Information for English-speaking visitors

The organization

Centro Cultural de Hispanohablantes (Hispanic Cultural Centre) is an NGO dedicated to integrating and empowering the Spanish-speaking migrant community in Amsterdam. The foundation was established in 2002.

The CCH was created to serve all members of the Spanish-speaking community residing in Greater Amsterdam, who come from many different countries, such as: Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela.
We also receive and assist Spanish speakers from Morocco and Dutch Antilles, as well as many people who speak Spanish as a second language, including a significant number of Dutch citizens.

The great diversity of the users of CCH gives dynamism to the organization and the cultural variety really enriches the social interactions.
One of the most important commitments of the Foundation is to encourage mutual recognition and cultural exchange between the Hispanic, Dutch and other cultural communities in Amsterdam.
The activities organized by the Centre are designed according to the demand and needs of its users.

The people working at CCH are interns and trainees arriving from different countries: EVS volunteers, Erasmus+ mobility students and professionals, Erasmus Mundus interns, and scholarship holders form all over the world.
The CCH also counts with permanent staff members who perform the supervision, administrative tasks and project management.


The foundation is located at the Willem Schouten 1A, in the West district.
Other organizations representing the interests of specific Spanish-or Portuguese-speaking communities are eventually allowed to use the facilities.

The target groups

The main target of CCH are Spanish speakers living in Amsterdam and its surroundings.
Since the CCH is not committed to any particular ideological, political or religious beliefs, all the activities of the CCH are open to everyone.

Judging from the existing data, we can anticipate that the number of people coming from Spanish-speaking countries who are registered in Amsterdam is around 10.000.
Not all of Spanish-speakers are foreigners and not all of them are registered. And in fact, many of them may be Dutch citizens that do not appear as foreigner in the statistics.
For example, people from Puerto Rico have an American passport, and many Latin Americans are not included in this statistics, as they come to the Netherlands with a European passport (for example, many Argentines are in possession of an Italian passport).
There are also many Spanish speakers among Antilleans, Arubans, Moroccans, Americans, and people with various other nationalities.

> Newcomers
Newcomers need any kind of information concerning practical matters (housing, work, health system) as well as legal and economic issues. In order to fully comprehend the Dutch way of living, they can find every information they might need on our web page, can attend the meetings we often organize during which we also hand them out useful leaflets.
Indeed, the greatest barrier they encounter is language. This is why the CCH offers Dutch and English courses so they can fit in and find a job faster.

> Elderly
For long-established immigrants, mostly elderly, the language remains a stumbling block to their integration. When they came to the Netherlands there were no integration programs as is currently the case. A great problem is the lack of information about social services and all common procedures in the Netherlands, so supplying information on various topics in their own language is fundamental.
As we are living in a more and more technological world, it is also important that they learn how to use computers, cameras and all sort of devices they might need: therefore we offer IT courses especially designed for them. They also need social contacts and inspiring activities that could enable them to get in touch with other peers in a creative way.

> Women
In recent years women have assumed different roles that they are supposed to combine with the traditional female roles (wife, mother). Combining them requires a lot of perseverance as it can give a sense of victory but also bring along certain frustrations.
Women emancipation, integration and adaptation processes in Dutch society could be problematic for the family because of the expectations of the partner and the children.
Since women are the first teachers for their children, it is also important that they project a positive self-image to their children.

> Sexual minorities
The CCH happily welcomes all sexual minorities with the intention to help them fit in the Dutch society in the most natural way.

The CCH annually receives about 3000 visitors from the above groups.

Activities Offer

The main purpose of all the activities of the CCH is to improve the personal and social development of the Hispanic people in Amsterdam: people should feel good and live with others harmoniously. Besides the integration problems, some migrants have to deal with some unwanted emotional reactions.
Sometimes the language barrier and the cultural differences can play an important role in the relations between incomers and the other people.
People who can not understand what others are doing or saying can easily become irritated and they can develop an aloof or even hostile attitude.
A good command of the Dutch language is the basic tool for better integration and participation in Dutch society.
Making the newcomers aware of the Dutch and Amsterdam procedures and regulations is also essential.
This is the reason why the CCH has up-to-date information and is always in contact with many institutions and organizations.
All activities offered at the CCH are socio-cultural and educational in nature and are related to education, information, and meeting personal and social growth.

The activities generally fall under the following headings:

> Social Services. Information. Helpdesk. Consultation.
> Language. Dutch as a second language. Conversation groups.
> English courses.
> Computer and internet lessons, especially for the elderly.
> Creativity Development and Social Skills.
> Visit to institutions, organizations, museums, etc.
> Cultural and festive events.
> Meeting. For the elderly, for women and for specific communities.
> Art workshops. Music, dance, theater, painting, ceramics, photography.
> Movement and relaxation techniques.


