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This month, Mixteca Organization was supposed to celebrate its 20th Anniversary. But instead of getting dressed up for a night of cocktails and dancing, Mixteca’s staff and volunteers are suiting up in gloves and masks to deliver emergency funds, hot meals, and groceries to community members affected by COVID-19 who are ineligible for government support. 

A community member picks up a box of fresh produce provided to Mixteca by GrowNYC. Image by Harry Mena for the Sunset Park Railroad.

Mixteca is a Sunset Park-based immigrant-serving community organization. Before COVID appeared in NYC, the organization’s 23rd street community center was open six days a week to provide Brooklyn’s Latinx immigrant community with mental and physical health services, English and literacy classes, and legal advocacy. While Mixteca continues to offer their hallmark services online, the organization has also jumped into action to address the emergency needs of immigrant community members.

“Mixteca’s commitment to fighting for and supporting undocumented families has only deepened,” says Executive Director Lorena Kourousias. “Our team continues to work tirelessly around the clock to help families navigate extreme needs during the current health crisis.”

Fortunately, neighborhood businesses have rallied around Mixteca’s efforts, showing remarkable resolve even while facing their own challenges. Restaurant partners Tacombi and Calexico have contributed 325 hot meals to Mixteca’s community, and each Saturday, Sunset Park residents line up six feet apart with grocery carts in tow to receive one of the 126 boxes of fresh produce, rice, and beans that GrowNYC provides every week. 

Mixteca’s Emergency Fund for Undocumented Immigrants has already raised more than $50,000 of its $100,000 goal. The fund provides $250 Visa gift cards that community members can use for food, diapers, and other essentials while they are out of work. But the needs are tremendous–Mixteca received over 4,000 requests for aid in a week before closing their online application. With support from the Brooklyn Community Foundation, Qualitas of Life Foundation, Mixteca was able to reopen the application and distribute emergency financial support to the first 140 families. 

To join Mixteca’s efforts, please consider making a donation to the organization’s emergency relief efforts via HipGive. Each donation will be matched up to $100 per donation! You can also give by texting “MIXTECA” to 41444.


Mixteca staff member Kelly Tellez includes handwritten notes of encouragement to each family who receives aid from Mixteca’s Emergency Fund.