New Years Resolution: Eco Friendly Cleaning

How many of us start the year off with resolutions for the New Year that are soon forgotten? This year, the workers from Casa Latina would like to help you achieve your goals and keep those resolutions! To do this, we would like to share our eco friendly cleaning tips and services.

Rest assured that our workers are trained well in our workshops and that they are ready to go and help you with some winter cleaning! To hire a worker click here or call 206.956.0779 x3.

The workshop that our housekeepers take in order to learn about the latest eco friendly practices is called Green Clean.

eco worldGreen Clean is a workshop designed to educate our workers on the use of household cleaning products. We want to promote the use of non-toxic and biodegradable products in the homes that our workers clean. Some of the products we use are vinegar, vinegar with water and baking soda.  Using non-toxic products protects workers’ health as well as home owners’ health.

Now that you know our workers are capable and prepared to help with your winter cleaning projects, we would like to also share a few reasons for why our workers choose eco friendly cleaning.

  • A recent study found that household spray cleaners increase the risk of developing asthma by 50%.
  • Studies have also found that Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which are found in many cleaning products, including deodorizers, create a measurable decrease in lung function (4%). The American Lung Association states that VOCs may contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and headaches.

Here are a few of our workers favorite eco friendly cleaning tips:

baking sodaTub & Sink Cleaner
• Baking Soda
• Liquid Castile Soap/Murphy’s Soap

You can use baking soda in place of scouring powder. Sprinkle the baking soda on porcelain fixtures and rub with a wet rag. You can add a little soap to the rag for more cleaning power. Rinse well to avoid leaving a hazy film.

How-to-Make-Liquid-Castile-Soap-400x400Toilet-Bowl Cleaner
• Baking Soda
• Liquid Castile Soap/Murphy’s Soap

Sprinkle baking soda inside the bowl as you would any scouring powder. Squeeze a couple of drops of soap in, then scrub with a toilet-bowl brush. Finish outside surfaces of toilet with a wet rag sprinkled with baking soda.

white-vinegarCarpets

Before you vacuum your carpets, sprinkle them with a little baking soda to help absorb odors. For spot cleaning, try our favorite natural wonder — vinegar!

Upholstery

To freshen the cushions on your couches and chairs, just sprinkle a little baking soda over them, let them sit for a while, and then vacuum. Easy breezy…and with no vinegar involved!

The workers here at Casa Latina know that a clean home is a happy home. We hope that you enjoy and use these tips, and remember, if you need help, you know who to call!

We would love to hear back from you in a comment or a review on Yelp or Angie’s List. Here at Casa Latina we will respond to your comments and questions as soon as possible, resolve any complaints, and we appreciate your time and effort in leaving a review for us.

Casa Latina workers have been trained to use these eco-friendly products and are ready to assist with your winter house cleaning! To hire a worker please click here and or call 206.956.0779 x3.

Wishing You a Happy New Year

From all of the workers here at Casa Latina, we would like to end 2013 with a wholehearted THANK YOU!

2013 proved to be a successful year, and we would like to share a bit of that with you. The Day Worker Center had a 12% increase in jobs this year, from 7348 in 2012 to 8321 in 2013. This could not have been achieved without your support.  Whether it is calling into the DWC, giving feedback and/or your donations, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Along with a new year come new resolutions, as we all know. To help you out we will be putting together some tips in January on green cleaning and several of the other services that our workers offer. We hope that you enjoyed our tips and stories from the workers here at Casa Latina this year, and keep checking back for more!

Happy New Years to you all!

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Learn how to make a Piñata and have fun!

As promised, from all of us here at Casa Latina, here are step-by-step instructions on how to make a piñata! First review the ingredient list and prepare the area for a messy project, turn on some holiday music and get ready to have some fun!

Ingredients:Second

  • Newspaper, cut into 6-8-inch long strips, 1-2 inches wide.
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups Water
  • Balloons
  • Cardstock/cardboard, paper plates or cones (this is what you will use to give your piñata structure.)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Crepe paper, paper eyes, mouth, or any other decorations you may want
  • Glue
  • Duct tape
  • String or rope

 How to Make Your Piñata

Step 1: Choose a shape or form for your piñata. Remember that it is easiest to choose an oblong or round shape, but card stock or cardboard can be added to give shape.

Step 2: Cover your work area with newspaper or a plastic tablecloth because this can be a messy project!

