Our Work

Our work is concentrated into the three pillars of our mission statement; Creation, Community, Culture, and collaborations with organizations and institutions that align with the Nueva Esperanza vision.



  By creating new opportunities through social justice and community education focusing on leadership and creative youth development, we continue moving both the organization and the community forward.

  • Las Nueva Luchadoras: Las Nuevas Luchadoras will seek to transform ourselves and our communities through practices of self-governance, collective learning, and cultural groundings. The work will focus on establishing non-patriarchal spaces for Latinx/Women of Color to work collectively on strengthening knowledge of self, the natural environment and the structures of social, political and economic oppression. We will actively work to create and practice liberating spaces for social transformation.  For more information contact info@nuevaofholyoke.org.
  • Los Guerreros – *A closer look at masculinity and Black/Latinx cultures – a multi-generational group for men of all backgrounds, Los Guerreros will be a bi-weekly indigenous circle process led, group that also includes workshops, reading, and introspective work to dismantle machismo/patriarchy, and to go beyond this and to achieve a deeper understanding of women’s experiences and a commitment to ending gender oppression. This group is being co-led by Nelson Rafael Roman, Executive Director of Nueva Esperanza Inc, and Khalil Rodriguez/Xavier Jalil Morales of the VanGuard.  Registration is now open (space limited for 2017 cohort to 30 men). REGISTER HERE! 
  • Ambiente Positiv@ (Positive Environment): is a HIV/AIDS peer a bi-weekly support group for black and and Latinx individuals.  For the group’s discretion, members must first RSVP with Juan Gabriel Sanchez, 413-210-0865 or email us at NuevaHolyokeED@gmail.com
  • Pioneer Valley Community Organizer Institute – Details Coming Soon.
  • Alco Iris Mural History & Refresh Project: Alco Iris was the youth program in Holyoke in its hay day.  The Youth of Alco Iris painted a mural that united and divided the community.  The Alco Iris History project is the creation of a film documentary by Hampshire College student Franky Colon, that captures the spirit of the youth who helped to create this mural of importance to the Puerto Rican community of Holyoke. The Refresh portion will be the rehabilitating and be restoring the vibrancy of colors that have faded over time.
  • Cuyo Social Justice Arts Program:  Cuyo is a Taino Indian word meaning light or fire. The CUYO Social Justice Summer Program for youth (ages 9 – 13) seeks to shed light on the injustices of the world and teach teens how to combat them. We teach youth how to gain access to the tools that will enhance their learning and ignite the fire from within to walk a path of empowerment and solidarity.  CSJSP is a summer program committed to social change. Inspired by activist and author Paulo Freire, we encourage youth (9-13 years old) to make a difference on a cause they care about — all while having one of the best experiences of their life.  At CUYO we strongly believe in education as a key tool to one’s liberation and decolonization journey. We encourage youth to become the change they want to see manifest in the world.  Registration & Enrollment coming January 2018.  (Space is limited to 15 youth). 
  • South Holyoke Neighborhood Association: Nueva Esperanza, Inc is proud to serve as the home to the South Holyoke Neighborhood Association. In collaboration and support from Nueva, the association has produced a neighborhood festival, annual cleanups, mural projects and business expansion and growth in South Holyoke.  The association meets the 3rd Wednesday of Every Month at El Mercado Holyoke, 413 Main Street, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.  For more information visit the South Holyoke Neighborhood Association Facebook page.
  • Advocacy, Community Empowerment, and Engagement: Participatory Asset Mapping (PAM) project is a community quality-of-life survey project lead by a collaborative partnership between Olde Holyoke Development, Nueva Esperanza, Inc., UMASS Amherst, and various community organizations.The goal of the PAM Project is to collect and disseminate information about what makes up Holyoke’s cultural assets, from the perspective of local residents. The results will help us understand the true needs of our community and the information we gather will be dedicated to the community in achieving its goals. Learn more by clicking here.Other work includes a joint advocacy between community organizations, state and local leadership, residents, and business owners to restart the stalled repair of the Willimansett Bridge; and worked with Westfield State University on numerous projects including most recently – the development of a South Holyoke Children and Families Resource Map. Learn more about the map by clicking here.



