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.

  • And Still We Rise:  In Collaboration with the Sojourner Truth School Nueva Esperanza is pleased to collaborate with and support And Still We Rise: Leadership Forum for Women of Color Leaders. Women of color leaders face enormous pressures every day. Called upon to support and sustain communities at home and at work, women of color leaders experience high levels of burnout from devoting so many hours to social change causes and the communities they seek to empower. The leadership of women of color is challenged by stereotypes and assumptions related to race, ethnicity and gender. And Still We Rise is an opportunity for women of color leaders to come together to celebrate our identities and values, rejuvenate and renew our spirits, connect with other women of color to create a network of support, nurture our ongoing commitment to social change, revitalize our vision and faith in ourselves as leaders, and acknowledge the important work we do for and in the community.    For more information/to register: Click Here


  • 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 15 week 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 co-sponsored by Nueva Esperanza and the Van Guard Movement.  Next cohort launching October 2018, Limited registration 15 individuals. REGISTER HERE! 


  • Ambiente Positiv@ (Positive Environment): is a HIV/AIDS peer a monthly support group for black and and Latinx individuals.  (Dinner & Child Care Available) For the group’s discretion, members must first RSVP with Juan Gabriel Sanchez, 413-210-0865 or email us at info@nuevaofholyoke.org.


  • Restorative Justice Collectivo  A partnership of Nueva Esperanza Inc. and Sayra Pinto of Mass Circles.  The Restorative Justice Collectivo provides professional development training, coaching, technical assistance and resources for the comprehensive holistic implementation of restorative justice practices in schools, juvenile justice, criminal justice, social services and community-based organizations.   We offer both workshops for individuals and customized onsite training for schools and organizations.
    • Circle Process with Sayra Pinto of MassCircles (4 Days or 2 Days)
    • Restorative Justice with Nelson Roman Nueva Esperanza Inc (4 Days or 2 Days)
    • Conferencing 101 with Nelson Roman Nueva Esperanza Inc (4 Days or 2 Days)

The Nueva Esperanza  restorative justice model differs from the usual court approach in four key ways:

  1. Participation must be entirely voluntary – for all participants.
  2. The process focuses on the harm created by the effects, rather than seeking to prove the occurrence of the offense.
  3. The responsible party must acknowledge their part in the harmful act and recognize that this creates an obligation to the affected parties and the larger community.
  4. The responsible party engages in the reparative process with the impacted party, their family, school and community rather than being punished in isolation by the state.
  5. The result is a Reparation Agreement which outlines the requirements to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and a deadline for completion.


  • Western Mass Community Organizer Institute – A partnership of Nueva Esperanza Inc. and the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership.WMACOI offers an annual community organizing institute that equips community members with tools to effectively bring about social change. Through completion of 6 Truth School workshops (Requirements: (Choose any four out of six) Non-Violent Direction Action, Cross-Cultural Communication, Public Speaking for the Terrified, Politics 101, Nuts and Bolts of Campaigning, Peace Keeper Training for Marches and other actions, any two workshops of choice offered through the Sojourner Truth School).  Once completed organizers must attend the three day Community organizing summit (January 2019) which will reinforce the following topics: privilege and oppression, identities, self-interest, collective self-interest, power, one-to-one interviews, and planning and implementing a public action plan.The institute features innovative, hands-on learning and each participant must complete 100 hours of organizing internships at the following organizations Nueva Esperanza, the Sojourner Truth School, Neighbor to Neighbor Action Fund, Pioneer Valley Project, the South Holyoke Neighborhood Association and or the Springdale/Ingleside Neighborhood Association.The event is open to any resident from Western Mass, an application is required, preference given to minorities, LGBT individuals of color, women of color and women overall.  Program to launch January 2019 (Summitt) Truth School Classes occur year round for more information visit their website (CLICK HERE).


  • UConn PEP: The University of Connecticut People Empowering People Program (UConn PEP) is an innovative parent leadership program created and coordinated through the University of Connecticut Department Of Extension in the College of agriculture, health and Natural Resources. The UConn PEP program is for adults and older teens. The program is designed to build on the unique strengths and life experiences of the participants and emphasizes the connection between individual and community action.
    Participants in UConn PEP attend ten weekly two-hour sessions focused on values, communication, problem-solving, parenting, leadership, action planning, and community engagement. All participants are part of either an individual or group project to benefit their community. After the projects are completed, UConn PEP participants attend a graduation ceremony that includes the presentation of individual certificates.
    Because the UConn PEP program is adaptable to a variety of settings, the program is offered throughout the State of Connecticut at different centers and being reintroduced to Massachusetts through a collaboration of Nueva Esperanza Inc, that has six trained facilitators in the UConn PEP program.  Launching in Springfield / Holyoke May 2018.
  • 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 – OPEN NOW!.  (Space is limited to 40 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.
  • Co-Crearte: 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.  Nueva is currently home to Learn In Motion, Growth Gia, Neighbor to Neighbor of Holyoke, TainoArawack Arts LLC, and Culture Crave Clothing.
  • Event Rental Hall 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.  OPENING MAY 21, 2018.
  • Movement for Justice in El Barrio’s Organizing Symposium: Community & Movement Building for Justice – Holyoke – Movement for Justice in El Barrio is an immigrant, women and people of color-led grassroots community organization that fights for dignity and against displacement in East Harlem, NYC. Movement for Justice in El Barrio was named “Best Power To The People Movement In New York City” by the Village Voice. Movement practices participatory democracy and horizontal collective decision-making on a community-wide scale and is committed to autonomy and self-determination. The Organizing Symposium will include workshops in which participants will engage in hands on trainings in community organizing skills while also confronting multiple forms of oppression – patriarchy, racism, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia and homophobia among them. Co presented by the Resistance Studies Iniative of UMASS Amherst, and co-sponsored by El Sol Latino, The Puerto Rican Cultural Project, and the Holyoke Public Library.  Workshops include the following topics:· Base-building for Social Justice Organizing· Getting our Communities Involved in the Fight· The 7 Organizing Principles of the indigenous Zapatistas, Chiapas, Mexico.· Confronting Multiple Forms of Oppression: Racism, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and other forms of oppressions.
  • 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.
  • Mercado on Main Street: Nueva Esperanza, Inc. is pleased to lanch a monthly Food/Art Street fest, all located near and around Nueva Esperanza.Mercado On Main is a monthly Food/Art Festival on Main Street. We will have food trucks, music, games and more. Bring your family and friends. The series will take place the third Sunday of every month. The location of the monthly series will be in and around Nueva Esperanza and Hamilton Street.This event successfully launched as part of Holyoke Innovation Week 2018. To participate as an art vendor and or food vendor contact Nueva Esperanza 413-437-7666. For more details on Mercado on Main Street (CLICK HERE) (May-August 2018)
  • Noche de San Juan: A one-day celebration of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture in Holyoke. 3 pm – 9 pm at Carlos Vega Park.  Featuring a neighborhood potluck block party.  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).