Step 3: Make a paste by mixing together in a pan over medium heat the flour, water and salt. Stir continuously until it’s no longer lumpy. If it isn’t smoothing out, it’s okay if there are still a few lumps.Third

Step 4:  Blow up your balloon, preferably a round one to use as the base shape of your piñata. A cardboard box can also be used for a square shape. Add on any additional shapes with cardboard, cardstock or construction paper for legs, arms, snouts, etc. Use duct tape to keep everything together together. Create the shape of the object or animal that you would like!

Step 5: Dip the paper strips into paste, removing excess paste withFourth your fingers. Place them on your balloon in a crisscross pattern until all but the balloon tie is covered. Repeat 3-4 times to form a sturdy shape, letting each layer dry first.

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Step 6: Choose a base color that you don’t mind showing through and paint the entire newspaper-covered shape. Let it dry.

Step 7: Decorate with crepe paper. Create the face of an animal, instrument or whatever the occasion calls for! During the winter holidays, the piñata navideña is a popular shape resembling a star.

Step 8: Finally, cut a hole where the balloon is tied and pop the balloon if it hasn’t already. There should be a hole since you did not cover the balloon tie with paper mache. Cut the hole larger as needed to fit the candy in. Also cut two extra holes next to the candy hole to pass string or rope through to hang the piñata.

First

Now you have made a piñata!

The most important thing to remember is to let the strips of paper dry between every layer and to let the paint and glue dry. After this is done you will have a wonderful, festive piñata to celebrate your holidays with.

For more fun ideas, how-tos and other Casa Latina services check in weekly here at the Day Worker Center blog.

¡FELICES FIESTAS!

-DWC

Holidays in Latin America

lightsThe images and sounds of our winter holidays are memorable. Drivers slow their cars to admire the bright, colorful lights strung along houses. Santa Claus, draped in red and white garments, is everywhere. Snow falling, neighbors caroling, candy canes and stockings hanging—for many, this is the perfect picture that makes up the holidays.

For Ronald, a Casa Latina Day Center worker from Bolivia, the holidays bring to mind memories of many other traditions and celebrations.

Navidad

nativity scene

Nativity Scene – “Nacimiento”

Recalling the deeply religious feeling of the holidays, Ronald mentioned the Catholic mass, Misa del Gallo, on Christmas eve: “It takes place quite late at night, usually at midnight, and lasts possibly into the early morning, which explains the name: mass of the rooster.”

Another tradition, quite similar to one in the U.S., is setting up the nativity scene.

Ponche

“Ponche” – traditional holiday drink

While churches construct large, elaborate nativity scenes, families set up their own pesebres. Indeed, Christmas Eve, or Víspera de Navidad, and Navidad are hallmarks of tradition. Although some of the imagery may differ between Latin America and North America, some traditions,                                                   like this one, do not.

Families will also gather around the dinner table and share food. For Ronald, that means a midnight spread of salads, roast pork (lechon) or roast beef, tropical fruit, taffy-filled cookies called turrónes, and an eggnog-like drink called cola de mono. As they eat, children might be heard singing villancicos—holiday songs.

Día de los Santos Inocentes

On December 28, the Catholic Church commemorates the Day of Innocent Children. It is a holy day recognizing the collective assassination of all male children under two years of age by Herod in his effort to kill Jesus. Today, according to Ronald, it is seen as a day of craziness and tricks, rather similar to April Fools’ Day.

images3CVQM9DP

The Wisemen – “Los Reyes Magos”

On January 6, the Day of the Kings, families remove their replicas of the baby Jesus from their nativity scenes and bring them to church to be blessed. Children write letters to the kings, or wisemen. They leave them in their shoes in hopes of having them later filled with candy or gifts in the night. This day, known as the Epiphany, the moment Jesus was confirmed as the Son of God, is a day to celebrate.

We hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into the holidays of Ronald’s country. The Casa Latina Day Worker Center has folks who represent many different parts of Latin America, each with their own holiday traditions. It is with pleasure and joy that they share their traditions and celebrations with you!

And, don’t forget: it is not too late to call in for a worker to help with preparing for your festivities, from hanging lights to washing dishes. Also, keep reading for Latin American recipes, holiday ideas and a “How to Make a Piñata” video!

Remember that the Casa Latina workers are available to help you with your holiday preparations! Click the hyperlink to go to the Casa Latina webpage or call 206.956.0779 x3. to benefit from the experience of workers at Casa Latina.

Light Up Your Holidays With Casa Latina

Dec 3rd phots

Oswaldo Segovia – Day Worker Center.

Casa Latina would like to help you light up your holidays! What do you think of first when you think about this time of year? Parties, food, lots of people and celebrations? But before the festivities comes the preparation. Hanging the Christmas lights, putting up decorations, cleaning your home, prepping food and so much more.

