First Book

April 8, 2014 by  

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Photo Credit: Cristina Espinosa of Centro de Adoracion Familiar (CAF)

Hispanic Access Foundation has partnered with First Book to provide Hispanic children in need with new books that will help build organizational and home libraries, develop literacy skills and celebrate these youth’s Hispanic heritage.

Over the last month, Hispanic Access Foundation enrolled over 50 of our partner organizations, made up of Catholic and Evangelical churches, schools and parent organizations with First Book, so that they could receive 2,500 books worth over $10,000.

All of the organizations were selected based on the criteria that 70% of the youth they serve are low-income.   Once the organization was signed up, we provided them with a code allowing them to receive a free shipment of the Celebrate Cuentos Collection.  This collection consists of 50 hand-picked titles that highlight Latino cultures and celebrate Hispanic heritage.  The books were selected to serve kids in kindergarten through sixth grade, and include picture books (fiction and nonfiction), poetry, beginning readers, chapter books, and middle grade novels.

Through Hispanic Access Foundation and First Book’s ongoing partnership, we have distributed more than 24,000 books valued at over $232,000 to kids in numerous Hispanic communities.

To sign up with First Book visit: make sure to indicate that you heard about their program through Hispanic Access Foundation.  If you need any assistance with the registration give us a call at 1-800-206-9096.

Open Enrollment is over – There is still help to get you Covered

April 7, 2014 by  

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From the

We know many of you worked hard to finish enrolling in a health plan in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Sometimes despite your best efforts, you might have run into delays caused by heavy traffic to or the call center, maintenance periods, or other special situations that prevented you from finishing the process on time.

If that happened to you, don’t worry – you still may be able to get covered in 2014.

If you were trying to enroll on our system by the March 31 enrollment deadline for coverage in 2014 and didn’t finish, there may still be help to get  you covered.

  • Log in to your online Marketplace application on and finish the enrollment process – you’ll need to just confirm online that you were still trying to enroll on March 31.
  • Or contact the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. The Call Center can help you complete your enrollment over the phone. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. Be sure to tell our customer service representative that you’ve been trying to enroll.

Don’t miss out on the health coverage you need. Let us help you finish your enrollment today.

EPA Moves to Clarify Protection for Streams and Wetlands

March 25, 2014 by  

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Today, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed a rule change that would extend their authority over the nation’s streams and wetlands as part of the Clean Water Act. Maite Arce, president of Hispanic Access Foundation, issued the following statement highlighting the importance of this proposal:

“Water is the lifeblood of our environment and as demands grow we need to be vigilant in protecting against pollution and keeping our ecosystems intact. Our river systems are an integral part of our Hispanic heritage and way of life. It’s our moral obligation to conserve the landscape, rivers, wildlife and natural historical places for future generations.  

“This rule change will strengthen the protection of our nation’s streams and wetlands, which in turn supports tourism and agricultural industries. Families, anglers, hunters, recreationist and even businesses depending upon reliable water supplies will benefit from this proposal.

“Clean water is essential for everyone, but Hispanics face disproportionate health hazards largely due to poor environmental health. Greater protections for our nation’s water systems will help address some of the larger health issues that affect our community as a whole.”

Since its founding in 2010, HAF has made building the Hispanic community’s capacity to engage in areas that will improve the lives and well-being for this generation and those to come a focus of its programs. HAF has nurtured the Hispanic community’s strong connection to the natural environment by designing programs for Hispanic families and youth to engage in outdoor experiences, including camping, whitewater rafting, and hiking, in National Parks and areas under consideration for National Monument designation. Most recently, HAF shepherded the groundbreaking formation of Por La Creación Faith-Based Alliance, a new group founded by Hispanic faith leaders dedicated to developing stewards of God’s creation by engaging and educating this generation to leave a legacy for the future.

Faith-based Alliance Applauds Full-funding for LWCF in President’s Budget

March 4, 2014 by  

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Por la Creación Faith-based Alliance, which develops stewards of God’s creation by educating and engaging this generation to leave a legacy for the future, applauded President Obama’s budget proposal and its commitment to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund:

“For way too long, we’ve allowed the Land and Water Conservation Fund to remain underfunded. President Obama has recognized the importance of LWCF in the protection of national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, as well as in the creation of local parks and recreational facilities for youth and families.

