CASA Latina: A Home for Seattle’s Day Laborers
Immigrant day laborers are the shadow people, a peripatetic tribe who exist on the edges of society. Uncertainty govern these workers’ lives, for their constantly uprooting isolates them and leaves them at-risk for problems ranging from financial exploitation to inadequate health care. It was to help counteract these troubles that Seattle’s CASA Latina was created.
A non-profit organization, CASA (Centro de Ayuda Solidaria a los Amigos) Latina was developed around the daily gathering of Hispanic day laborers on Seattle’s Western Ave. CASA aims to organize, galvanize, and protect the rights of Latino immigrants through educational and employment opportunities, including English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classes, skills training, and job placement. CASA Latina’s Day Workers’ Center, built in 1999 and located in the Belltown section of the city, serves as the hub for many of these activities.
Over the space of a year, photographer Casey Kelbaugh spent time with the organizers and workers at CASA Latina, learning how the center serves as a lifeline to a marginalized community. His photo-essay of the experience follows.