Ariel Rodríguez, Ph.D.,
ASU School of Community
Resources & Development
When providing services to individuals of Latin American descent living in the U.S., service agencies whether public or private are faced with three overarching issues: the dramatically growing population, the different values and cultures based on their heritage and levels of acculturation, and the different life contexts which influence their needs. Taken together, these issues suggest a more comprehensive effort is needed to effectively service this population.
Within the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, the Latino Institute was developed to help address these issues and to serve as a bridge between the City and the Latino community. Today, the Latino Institute produces numerous programs for the community and serves as an outreach specialist that provides special events, networking, and cultural competency expertise to the City and agencies which aim to provide services to the Latino community. Over the past 12 years, the Latino Institute has gained a number of insights which have helped their program to succeed where others have not. These four key insights will be discussed in this blog.