Its main sources of funding are at the moment the subventions granted by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security of Spain.
In the past, we had generous contributions from the Amsterdam City Government (Department of Social Development).
Several private funds are also asked to give financial support to our one-off projects.
So far, various funds awarded us donations:

>Halla Stichting
>Stichting het R.C. Maagdenhuis
>Stichting Hulp na Onderzoek
>SkaN Fonds
>VSB Fonds
>R.C. Oude Armen Kantoor
>Stichting Sluyterman van Loo
>Nationale Fonds Ouderenhulp
>Oranje Fonds

Our projects have also been supported by >the province of North Holland
>the West District of Amsterdam
>the Nederlands Jeugd Instituut (Dutch Youth Institute)
>the European Commission through the National EVS agency in the Netherlands


See the contents of the folder

One-off projects

Art exhibition coming from Spain: TALLER 26

The world at Mercatorplein

In 2012, we launched the project Cooking Together, Living Together in order to tackle the problem of a generation gap in Dutch society. The elderly and the young people live alongside each other but there is hardly any encounter between these two groups.
The aim of this project was to enrich the lives of older people and possibly get them out of their isolation by offering them creative activities to share with the young.


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On March 8, every year, we celebrate the International Womens Day in De Baarsjes.

In 2011 we participated in the projects Zwaan en Festival and Rembrandtpark Festival.
During these kind of events, we act as the ambassadors of art and culture of the Spanish speaking world.

In 2010 we conducted a project on Cognitive stimulation for the elderly.


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Old age is often used as a synonym for loss and decay, especially in Western society and developed countries where the qualities of youth, physical strength and competitiveness are considered to be key to success and happiness.
However, getting old is a natural process, over the course of which many things change in our lives. These issues can be easily dealt with, if we know how to do it. Certain changes related to physical, psychological and social health can be kept under control.
This project aimed to help the participants to learn how to prevent memory problems and how to deal with difficulties, if such were to occur. The target group were the elderly of Southern European descent (all the activities were held in Dutch). It was implemented in partnership with ZEG (Southern European Communities) and CABO (Centre for Policy Research on the Elderly Migrants).

In 2009 we carried out a project called Interactive Civic Integration (InterActief Inburgeren)


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The project was designed for the board members and staff of grassroots immigrant organisations, and it consisted of:
> Studying the properties and communication codes of different cultures.
> Understanding the key aspects of Dutch culture and challenges they may cause to immigrants arriving in the Netherlands.
> Stimulating the organizations of migrants / refugees to enhance the participation of their users and promote among them a proactive approach in the integration process.
> Creating a communication platform for people who offer assistance to the newcomers and who are from different cultural backgrounds, and trying to understand and overcome the differences.
This project was designed and implemented in collaboration with the Volunteer Centre Amsterdam (Vrijwilligers Centrale Amsterdam) and the CConsultants for Intercultural Communication (Consultants Interculturele Communicatie) organisations.
During the course and a train-the-trainer session, the participants received advice and support for organising their own training courses on Interactive Civic Integration at their workplace.

In 2008, we organised activities for women in the framework of a project called Female + Migrant = Energy + Creativity (Vrouw + Migrant = Kracht + Kunst.)
These activities provided opportunity for:
> Encounter - physical and symbolic - between women representing different ethnic groups that live in Amsterdam and its surroundings;
> Exchange of art and creative expression;
> Debate on the position, role and contribution of migrant women in the Netherlands, and in comparison with the situation of Dutch women;
> Deepening the dialogue, an exchange of experiences, feelings and different points of view presented by the Dutch and immigrant women.
Through organising these meetings, we wanted to promote a mutual respect and understanding, introduce women to the pleasures of a multicultural encounter and thus strengthen the social cohesion in a positive, relaxed and creative way.

Between 2006 and 2010, the projects Support for Hispanic Women (Ondersteuning voor Spaanstalige Vrouwen) and Women With A Mission (Vrouwen Met Een Missie) were carried out.


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These projects aimed to achieve the following goals:
- Raising awareness of one's own limitations
- Increasing the self-esteem
- Expansion an extension of thought processes
- Improvement of communication skills and assertiveness
- Improvement of social skills
- Improvement of organisational skills
During the second part, the participants received personal guidance and coaching with the aim to develop their own project.

From mid 2004 till late 2005, we ran a project called A Better Life (Een Beter Leven).
This project consisted of thematic meetings, workshops and other activities that were focused on:
1. Creating a social network which provided the participants with an opportunity to share their problems and make valuable contacts.
2. Promoting self-reliance by providing professional advice on how to understand better ones own situation.
3. Promoting active participation in the society through offering information and education.
4. Providing skills to prevent to deal with stress, enabling the participants to improve the quality of their personal, familiar and social relationships.

In 2004, the project called Hispanic Elderly Online (Spaanstalige Ouderen Online) was completed.
This project involved:
1. Creating a web page in Spanish with information for the elderly people in Amsterdam regarding the services available for them, as well as social security, housing, health care, financial and legal issues, and containing links to other relevant organisations.
2. Developing an IT skills course in Spanish, which would enable the elderly people to use the internet in order to access the information they may need.