A PLACE OF FAITH, SOLIDARITY AND HOPE
The San Lorenzo Community is a people’s-based non-profit, solidarity, faith, arts and educational organization legally established in Toronto, Ontario in 2004 to bridge the gap between Latin Americans residing in Ontario and Canadians through the language of trust, spiritual harmony, heritage, cookery, dance and music.
The Community is located at the intersections of Dufferin Street and Wenderly Drive (Dufferin St. And Lawrence Ave. W – North York, ON), and it offers to the public a varied menu of Spanish and English language programming.
The beginnings of the organization go back to 1977 when an old Parish building was resurrected to create a Hispanic congregation in the Anglican family in the Diocese of Toronto. Today, the San Lorenzo Community is home to a growing number of Latin American immigrants, that are not only looking for a place of worship, but that are also looking for social and educational programs, opportunities to celebrate their traditions, occasions to hold hands together and sing anthems of faith and hope.
Victims of political strife, ideological differences, and economic upheavals in their native lands, the Latin American immigrants form a social group that is beleaguered with struggles and marginalizing policies even in their adopted homeland. Thus, the San Lorenzo Community is their oasis, a retreat from their immigrant lives, a place where new things are learned and old traditions are restored. They have come and keep coming from all corners of Latin America, and here, the young and the old get together to renew their beliefs; and to find strength and hope in this their chosen land.
The San Lorenzo Community is a hub not only for educational programs but also for engaging and gathering activities for diverse groups that come together culturally and linguistically on the common ground of creativity. More than 2,000 people meet each month to share ideas, participate the faith services, take part in interactive classes and find creative inspiration and a refuge in the middle of the Greater Toronto Area.
The Community is formed by four organizations: The San Lorenzo Anglican Church, the Latin American Community Center, Radio Voces Latinas, and the Caravan of Hope. These active and vibrant entities, reach children and adults through Popular Masses for Peace, solidarity drives, social and medical services, art classes, heritage festivals, radio programming, and music. All of these projects are helping to support and empower our brethren here in Canada and in the community’s homelands of El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru… or wherever hope is suffering.
The social impact resulting from the opportunity to participate in social, education, and cultural inclusive activities within the San Lorenzo Community is reflected by the number of active participants, facilitators, students and volunteers whose actions display the beneficial effect of collective action and collaboration on individual participants and groups. These experiences serve as expressions of our communal spirit and of our shared cultural heritage.
Our purpose is to inspire an extended social commitment to community development, social inclusion and justice through ongoing initiatives in order to respond to effectively respond to the needs of Latin Americans in their adopted country, in their land of origin, and around the world.