Latin American Outreach

On Mondays and Tuesdays, our downtown office is bustling with the sounds and smells one might normally associate with a fiesta.

Since 1998, Watari has been making in-roads into the Latin American community in the Downtown Eastside, seeking to provide health promotion, education, substance misuse counselling, and support around immigration issues.

Beginning as a partnership with Storefront Orientation Services, our Latin American Outreach position has used the community’s connection to music, food, and citizenship to engage individuals individuals and families in in health fairs, community kitchen, and growing an urban garden.

Berta Perez has continued to create trust and build bridges within a community that has every reason to be cautious about seeking services. Many of the people supported in the program struggle with health and immigration issues and come from countries where civil war was a reality.

Community Garden

In 2010, a connection with the M.A.C. AIDS Foundation led to the creation of an urban community garden on the balconies of our East Hastings offices. Today, the community garden has multiplied into four urban gardens! These gardens are situated at Cottonwood, Woodlands, Redfarm, and onsite at our offices.

The community gardens are tended to by volunteers from our Latin American community group. Together, they provide fresh greens and herbs for our community meal each Thursday.

Latin American Community Kitchen

The Latin American Community Kitchen program consists of a handful of volunteers that cook fresh, delicious meals for people in the community. Many of these people also volunteer with the community garden, and use many of the vegetables and herbs freshly grown from the garden.

This program is also a part of the outreach program and as such these skilled volunteer chefs often socialize and participate in group counselling sessions, and group events.

How can we help you or someone you know?

For more information on taking part in this program please call Berta Perez at:


or email her at: berta@watari.ca

or email Eloina Alberto at: eloina@watari.ca

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