Divulgando la cultura en dos idiómas.

New youth center opens in Westside

Story and Photos by Angie Baldelomar

A new place for young people to spend their afternoons has opened in Kansas City, Mo.’s Westside neighborhood.
After months of construction work, Guadalupe Centers Inc. (GCI) has opened its youth recreation center on Belleview Avenue. The grand opening took place on July 26. The event included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which had to be moved inside because of the rain.
The center offers various types of activities, including basketball and futsal.
“We started thinking about this project about two years ago because of the lack of green space or parks within this part of the Westside,” said Ricky Olivares, GCI youth director.
Olivares said he hopes the new center becomes an “oasis for the kids” where they can relax.
“That’s what we want – kids (who are) busy doing something productive and not just running in the streets and hanging out,” he said. “That’s been always the vision with the Guadalupe Centers’ youth programs.”
With that in mind, Olivares stressed that the center looks to create more programming to keep kids busy.
“We always look at the fact that kids are home during the school year by themselves between 3 and 6 o’clock – and those are dangerous hours for those kids because God knows what’s happening,” he said.
To keep kids from getting into trouble or being harmed by others, the center will have adult employees monitor the children.
Carla Medina, youth development member, has assured that the center also will be a place for young people to feel connected with their community.
“We now have a place to call home where our young people can come and be around trusted people,” Medina said during her speech before the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Our wish for the next generation is that our youth center instills a sense of community in them.”
Olivares hopes to create more programming that involves kids and the community at large, such as a community garden.
“We wanted to create a whole synergy here within this particular community and the entire community,” he said.


Nuevo Centro Juvenil abre en Westside

Un nuevo lugar para que los jóvenes pasen sus tardes ha abierto en el barrio Westside de Kansas City, Mo.
Después de meses de construcción, Guadalupe Centers Inc. (GCI) ha abierto su Centro Juvenil de recreación en la avenida Belleview. La gran apertura tuvo lugar el 26 de julio. El evento incluyó una ceremonia de corte de cinta, que tuvo que ser movida adentro debido a la lluvia.
El Centro ofrece distintos tipos de actividades, incluyendo basquetbol y futsal.
“Empezamos a pensar sobre este proyecto hace dos años al notar la falta de áreas verdes o parques en esta parte de Westside,” explicó Ricky Olivares, GCI director juvenil.
Olivares dijo que espera que el Centro se convierta en un “oasis para los niños” donde puedan relajarse.
“Eso es lo que queremos – niños que estén ocupados haciendo algo productivo y no solamente en las calles,” dijo. “Ésa siempre ha sido la visión de los programas juveniles de Guadalupe Centers.”
Con eso en mente, Olivares recalcó que el centro busca crear más programas para mantener a los niños ocupados.
“Siempre miramos al hecho de que los niños están solos en casa durante el año escolar entre 3 y 6 de la tarde – y esas son horas peligrosas para ellos porque Dios sabe lo que están haciendo,” dijo.
Para mantener a los niños fuera de peligro, el centro tendrá empleados adultos para monitorearlos.
Carla Medina, miembro del equipo encargado de desarrollo juvenil, ha asegurado que el centro también será un lugar para que los jóvenes se sientan conectados con la comunidad.
“Ahora tenemos un lugar para llamar hogar donde los jóvenes pueden venir y estar con gente de confianza,” Medina dijo durante su discurso antes de la ceremonia de corte de cinta. “Nuestro deseo para la siguiente generación es que nuestro centro juvenil infunda un sentido de comunidad en ellos.”
Olivares espera crear más programas que involucren niños y la comunidad en general, como un jardín comunitario.
“Queríamos crear una sinergia completa aquí dentro de esta comunidad en particular y de toda la comunidad en general,” dijo.


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