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Ensure residents in Sonoma Valley can improve their lives and strengthen their families by providing easily accessible family services, effective child-parent development programs, and culturally relevant mental health services.

Family Services
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La Luz Center Family Advocates assist individuals and families in signing up for Calfresh and Medi-Cal insurance. We provide support with initial enrollment, Sar-7 mid-year reporting and help with county paperwork.*  Certified enrollment counselors can help also enroll, navigate, and answer general questions about Covered CA.


• Appointments and support from La Luz Center Family Advocates

• Referrals to county-wide agencies or partners that provide healthcare and medical services

• On-site medical clinic:  St. Joseph Hospital Mobile Clinic – La Luz Center Parking Area:

   Every Friday 8:30AM-1:00PM; first come, first served; come early

• Food Support:

            • Food gift cards for emergency relief


La Luz provides Family Advocates and case management that helps untangle the complexities of health programs, insurance and the paperwork that often prevents families from accessing essential healthcare. La Luz provides the only free, bilingual mental health services in the Valley and also provides food support to families in need.

For more information or appointments, contact:

Patricia Galindo, Family Services Coordinator, or by calling La Luz Center.

Direct and Emergency Assistance
Information and Referrals


La Luz Center has become a hub for information and referrals. Our bilingual interview process helps determine the best resource to meet a client’s need. We answer questions, provide guidance and connect clients to local resources.


• Medical Services

• Legal Assistance

• Mental Health Services

• Health and Wellness Programs

• Housing Assistance


La Luz clients trust and rely on La Luz staff for accurate, up-to-date information and proven, quality referrals. La Luz has earned the reputation as the go-to place for the right answers. The range of La Luz Center services enables clients to access the support they need, locally.

For more information or appointments, contact:

Patricia Galindo, Family Services Coordinator, or by calling La Luz Center.

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Often clients require support beyond an answer or referral. They have an unforeseen emergency or are faced with complex issues that require short or long term support from the La Luz staff to achieve a satisfactory outcome.


• La Luz Center Family Services Advocates with direct emergency relief or help

   navigating resources

• Case management until emergency relief is secured or issues are resolved

• Goal setting to move from a difficult to a desired state


La Luz provides emergency relief that helps clients recover from financial and personal setbacks. With the direct support of La Luz Family Services Advocates, clients have been able to secure employment, resolve landlord disputes, gain access to low income housing and find transportation solutions to get to work or to get children to school.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a Family Services Advocate, contact:

Patricia Galindo, Family Services Coordinator, or by calling La Luz Center.

Mental Health
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La Luz Center has created partnerships with mental health organizations to provide access to quality mental health resources: workshops, counseling and therapy. Group and individual sessions are provided through an in-house therapist and professionals from the YWCA.


• Appointments and support from La Luz Center Family Advocates

• Referrals to the appropriate mental health resources


Many Sonoma Valley adults have little to no access to quality, affordable mental health services, provided in their native language. In the aftermath of the 2017 fires and uncertainty surrounding immigration policies, La Luz recognized and helped address the increased need for mental health support services.  Our current month long wait-list is a reflection of the need for Mental Health services in our community.

For more information or appointment with a Family Services Advocate, contact:

Yuliana Camarena, Family Services Coordinator, or by calling La Luz Center.

Legal Services


In collaboration with Sonoma County legal organizations, La Luz Center  provides answers to legal questions and access to their legal services


• Appointments and support from La Luz Center Family Advocates for referrals

  to the appropriate attorney or legal service

• Sonoma County Legal Aid—attorney on-site at La Luz Center weekly

            • Housing law

            • Family law

            • Immigration law

• International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA) - attorney off-site, contact at 707.932.7000

            • Citizenship applications

            • Immigration law

            • DACA information and renewals


Legal services at La Luz are free to clients who qualify.  Services are bilingual and enable clients to more easily access legal support locally.

For more information or an appointment with a Family Services advocate, contact:

Patricia Galindo, Family Services Coordinator, or by calling La Luz Center.

