Synchronized with the nascent gentrification process in the West Town/East Village area, in 1990 the Archdiocese of Chicago closed St. Boniface, a thriving Hispanic and Polish parish of more than 1200 families. A group of Hispanic families from the Christian Base Communities responded to this blow by founding Centro San Bonifacio, to encourage community solidarity, and to give structure to self-development projects in the neighborhood.
As the organization grew, the experience of the Base Communities and their roots in the tradition of Latin American liberation theology became the framework Center’s vision and mission: to meet the immediate needs of poor and marginalized families, while at the same time encouraging long-term self-development and self-sufficiency.
One of our earliest initiatives was the training and mobilization of Promotores de Salud (Community Health Promoters). This is an internationally recognized model to mobilize community members for prevention, health promotion and community-building. Our Health Promoters are staff and volunteers.
The mission is to promote personal and collective self-development within the immigrant Hispanic community through programas based on needs related to health, education, solidarity and human rights.
To fulfill this mission, Centro San Bonifacio has the following concrete objectives:
Promote mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and community health.
Promote partnership, unity and friendship through effective networks of mutual support and solidarity.
Support and promote the development of each person so that they are better able to apply their skills and talents to community service and for their own personal empowerment.
Contact: Centro San Bonifacio
4145 W Armitage, Chicago, IL 60639
Phone: 773-252-9098, Fax: 773-252-9195