El Centro Humanitario para los Trabajadores

A nonprofit organization


Gilberto, El Centro Worker:
"When I found El Centro, I was living at the rescue mission. There is a lot of respect here, they give me shelter, a meal, and opportunity. El Centro helps me in many ways. I gotta go eat, I don't want to be walking the street. I like work, it makes me feel so much better about myself, I don't want to be doing things that aren't right. Without El Centro all these people would be out on the street."

Maria, El Centro Worker:
"When I arrived at El Centro Humanitario, in August 2003, they put me to work. I thank God for giving me this opportunity. At first I was lost in the city. I was putting my life in danger, leaving late from various jobs when I didn't know my way home. I worked with one employer for nearly two months only to find that his checks weren't good. There are still no funds available to cash these checks - which now total nearly $1,000. El Centro is helping me to work with an attorney, and to use the court system for recovery of these wages. This is a great service provided to us by El Centro."

Neha Mahajan, Chinook Fund:
"El Centro has dramatically changed the climate in Denver towards immigrants, workers, people of color, and poor people, and has helped break down the artificial borders that keep us seperated from each other's humanity."

Nancy Rosas, El Centro Women's Project Director:
"The Women's Program has been in existence for over 7 years now. The program started as a way to respond to the need to provide a space for education and self-development for low income and homeless women in Denver. The program is designed to help women to organize, educate themselves, and gain tools for self-development and self-sufficiency. The project started when the day labors started bringing their wives into El Centro, and the women's project took off from there."


Centro Humanitario Para Los Trabajadores (El Centro) promotes the rights and well-being of day laborers and domestic workers in Colorado through education, economic opportunity, job skills and leadership development, united action and advocacy.

The vision is that Day Laborers and Domestic Workers are agents of change they belong, thrive and contribute in a significant way to their families, communities and the global social change movement.

Background Statement

Centro Humanitario Para Los Trabajadores (El Centro) is Denver's first day laborer organization, organized to defend the human rights of day laborers. In 1998, an injured day laborer was found abandoned on the street with serious brain damage. He had fallen off a roof and his employer, who picked up the worker on a street corner, abandoned him in the dark of night to avoid responsibility for his injuries. Concerned with such worker exploitation and the dangerous working environment that Denver's immigrant day laborers faced as they sought day-to-day work off of street corners, numerous community supporters came together to create a safe indoor place for day laborers. As a result, a run-down warehouse space was rehabilitated by workers themselves and El Centro opened its doors on June 1, 2002. In 2007, El Centro celebrated its 5th Anniversary by re-opening its newly-renovated building.

We work in inner-city Denver, near the street-corner labor market where numerous bus lines from south of the border converge. Immigrant day laborers on this corner are exceptionally vulnerable to unscrupulous employers, to unsafe working conditions, and to hostility from area residents, businesses, and the police. El Centro offers a safe and dignified indoor gathering place for these workers, providing an alternative to dangerous street-corner labor markets, as well as programs to improve their ability to become self-sufficient and to empower them to take action to protect their rights.

El Centro emphasizes collective organizing among the workers; as such, training on their rights as workers, as immigrants, as women, and how to advocate for those rights, are an integral part of each program. This organizing ethos allows the workers to stand together to maintain a dignified minimum wage of $12 an hour, to advocate against unscrupulous employers, and to participate in vital local, regional, and national movements for worker justice and immigrant and women's rights. Through our campaigns we reach out to local officials such as city council and state legislators. We do direct action and community outreach to create the support necessary to hold our city and state officials accountable to our members' needs.

Organization Data


Organization name

El Centro Humanitario para los Trabajadores

other names

El Centro

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)





PO Box 3190
Denver, CO 80201

Service areas

Denver County, CO, US



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