What's in a name?

Centro NYC is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that has provided affordable adult education, advocacy programs, and cultural events to New Yorkers since 1978. We are a warm, inclusive and welcoming community, staffed entirely by volunteers committed to developing skills, confidence, independence and cross-cultural understanding among lifelong New Yorkers and immigrants alike.

Originally named Centro de Educación de Trabajadores, CentroNYC was founded in 1978 by Argentinians who left their country during the military dictatorship and resettled in New York City. Through Centro, they shared knowledge and skills with other Latin American immigrants. Over time, Centro attracted immigrants from all over the globe, as well as volunteer teachers and administrators eager to welcome and support immigrant newcomers. Our mission has come to focus on English (ESOL) and Spanish language classes taught by native speakers, as well as civics classes for immigrants preparing for the U.S. Citizenship exam. Intercambio, our Spanish-English language exchange, promotes intercultural learning, understanding and friendship. At our end-of-semester fiestas, students and volunteers share food, music and games from their native countries. Over the years, additional programs have responded to the needs of our community, including computer classes, a free Legal Clinic staffed by volunteer attorneys, and workshops on financial literacy and immigrants' rights. As New York City changes, so do we. We continue to embrace our love for Spanish culture and language, but our mission has broadened to serve lifelong New Yorkers and newcomers from all backgrounds and countries. Whoever you are, wherever you come from, and whatever brings you to New York, Centro welcomes you.

Centro, Goddard Riverside, and the Settlement House Movement

Centro now hosts our evening programs at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, a Goddard Riverside facility at 250 West 65th Street in Manhattan.For many years we made our home in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, at Hartley House, a settlement house founded in 1897 to serve the local community through programs for children, youth, and seniors. In 2018 Hartley House closed its doors, but we were fortunate to find a new home with Goddard Riverside. Goddard Riverside is a leading community-based social services provider, with 26 programs for children, young adults and seniors. Its roots extend back to the 19th century American Settlement House Movement that created Hartley House. Like Centro, Goddard Riverside is committed to providing educational and cultural opportunities to all New Yorkers and to nurturing connection and building community. With Goddard Riverside, we continue to embrace the ideals and activism of the historic American Settlement House movement, in our commitment to education for the community.

Programs At A Glance


If you are learning English or Spanish and want to practice your new skills with native speakers, drop in to Intercambio! Our weekly, informal get-together of native Spanish and English speakers focuses on strengthening conversation skills. The program is attended by current students and language lovers looking for additional practice. Centro facilitators pair students, suggest discussion topics and lead games. Refreshments served. Wednesday evenings, 6:30 to 8:30pm. RSVP at our MEETUP


At the end of every semester we joyfully celebrate the hard work of our students and volunteers. We bring food from our native cultures to share, we play games, raffle prizes, dance and enjoy the company of our friends and colleagues. Friends and family are welcome. 2018 Fiesta date will be announced soon!

Sunday Food and Flyers

Several times a year we meet for brunch in a different New York City neighborhood to sample its national specialties and then distribute flyers to publicize Centro's programs.