Our Story

The Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO), was established in 1964 (as LARASA) to be the first Latino-serving nonprofit in Colorado.

However, today our programming offers benefits to many different underserved communities of color seeking to develop themselves as leaders and advocates for their communities.

Mission | Misión

| Empowering Latinos through leadership development, advocacy, and research to strengthen Colorado. |

| Empoderando a los latinos a través del desarrollo del liderazgo, abogacía política y la investigación para fortalecer a Colorado. |

Vision | Visión

| A Colorado where Latinos are achieving their fullest potential. |

| Un Colorado donde los Latinos logran todo su potencial. |


Motto | Lema

| Improving the lives of Latinos in Colorado improves the lives of all Coloradans. |

| Mejorar las vidas de los Latinos en Colorado mejora las vidas de todos los residentes de Colorado. |

What Does CLLARO Do?

  • We develop diverse student leaders through our CLLARO Capitol Fellowship Program who learn about the legislative process and provide insightful policy analyses.

  • CLLARO’s Policy & Research Committee creates research projects based on Capitol Fellowship policy analysis in order to develop data-driven policy recommendations that tell the story from the Latino perspective.

  • CLLARO’s primary research informs our advocacy training programming, ensuring that community leaders can use their own voice and advocate for their communities.

Policy Advocacy Focus Areas

  • Educational Equity

  • Health and the Social Determinants of Health

  • Issues Affecting Colorado’s Aging Population


How YOU can show your support

Sponsor Us!

There are many perks for sponsoring CLLARO, including networking opportunities with Latino leaders in the public and private sectors, advertising opportunities in the local Latino community, and most importantly, being part of an important social cause!

Let Us Serve You!

CLLARO offers a range of services, including research and infographics, press conferences and other educational events within Colorado’s Latino communities, as well as leadership development trainings.


Every little bit helps us get closer to realizing our vision.  Visit our donation page to learn more about advancing social change!

Our History

Founding Members of CLLARO (Formerly LARASA)

Lena L. Archuleta | Charles Tafoya | Bernard “Bernie” Valdez

Hon. Roger Cisneros | Rev. Eutimo Duran | Dr. James Galván | Rev. James Prohens

Levi J. Beall | Benjamin Bezoff | Bert Gallegos | Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales

Joseph Herrera | Helen Lucero | Cletus Ludden | Robert Lucero

Isaac Moore | Rachel B. Noel | Don Pacheco | Herrick S. Roth

George Roybal | Betty Salazar | John Sanchez | Sheldon Steinhauser

Eduardo Terrones | Phillip Torres | Moses Trujillo | Charles Vigil

In the face of discrimination, economic disparities, and a lack of political representation on local and national levels, Latinos in 1960s Colorado were determined to impact their communities for the better. With support from what is now known as the Mile High United Way, 27 local community leaders banded together to form the Latin American Research and Service Agency (LARASA) on March 13, 1964—the first Hispanic/Latino-serving 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the United States. Now known as the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy and Research Organization (CLLARO), the organization has been working to serve as an advocate for the rights, concerns and successes of Colorado Latinos for over 50 years.

In line with the vision of the original founders, Ms. Lena Archuleta, Mr. Charles Tafoya, and Mr. Bernie Valdez, CLLARO’s ongoing mission is to empower Latinos through leadership development, advocacy, and research in order to address disparities in education, health, job readiness and social justice, with the goal that when Latinos are achieving their fullest potential, it strengthens Colorado. However, the concerns of Colorado Latinos have evolved:

There are now over 1.1 million Latinos in Colorado, making up 21% of the population, yet:

  • 25% of that population lives below the federal poverty level.
  • 26% of that population lacks equitable access to affordable healthcare options.
  • 33% of that population is incarcerated.

Today, CLLARO exists to serve not only as an advocate for the Latino community, but also as the voice of other marginalized communities such as low-income children, refugees, and immigrants. Major community concerns include:

  • Access to affordable housing
  • Access to equitable healthcare
  • Access to healthy, natural foods
  • Access to quality childcare, as well as pre- and post-secondary education
  • Access to leadership development education
  • Equal representation at both the local and national political level

We will continue to advocate for the Latino and other marginalized communities in Colorado in 2017 and beyond.

Learn more about us!

Our Complete Programming Lineup (Printable)

Our Staff

Our Board of Directors