Our Community was established in 2008 to uniquely fill the gap in supporting Eritreans to integrate into American life, provide support with social and employment services, and to build a culturally competent organization. The Center was conceived as a place where every generation of the Eritrean Diaspora could find comfort in various facets of their culture, preserve and practice unique traditions and celebrate festivals and social milestones in a welcoming environment. It was also designed to be a center where people of other cultures can explore and experience Eritrean traditions and values to unite the diverse community and raise awareness about Eritrean culture in the local community. We have served over 5,000 people in the local area since we first opened our doors.
Programs & Services
We provide tutoring and classes in basic English, computer skills, & Tigrigna language courses (approved by San Jose Unified School District to meet World Language requirements). In addition, a Friday Night Seminar Series provides valuable content across a variety of relevant topics like health, hygiene, & nutrition, domestic violence, drug/alcohol abuse, financial planning, older adult services, and accessing employment/education, & much more. We host senior programs every Wednesday.
Arts, Culture, Sports & Recreation
We host a number of community events including traditional music and dance, cultural celebrations, culinary arts lessons, film viewings and much, much more. In addition, the center organizes several recreational programs for soccer, volleyball, and track and field.
Social Services & Support
We offer assistance and referral services for language interpretation, job training, immigration resources, drivers’ education, and tax preparation.
For further details on any of our programs and services, please contact us today.
Everyone is Welcome
• Eritrean immigrants and refugees of all ages
• American born people of Eritrean-descent
• Foster agencies /parents of Eritrean Youth
• All African Immigrants impacted by the Diaspora
• Concerned and/or interested community members
Over 5,000 people served since 2008
Inaugural East African Cultural Festival - Great Public Event Hosted by the Eritrean Community Center
Girmay Adhanom and Diana Pohle
Saturday, February 11, 2017, was not only a beautiful day full of sunshine after a series of heavy rain in the bay area, it was also a beautiful celebration of East African culture, showcased through traditional cuisine, music, dance, and art. The special event drew an estimated 250 guests who packed the hall of the Mexican Heritage Plaza in East San Jose in what is sure to be a new local tradition. The East African Cultural Festival was largely organized by the Eritrean Community Center (ECC) of Santa Clara County in honor of their ninth anniversary as a community organization. Other participating groups included the local Sudanese, Somali, and Kenyan communities. The City of San Jose Office of Immigrant Affairs, Mudai Restaurant, and the California Arts Council were also gold sponsors of the event.
U.S. Congresswoman and national leader in immigration policy, Zoe Lofgren, addressed the diverse crowd to reinforce her commitment to immigrants and refugees and to recognize the ECC with a Congressional Award as a mark of their contributions to the community. Regga Tekeste, Chair of the ECC, accepted the award on behalf of the ECC. Earlier in the evening, Tekeste presented opening remarks about the ECC and the variety of valued programs and services the ECC community is leading. Raul Peralez, City of San Jose City Councilman for District 3, addressed the crowd to commit his support and advocacy for the East African communities he serves. Peralez was followed by Zulma Maciel from the Office of Immigrant Affairs in the City of San Jose, who acknowledged that the diversity of our community is our strength. She has committed to show up to support immigrants in the community and remains a friend and valued supporter of the ECC community.
Representatives from each East African community shared comments about their countries of origin. Musicians from Sudan and Ethiopia presented magnificent performances of their own in solidarity and friendship. The folkloristic dance of a Tigrigna wedding was breathtaking. Later, the main floor was graced by the Abyssinic dance and Shabbal dance groups and two of the ECC’s youth gave a “Saho” performance that was second to none. The entire evening was emceed by the talent of the stage masters: Journalist Hana Baba and ECC case manager Winta Gebremichael, both of them stunningly garbed in their respective cultural attire.
Community member ushers, also adorned in their white cultural dress, received the invited guests. One of them was Diana Pohle, a mother of six children, four of whom are from Eritrea. She was with her Zuria from the beginning of the event to the end. What a commitment! Another special guest donning traditional cultural attire was Dina Campeau, a tremendous supporter and dear friend of the ECC community.
Participants enjoyed variety delicious Eritrean food generously donated by Mudai Eritrean Restaurant.
Organic coffee was also presented culturally by community ushers to show uniqueness on coffee ceremony in East Africa.
All in all, the event was a success thanks for the cumulative efforts of the community. No doubt, this first event is the start of more good things to come.
"We can never get a re-creation of community and heal our society without giving our citizens a sense of belonging." -- Patch Adams