When Latinos Progresando opened its doors in 1998, it was led by founder and current Executive Director Luis Gutierrez who was, at the time, just 24 years old and working as a volunteer. The son of Mexican immigrants, Luis was born and raised in southwest Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood—the largest Mexican community in the Midwest.
With the goal to give families access to the resources they needed to thrive, LP opened its first bank account with just $200. Today LP is recognized as a community leader, reaching thousands of families every year: meeting immediate needs, putting our community’s story on center stage, investing in our next generation of leaders; and developing resources in our community through coalition building. LP also leads advocacy and policy efforts around issues impacting Chicago’s Mexican community.
Latinos Progresando moves to Marshall Square
LP moved to the east side of Chicago’s Little Village (the area known as Marshall Square) with the goal of instigating neighborhood transformation: building a culture of high expectations, developing and sustaining innovative service-delivery models and engendering an unmatched spirit of collaboration.
LP has built the largest Latino-led family based immigration legal services program in the State of Illinois. As part of the immigration legal services program, LP has an initiative focused specifically on immigrant victims of domestic violence that includes free, full-service legal support and educational presentations for staff of women-serving agencies and community residents.
LP also runs Teatro Americano ensemble, a theater ensemble and arts education program that writes and performs the stories of Chicago’s Latino community, while using theater as a tool to preserve history and culture, and promote social justice. Every year, LP provides tuition assistance to deserving young students through the Dr. Angela Perez Miller Scholarship Fund.
Finally, Latinos Progresando is a proud convener of the Marshall Square Resource Network, a coalition of more than 20 organizations working to transform Chicago’s southwest side.