Maintaining and expanding Nueva Esperanza’s property assets will make us leaders by example in how members of the community can take ownership of their neighborhoods and get more involved within their communities.

  • Affordable Housing: Nueva Esperanza, Inc. owns 18 affordable housing units in South Holyoke that are currently managed by Virgilio Property Management.
  • Voces de Esperanza: a partnership management arrangement of a 36 Unit Development located on the corner of Franklin St and Chestnut St. The partnership includes Nueva Esperanza, Inc., and the tenants – together recognized as the Voces Corporation. The Valley Opportunity Council (VOC) is the managing partner and majority interest holder of the development. The current arrangement preserves the rights for tenants to have a say in important matters that concern the partnership. This model allows residents a voice in the operations of the building they live in.
  • Homeownership / Financial Literacy:  Through Nueva Esperanza’s partnership with Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services Inc., Nueva will be home to Finacial Literacy classes, first-time homebuyer classes, one on one credit counseling, and youth/college planning.
  • Energía, LLC: is a socially responsible energy services company that provides energy efficiency upgrades for residential and commercial properties.  Energia aims to reduce utility costs and energy use throughout western Massachusetts. Energía is owned by community organizations and the workers. The owner organizations include Nuestras Raices, Co-op Power, Nueva Esperanza, Inc. and the Energia Worker Trust.  Each of these organizations brings a unique set of expertise and resources to this triple-bottom-line (socially, environmentally, and financially-focused) venture. Click for more information
  • Incubator Space: Nueva Esperanza, through the rental of its 401 Main Street, offices and the creation of space for artists Nueva will create an incubator space for cultural production.
  • El Mercado is a 1,675 square feet of rentable space for community events. Birthday parties, workshops, dance classes, or community fundraisers – the open floor plan, beautifully restored flooring and brick walls provide a versatile, warm atmosphere for all types of events. Click for more information
  • Information & Referral: New Horizons for Families will be collaborating with and holding office hours at Nueva Esperanza’s 401 Main Street offices.  They will provide information and referral services to the residents of South Holyoke & the public at large.



To strive to become a Puerto Rican/Afro Caribbean Cultural Center that keeps our traditions, art, and history alive within our communities.

  • P.R.A.C.C.C.: The creation of the Puerto Rican/Afro Caribbean Cultural Center of Holyoke.  The cultural center will plan exhibitions, explore sacred Puerto Rican / Afro-Caribbean traditions, plan international travel exchanges, and art education & equity.
  • “Tradiciones Sagradas / Sacred Traditions” Conference – A three-day conference exploring the sacred belief systems of indigenous & African based cultures in the Carribean.  The sacred traditions conference will offer an in-depth look featuring professors, practitioners and the public a chance to explore and understand the indigenous and African influence on Carribean culture/society.
  • Holyoke Community Puerto Rica/Afro Carribean Arts Education Project –  A series of art classes / educational projects open to all members of the community.  Teaching topics such as Taino Art, Vejiante Masks, Afro-Carribean Art, etc.  This multi-generational experience welcomes learners and lovers of art at all ages and skill levels.
  • Puerto Rican Cultural District Council: Nueva Esperanza Inc, is pleased to be the host agency to the official governing body for the Puerto Rican Cultural District (The Flats & South Holyoke.)  The purpose of the PR Cultural Council is to plan to program and provide funding for Puerto Rican cultural art, and activities within the district boundaries.
  • Palante Theater Company: Nueva Esperanza, Inc. is pleased to collaborate with and support the work and creation of Palante Theater Company Inc., which strives towards creating a Black Box Theater company that focuses on celebrating and highlighting the Latinx experience.
  • Taste of South Holyoke Festival: Nueva Esperanza, Inc. is a proud sponsor and founding member of the Taste of South Holyoke Committee.  Which occurs annually in late September.
  • Noche de San Juan Festival: More details coming soon! Save the Date! Saturday, June 23, 2018!
  • Zumba® Fitness: Hosted every Sunday (3 pm – 4 pm) and Thursday (6 pm – 7 pm) for $5.00 drop in – $40.00 for 10 Card Class. Taught by our Executive Director / Licensed Zumba® Instructor Nelson Rafael Roman (Zumba® Rafi).  (Starting December 7th, 2017).