. Especially in today’s political climate, with the recent change in administration there has been a flurry of activity and the Hispanic American Council has stood by ready to meet people’s needs. While volunteering, I was able to learn something about the details of how the immigration system works, and how to help immigrants become naturalized citizens. Not only have I improved my Spanish, but I also was able to make a positive difference in the Hispanic community. I thoroughly appreciate the work the Hispanic American has done, and the opportunity to volunteer with them, and highly recommend the experience to anyone else interested in making a positive difference in the world.

Mi experiencia como voluntaria en el Concilio Hispano Americano:

Me uní como voluntaria del Concilio después de algunos meses de haber llegado a Kalamazoo desde la Ciudad de México, mi ciudad natal. Durante los 9 meses en los que he sido voluntaria del Concilio he podido constatar la grandísima labor que Adrián Vázquez, Director; Rosalba Román, Manager; y voluntarios realizan diariamente a favor de la comunidad latina de Kalamazoo, cuyos miembros enfrentan muchas dificultades, retos y obstáculos. El formar parte del Concilio ha sido una experiencia muy enriquecedora y gratificante, ya que es una organización cuyos fines son: mejorar la calidad de vida, facilitar el acceso a servicios, educar y defender los derechos de una de las comunidades migrantes más vulnerables de los Estados Unidos.

El Concilio se ha convertido también en un lugar donde mi familia y yo hemos podido unirnos a otras familias latinas para celebrar nuestras tradiciones mexicanas, conocer a miembros de nuestra comunidad y sentirnos cerca de casa. Considero que el gran esfuerzo que se realiza en el HAC para celebrar nuestras fiestas y tradiciones es fundamental para unir a la comunidad y que nuestros niños aprendan y se enorgullezcan sobre su origen.

Para concluir, considero que el Concilio Hispano Americano es una excelente organización para ser voluntario y donador. El staff y los voluntarios del Concilio han creado una organización extraordinaria, cuya labor impacta de forma positiva a cientos de familias latinas en Kalamazoo.

Dra. Erika Calvo-Ochoa

Hispanic American Council Volunteer

My experience as a volunteer at the Hispanic American Council:

I joined the HAC as a volunteer after some months living in Kalamazoo. I´m originally from Mexico City. During the nine months that I have been volunteering at the HAC I have had the opportunity to witness the great efforts that the Director Adrian Vazquez, the Manager Rosalba Roman and a team of volunteers accomplish on a daily basis to assist the Latino community of Kalamazoo, which faces a lot of difficulties, challenges and obstacles. Being part of the Council has been a very enriching and rewarding experience for me since the HAC is an organization devoted to improve the life quality, provide access to services, educate and empower of one of the most vulnerable migrant communities of the United States.

The Council has also become a place where I and my family gather with other Latino families to celebrate our Mexican traditions, know other members of the community and feel close to home.

I believe that the great efforts that the HAC does to celebrate our dear traditions are pivotal for uniting. the community and to help our kids to learn and embrace our origin proudly.

To conclude, I strongly believe that the Hispanic American Council is an excellent organization for volunteering and to be a sponsor. HAC staff and volunteers have created an extraordinary organization whose endeavours impact positively the lives of hundreds of Latino families in Kalamazoo.

Erika Calvo-Ochoa, Ph.D.

Hispanic American Council Volunteer

Why did I join the Hispanic American Council?


Being a Kalamazoo native, I wanted to do more for my community and look for ways I could help people. I knew Adrian Vazquez, interim director of the Hispanic American Council so when he presented me an opportunity to volunteer and help out I had to take it. I really like what the Hispanic American Council does for the Hispanic community but also that they are not limited to just them but help out all people from different backgrounds. The mission of the Hispanic American Council matched up with my goals and values so that was what inspired me to volunteer for them and continue their work and help them prosper and reach out to many individuals possible.
Jonathan Salazar, WMU Student
Hispanic American Council Volunteer

Why did I join the Hispanic American Council?

Volunteering has always been a passion of mine; I find the volunteering experiences that I participate in to be meaningful and productive both for myself and the causes that I volunteer for. I love my Hispanic community and having the option to volunteer with a community organization that advocates for my community is a great opportunity to make a difference within my community. Having the opportunity to volunteer with the Hispanic American Council is my way of connecting with my Hispanic community and helping to encourage and nourish our rich and diverse culture.

Juan Herrera, WMU Student

Hispanic American Council Volunteer