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Spanish American Civic Association (SACA)

Owner: Carlos Graupera
Location: Lancaster, PA
Business: Community Organization
Purpose of Loan: Community Impact Projects
Impact: Affordable Housing / Accessible Healthcare / Economic Security / Educational Opportunities / Food Resources

Since 1971, the Spanish American Civic Association (SACA) has worked tirelessly to empower the Latino community throughout the city and county of Lancaster.

Over the decades, Community First Fund has collaborated with SACA to help fund the creation of high-impact projects including several affordable housing complexes, an active senior center, a local Spanish radio station, and a drug rehabilitation residential facility. Two of SACA’s largest projects, Tec Centro and the Conestoga River Plaza, came to life thanks in part to our New Markets Tax Credit allocations.

The Conestoga River Plaza shopping center provides greatly-needed commercial retail outlets and the only full service grocery store within miles of Lancaster’s southeast city gateway. The project created 78 permanent jobs and stands as a catalyst for change in the area. The project also houses Brother’s Food Max, a culturally-appropriate grocery store owned and operated by Community First Fund client Adriano Gomez.

Lancaster’s first and only bilingual vocational training center, Tec Centro, removes barriers to career advancement. Since opening, Tec Centro has helped more than 1,000 graduates pursue successful careers. Community First Fund is supporting SACA’s development of two other Tec Centro centers: one in the southwest section of Lancaster and one in Reading.