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Zavala Hispanic Cultural Initiative

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness

Target demographics: Hispanic Community

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 1,000 Students in the Wichita County. Gave away 30,000 in scholarship during out 2014 Banquet and programs.

Geographic areas served: Wichita Falls, TX

Programs: Educational programs, scholarships,Amo Leer program, Cultural events

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of working with Zavala in many different capacities. I find this non-profit organization is made up of dedicated individuals who put their heart and soul into their community. The organization empowers the Hispanic community to become life learners from Pre-K to adults. I will continue to work along side these wonder people in our community.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Zavala is an organization that serves area students and families with great dedication and commitment.

1 Melissa Y.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Zavala has been an active nonprofit organization over the years and presently.

With great pride and dedication, Zavala continues its commitment:
• to preserve the unique cultural gifts of Hispanic Heritage and
• to empower the Hispanic community to become fully engaged in overall community
opportunities and challenges.

Over the years, Zavala has:
• Collaborated with Vernon College in the “Command Spanish” program
• Collaborated with The Kemp Center for the Arts and Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in
presenting “Las Posadas” in December
• Celebrated the Hispanic Heritage Festival in September
• Participated in the Immigration Citizen workshop

Zavala continues to:
• Celebrate the annual Hispanic Leadership banquet
• Collaborate with the Wichita County Commissioners Court in recognizing the Hispanic Person of the
• Present scholarships to high school graduates and college continuing education
• Host the Calle Ocho Festival
• Host Café con leche

The ZAVALA organization developed in 2001 when Chuck Neale, Director of the Wichita Falls Community Foundation, and Carroll Wilson, then-Editor of Wichita Falls Times Record News noted the increased growth in the Hispanic population and the need to have Hispanics involved in leadership positions.

Both Neale and Wilson coordinated a meeting in the Spring of 2002 with the Hispanic community to discuss ways to engage the Hispanic population and identify barriers that kept Hispanics from becoming involved in community. The first meeting was attended by 70 individuals, and several meetings followed.

As a result of these meetings, a steering committee was formed in the Fall of 2002, comprising of Iliana Jaramillo, Rudy Bermea, Stewart Frazier, Marlon Pesantez, Dr. Robert Clark, John Hirschi, Carroll Wilson, Juan Rivas, Miriam Mas, Father Hector Medina, Rigoberto Contreras, Judge Woody Gossom, and Liz Mendez.

The committee adopted a mission statement and goals. They also chose Zavala Hispanic Cultural Initiative for the organizational name, after Lorenzo de Zavala a historically significant Texan for his leadership role as a diplomat, democratic reformer, writer/publisher and Vice-President of the Republic of Texas.

Zavala became a special project fund of the Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation in the Fall of 2003. Then on January 9th of 2003, the Texas Secretary of State issued a formal charter and approved the By-Laws and the Articles of Incorporation. In addition the Zavala Board received a resolution of commendation from the Secretary of the State of Texas on May 22th, 2003. In July 31st of 2006, Zavala become a 501 (c) non-profit organization.