The inspiration for Casa del Xoloitzcuintle ("Xolo" for short) came from our experience at CECUT (Centro Cultural de Tijuana) and Casa de Cultura, places that serve as a multi-purpose arts centers; from dance, music, and painting — to film and architecture.
Xoloitzcuintle is the national dog of Mexico, where our founding members are from. Xoloitzcuintle is a word in Nahuatl, which brings the word itzcuīntli, meaning “dog” together with Xolotl, the Aztec god of fire and lightning.
Our hope for the cultural center is to give voice to the grievances of marginalized groups as well as provide a space to celebrate them. We want to partner with BIPOC groups that are already doing outreach activity, invite speakers, have documentary and film screenings, have poetry nights, and a venue space for live performances. Due to COVID-19, we have lost a lot of the small venue spaces that were previously used to help low-income artists build the underground music scene. While this loss is undoubtably regrettable, now is our chance to create a space that reflects the growing diversity of Seattle.
Casa del Xolo is a mutual aid organization created alongside the vegan cafe, Lazy Cow Bakery. Casa del Xolo will redirect the profit made at the bakery towards the communities that need it most.
Mutual aid is not charity. Mutual aid is about creating embedded relationships of care that are not dependent on government or accepting donations from wealthy donors. Developing relationships is messy, it is not as straight-forward as sending money to a stranger on Venmo. Acts of charity such as donating to a stranger are meaningful and can be life-saving. But long-term, this is not a sustainable way to build community power or support structures such as housing, health care, and access to food.
Our organization is political, and we are rooted in socialist and anti-imperialist principles and justice for other animals, the Earth and oppressed people. Most of our members are Latine/a/o and this informs our activism. If you would like to collaborate with us or need resources please visit our contact page.