AVANCE - La Luz Center Partnering with Hanna Boys Center

La Luz leads AVANCE, a national early childhood education program, for Sonoma Valley parents and children under the age of three.  The AVANCE program strengthens families with a powerful eight month curriculum for the parents and children that participate.  AVANCE aims to improve parenting skills, provide tools to enrich the development environment at home and create fun early childhood learning experiences


• Two May-September classes /year; 20 parent-child participants in each class

• Program classes are once weekly for each participant group

• Parent education on early child development, parenting skills, literacy and creative toys

• Play based education for the children 0-3

• Parenting support group and home visitations

• Health and wellness education

• Mental Health support and services

• La Luz Center information and referrals


The AVANCE program has proven to improve kindergarten readiness and create stronger long term parental involvement in their children’s education. Monthly home visitations reinforce class learning and can explore other support services that may be needed by the family. AVANCE helps build a sound foundation for success in school.

For more information, contact:

Yuliana Camarena, or by calling La Luz Center.



Sonia Mendoza
Parent Educator and Program Coordinator
Directs curriculum and program fidelity by creating stimulating environments and implementing in class room learning for parents

My name is Sonia Mendoza, I have lived in the city of Sonoma since 2006, I am a Graduate of the School of Law in the city of Mazatlan Sinaloa, Mexico. I am married and I have three children. In 2018 I began to collaborate in La Luz center in the Avance program, this year, I received my certification as an Associate Teacher in Child Development at the Santa Rosa Community College.


Elvira Barboza
Early Childhood Education Toddler Instructor
Assist Lead ECE Childcare Provider in providing safe, warm stimulating environment and implementing routines
for infants and/or toddlers

She was borned and raised in Michoacán Mexico. She currently lives in Sonoma with
her family, her two sons and her husband. She was a representative of ELAC and DELAC commities in the Sonoma Valley School District. She is curretnly and active member of LEA (Logrando Exitos Academicos). She enjoys getting involved in the community, gardening, exercising, and improving herself, she got her GED diploma at the Santa Rosa Junior College in 2007. Prior to moving to USA she was studying at the Instituto Tecnoligico de Morelia and at the same time working ina day care center.


Ana Patricia Rios
Early Childhood Education Infants Instructor
With the support of and direction from the Parent Educator, Program Coordinator, and/or Program Manager, the ECE Childcare Provider will provide a safe, warm and stimulating environment for young children including implementing the AVANCE curriculum and appropriate routines.

My name is Ana Patricia Ríos. I was born in Guadalajara Jalisco. I have a career as a technical educator. I am a mother to 3 boys ages 16, 13 and 10 years old. I enjoy working with children, one reason is that I become part of their growth and development. As an active volunteer in the community, I have the pleasure to participate in various activities and connect with families.


Nena Gutierrez
AVANCE Toy Instructor
Responsible for teaching mothers enrolled in the AVANCE Program how to make educational toys, and to supervise the ECE staff to a stimulating learning experience to children between birth and age 3.

Amelia(Nena) currently teaches courses at the FRC, including Health and Nutrition I and II, and Art. In the summer of 2017, she had a leadership role in the FRC Summer Literacy program, where she helped to organize, coordinate, and deliver "Readers" and "Writers" workshops to children.  Part of the 3-hour summer program she led was an hour of crafts, involving both parent and child.  She is a graduate of the Santa Rosa Junior College High School Equivalency Program (HEP).  Prior to moving to Sonoma Valley, she studied in Mexico towards a degree to become a kindergarten teacher. She is the El Verano School representative to the SVUSD District-wide ELAC.


Rosy Ledezma
Early Childhood Education Toddler Instructor
Assist Lead ECE Childcare Provider in providing safe, warm stimulating environment and implementing routines
for infants and/or toddlers 

My name is Rosy Ledezma, I am 28 years old and am married with two beautiful sons. I was born and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco but made my way over to Sonoma. I have 6 years of experience working with kids as a childcare provider at El Verano elementary but this is my first year joining the the AVANCE team as an early education childhood teacher. So far,  I have enjoyed it because the parents and kids are learning at the same time. I work in both areas, the Infants and Toddlers room and its amazing learning to adapt to a child's individual needs because I'm being taught at the same and learning more about the AVANCE program itself.