“We have a moral responsibility to taxpayers, our communities and future generations to fund LWCF. It protects God’s majesty in the mountains, rivers, deserts and other breathtaking landscapes of our nation for the next generation to enjoy. We need balance between energy development and conservation – it begins with fulfilling the promise to fully-fund LWCF. 

“We thank President Obama for his desire to see LWCF fully funded, now it’s time for Congress to rise to the challenge.”

In 1965, Congress created the LWCF using a portion of royalties paid by oil and gas companies drilling offshore with the intent to balance the depletion of one resource by protecting another. By law, the fund is capped at $900 million annually, but has only been fully funded once in nearly 50 years.

Por la Creación Faith-based Alliance was founded, as an initiative of the Hispanic Access Foundation, by several prominent religious leaders from Western states in the fall of 2013. The Alliance brings common-sense and spiritual guidance to the national discussion about the value of our parks and public lands, and other environmental issues affecting Latinos. This leadership is instrumental in spurring change that preserves our natural treasures for future generations — bringing balance and fairness to how our nation views conservation in relation to energy development.

VOXXI: Why accurate tax records are important for Hispanic health

February 28, 2014 by  

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By: Hope Gillette

Tax season is upon the country, and for many immigrants –documented or otherwise– filing taxes can be difficult due to language barriers that cause complications and miscommunication during the process. Because of this, PRNewswire indicates Hispanics often are the unknowing perpetrators of tax fraud or deliberately avoid filing taxes all together, and these indiscretions can have a negative impact on health.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is designed to grant health insurance access to millions of people in the United States, and Hispanics, as one of the largest uninsured populations in the country, stand to gain hefty benefits from the reform law. The only catch is that properly filed tax returns are a must for eligibility, and that may put some Hispanics in a difficult position.

Thankfully, a new program has launched to help reduce the fear and reservation associated with tax filing so Hispanics can apply for the insurance they need. The Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) has partnered with H&R Block tax service to form Prepárate Para Un Futuro Mejor” (Prepare Yourself for a Better Future), a series of free tax preparation workshops designed for Spanish-speaking individuals. The programs will be nationwide and will focus on tax misinformation, ACA eligibility and potential immigration law changes that will also impact how Hispanics file.

“This campaign has helped tens of thousands of Hispanics with concerns about immigration status, past experiences with fraud and inadequate tax preparation,” said in a press release Maite Arce, president and CEO of HAF. “With the rapid expansion of the Hispanic population, it is essential to provide accurate information and access to bilingual, professional tax experts to successfully navigate the United States tax system. With a better understanding of the filing process, we can strengthen our families, communities and nation.”

Hispanics looking to take part in the ACA can use their prior tax returns to verify not only eligibility for coverage, but possible eligibility for tax credits.  The IRS indicates assistance to purchase health insurance comes through the tax filing process as does the penalty assigned should an individual or family decline coverage.

“If you get insurance through the Marketplace, you may be eligible to claim the premium tax credit,” states the agency. “You can elect to have advance payments of the tax credit sent directly to your insurer during 2014, or wait to claim the credit when you file your tax return in 2015. If you choose to have advance payments sent to your insurer, you will have to reconcile the payments on your 2014 tax return, which will be filed in 2015.”

Because many of the tax provisions surrounding the ACA begin this year, now is the time for Hispanics to take advantage of free educational programs so past tax issues aren’t repeated, causing an issue with the ability to purchase or maintain health care coverage.

“Hispanics have the highest uninsured rates of any racial or ethnic group in the country,” said Arce. “While the first step for everyone is to make sure your taxes are in order, for many Hispanics there is a steep learning curve. Not only are we providing education on the tax process, but also on why health insurance is important and how the system operates as a whole.”

Proper tax preparation is not only important to Hispanics when it comes to health insurance, but experts indicate tax returns may soon become an intricate part of immigration reform. Any Hispanics who are in the process of completing documented immigration status may eventually be required to show proof of tax documentation for multiple years before citizenship is granted.

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