Join Somos Cien to help EOC and LCAP continue to provide vital programs for backstretch workers, year-round immigrant families

The community turned out in force for Visión: a look behind the scenes, standing in solidarity with Saratoga’s immigrant community on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at the 1863 Club Patio at the Saratoga Race Course. 

Visión served as the opening reception for 20 new photos by 10 photographers in Estamos Aquí, a black-and-white exhibit featuring the artwork of Latino backstretch workers. All proceeds benefit the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council’s Latino Community Advocacy Program (LCAP). 

“This was by far our largest event yet,” Executive Director Jo Anne Hume said. “We are grateful that so many people are committed to standing with Saratoga’s immigrant community and supporting EOC’s Latino programming despite the climate of racially motivated hatred and bigotry.” 

Far too often, the contributions that Latino workers make to the Saratoga economy and community are overshadowed by racial bias and negative perceptions of immigrants. The Estamos Aquí exhibit gives Latino backstretch workers a platform to share their experiences of living and working in Saratoga. 

“I looked at the artwork, I read the narratives associated with each of the artworks,” Congressman Paul Tonko said. “It is about hope. It is about inclusion. It is about the discovering inner strength and having opportunity, which again, this land has always been that beacon of hope – the land of opportunity.” 

Proceeds from the event support the Latino Community Advocacy Program, which assists over 600 people every year file taxes, learn English, prep for the citizenship test, enroll in school and attend doctor appointments. 

Community support is critical to continue these programs, especially as available grant funding is diminished. While this event raised $25,000, EOC looking to raise additional funds to meet its goal for the continuation of ESL and legal services. 

To help meet that need, LCAP recently launched Somos Cien (We Are 100), which is a network of community members committed to supporting immigrants in Saratoga County by providing a monthly donation or one-time gift. EOC is looking for 100 people to donate $10 a month. Everyone who joins Somos Cien by Oct. 15 will be entered to win raffle prizes, including Albany Symphony tickets, gift certificate to Saratoga Saddlery, a Visión gift basket or a gift certificate to Northshire Bookstore.

Learn more about LCAP services at saratogaeoc.org. 

The Estamos Aquí exhibit is available to travel. If you are interested in hosting a few of the pictures, please contact Gwen Matson at g.matson@saratogaeoc.org.