Ana Rodriguez
Early Childhood Education Toddler Instructor
Assist Lead ECE Childcare Provider in providing safe, warm stimulating environment and implementing routines
for infants and/or toddlers 



Valley Oak Homes is a local low-income apartment complex, that serves as a satellite site. Inside the clubhouse you will find Adriana, our Family Services Advocate, twice a week. This allows us to reach and provide all La Luz Center services onsite for the 42 families living at Valley Oak Homes.

For more information, contact:

Adriana Jacinto, Family Services Advocate, or by calling La Luz Center.


Adriana Jacinto
Family Services Advocate

Coordinates health and wellness-related client services

Adriana Jacinto was born and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. She graduated from the University of Guadalajara with a major in Business Administration. A few months after graduation, she moved to the United States and into a new world. She now lives in Napa with her husband and two daughters. For the last 20 years, Adriana has worked for Low Income Housing -- 13 years in the Housing Administration Department in Income Qualifications and Enforcement of House Rules and 7 years in the Resident Service Department as a Health and Wellness Advocate. She has a strong background and experience working in the community. One of her biggest passions is to better the quality of life and provide equal opportunity for the underserved.

Valley Oak Homes
Family Resource Center
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FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER - La Luz Center Partnering with El Verano School

La Luz Family Resource Center (FRC) is on-site at El Verano elementary school. The FRC helps families connect to services and navigate resources related to the academic, social and emotional needs of El Verano K-5th grade students and their parents. The Family Resource Center offers La Luz classes and services to help provide the missing links between family, school system, and support services that often impact children’s success at school.


• Campus space for parents to easily access support during school hours

• Collaborative partnership with El Verano principal and staff

• La Luz Family Navigator supports families referred by teachers and counselors

• Leadership opportunities for parents: FRC Volunteers and Aides

• Connection to cultural and social activities in the community

• Childcare during parent classes and counseling

• On-site services:

            • On-site classes & workshops: ESL, Citizenship, Health & Nutrition

            • Information & Referrals

            • Case management

            • Mental Health services

            • Parenting classes, support groups and other educational opportunities


Parental support of children’s education can be lost in the many demands of work and home. Together with the El Verano teaching staff, the Family Resource Center promotes the involvement of parents in their children’s school life, provides services to at-risk families and brings enriching activities to the El Verano school community.

For more information, contact:

Yuliana Camarena, La Luz Family Resource Site Manager, or by calling La Luz Center.

Event Calendar



Yuliana Camarena Torres
El Verano Family Resource Center Manager
Works with parents in identifying and achieving goals; accessing support services, education, and training programs and opportunities; and facilitating positive parent, school and student relationships. Advances the El Verano Family Resource Center mission, vision, and programs through maintaining, sustaining, and developing new relationships with community partners and Sonoma Valley Unified School District.

Yuliana was born in Michoacán, Mexico and grew up in Sonoma. She earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Dominican University of California, with concentrations in accounting and marketing. From a young age, Yuliana has been connected with La Luz. She received the Language Award from La Luz while in both elementary and middle school and received the La Luz Scholarship in high school. Yuliana started as an intern in 2014 and joined the full-time staff later that  year. Yuliana enjoys creating learning opportunities through programs. 


Juanita Padilla de Hernandez
Family Engagement Coordinator
Connects families with School

I'm Juanita Padilla de Hernández. I was born in Mexico and have been living in Sonoma since 1999. I'm married and have 3 children. I took English and Computer classes at La Luz Center, I have also been a volunteer and worked at El Verano School. Now I'm working through La Luz Center at the El Verano Family Resource Center as the Family Engagement Coordinator. My role will be to connect families with the school.


Thalia Ruiz

El Verano Family Resource Center Family Coordinator 

​​Works to bring together day-to-day activities of El Verano Family Resource Center's direct and indirect client service programs

Thalia was born and raised in Petaluma, CA. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree (B.A.) in Communications, from Sacramento State University. She is the first person in her family’s history to receive a degree from a university. She is the daughter of an immigrant single mother, and the youngest of three children. Coming from a humble upbringing, she is determined to give back to the community just as she did, when she was growing up. In her spare time she enjoys going on hikes, and believes it's always a great day when there is a coffee cup in her hand.

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