Latinos Unidos of Iowa, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.  Latinos Unidos was founded in 1989 by Lena Avila-Robison with the mission of providing support to Hispanics and Latinos in central Iowa.  Over the years, the organization’s mission has changed to reflect the greater diversity of Latinos in Iowa and the needs for community building and educational access.  The current focus is on education and employment in skilled occupations and professions.

Latinos Unidos offers these activities and services:  

• two community-sponsored scholarship programs for Latinas/os who seek education beyond high school in Iowa.  One program is directed specifically at Mercy College of Des Moines & its offerings in health care services.

• resource fairs that acquaint Latinos and others with employers, especially those that make a diverse workforce part of their mission.

• fund-raising for special events and needs.  In 2005 and 2006, Latinos Unidos partnered with community sponsors & the Des Moines Public Library in a Books in Spanish program that will make more library materials available in Spanish and promote greater use of the library among Latinos.

• a conference that addresses the issues faced by Hispanics & Latinos in Iowa & that promotes a positive image for people of Latin American origin.

• Officers & board members who reflect a wide range of agencies, businesses, community programs, employers, & educational institutions, & whose experience & leadership make Latinos Unidos a leading organization for supporting Hispanics & Latinos

Latinos Unidos Officers:

Lena Avila-Robison,  President and Founder

Edgar Sanchez-Rocha, Vice President

Gladys Espitia, Secretary 

Sheila Ellis, Treasurer

Board of  Directors

Julian Caselli
Mary Chapman
Lilia Douglas
Jennifer Gonzalez
Leydy Mendoza
Ana Miranda
Hector A. Salamanca
Kathleen McQuillen

Ciel Friess
Lena Robison

Committee Chairs

Lilia Douglas- Volunteers
Ana Miranda, Jennifer Gonzalez- Membership
Hector A. Salamanca- Webmaster
Ciel Friess- College Liason
Lena Robison, Gladys Espitia, Kathleen McQuillen - Public Relations

Scholarship Judges

Eva Pratt, Chair, DMACC
Jennifer Nostrala, Simpson College
Oscar Reynaga, Central College