El Centro Hispano is a non‐profit 501(c) 3 volunteer organization. The Center works on improving the quality of life for the Hispanic families living in Northeast Arkansas. We are dedicated to the individual success of the people of Hispanic origin. We are a non‐denominational organization that primarily serves the Hispanic community, but does not refuse service to anyone in need regardless of ethnicity, religion, or gender.
El Centro Hispano provides services in six different areas: social, legal, educational, health, cultural and civic engagement. There is a variety of services provided under each category.
El Centro Hispano is a United Way member agency and has received assistance from the City of Jonesboro, the Craighead County Community Foundation, and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.
El Centro Hispano was founded by Sister Elaine Willett in 1997 as an outreach program from the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Jonesboro as a response to the increasing population of Latinos in Northeast Arkansas.
In January of 2004, the number of Hispanics was estimated to be between 3,000 and 4,000 in Jonesboro, so, with the future in mind, the BS Catholic Church made the decision to change the facility into a non-profit, to be called Hispanic Community Services Center, Inc. (HCSI). Later that year she was involved in the purchase of the present facility. She remained the Executive Director until Gina Gomez accepted the position in 2005.
Sister Elaine has continued to work tirelessly to assist the Hispanics in their struggle to become active and productive members of the community. She maintains an office at Blessed Sacrament to serve the Hispanic community with religious needs and also volunteers heavily at El Centro Hispano.