This year we would like to offer not only our tips, but also our services while you prepare and plan for your holiday festivities. How can we help, you ask?

Our Day Worker Center can provide skilled workers to help you hang your Christmas lights and keep you out of the cold.  Each of our workers are trained in OSHA safety regulations so you can rest assured that your Christmas lights get hung safely and efficiently.  Remember to call in and request a worker today!

Dec 3rd. photos

Working on Light Installation for the Holidays.

 

We know holiday preparations can be a big task without any help. Lighten your load and staff your holiday event with our workers to help with housekeeping, culinary services and handy work.  Our workers are also trained in eco-friendly practices to make sure you get the best service possible.

Here are a few of our favorite Casa Latina eco-friendly tips that will make your home shine:

Sparkling Windows:

We’ve got the solution for making your windows crystal clear: ¼ cup of vinegar to 2 or 3 cups of water do the trick every time.  For a refreshing finish, add a few drops of lemon juice to it. You can use a newspaper to dry your newly washed windows or just a clean old cotton rag.

A Clean Oven:

If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven – or even if you do – there are unfortunately few options for green cleaning. So, we recommend prevention! Just place a layer of aluminum foil over the bottom of your oven, replacing the foil whenever it starts to become grimy. If you’re starting with an oven that’s already dirty, you can sprinkle the bottom of your oven with baking soda, add some water too, and then leave it to soak overnight. Then the next morning, scrub, scrub, scrub!

 Smooth, Shiny Floors:

 The best solution for wood floors is ¼ cup of vinegar in a gallon of hot water. For wood furniture, you can start with 1 cup of vinegar and a teaspoon of olive oil – just as you might for a salad! And as with the recipe for your salad, simply “adjust to taste.”

 With these tips, you are now ready to relax and enjoy the holidays! Don’t forget that we are available for all of your holiday needs. Check back with us often for more holiday tips, ideas and services. This December we will be sharing how to make a piñata, some of our favorite Latin American recipes and traditions, and much more.

Dec 3rd photo

Marios Angeles – Day Worker Center.

You too can benefit from the experience of workers at Casa Latina. To hire a worker call 206.956.0779 x3.

Did you also have a good experience with Casa Latina’s workers? Let us know by sending an email to news@casa-latina.org

-Krista Perez

The Responsibilities, Training, Positive Attitude, and Key Characteristics of Workers at Casa Latina

Introducing Hanns-Peter Nagel and his experience as an employer with Casa Latina.
By Marisol Silva

hanns_peter

Hanns-Peter Nagel

Hanns-Peter Nagel, a Communications professional from Seattle, describes workers from Casa Latina as “responsible, trustworthy and positive”. He knows from experience, having hired workers on two occasions to help with moving and unloading tasks.

“We had just moved from Madison, Wisconsin, to Seattle, and urgently needed help unloading a truck and moving all of our furniture and boxes into our new apartment,” explains Nagel. A newcomer to Seattle without local acquaintances, Nagel began to see more and more cardboard boxes pile up without a helpful hand nearby. Thankfully, he learned through a local newspaper about Casa Latina and the services its worker’s center provides.

Initially, Nagel remembers, the work was a bit stressful. It involved carrying the newlyweds’ boxes from a larger truck parked to a smaller one in Kent, then driving up to Capitol Hill and unloading their furniture. Finally, the boxes and furniture needed to be placed inside of the apartment. “Both guys had to work hard and fast – our apartment was up a flight of stairs and at one point it even started raining (surprise!)” Nagel recalls.

The workers’ high quality job spurred Nagel to decide to call Casa Latina right away when the time came for his family to move into a bigger house last spring. “I enjoyed the experience the first time around. Both workers had a good attitude and did a great job. It was also relatively easy to set up and affordable,” Nagel explains.

Nagel personally values the positive attitude the workers have and the training they receive. Nagel explains that, in the second move, the workers helped not only to carry stuff but also assisted with organizing and packing various items. “It clearly looked like they had done this before or had some training,” he states. He adds that he did not have any problem communicating with the workers, who usually take English classes at Casa Latina.

Nagel’s positive experience with the workers from Casa Latina created a ripple effect in the community. “In fact,” emphasizes Nagel, “my wife told some of her work colleagues about our experience and many of them subsequently hired workers.”

You too can also benefit from the experience of workers at Casa Latina. To hire a worker call 206.956.0779 x3.

Did you also have a good experience with Casa Latina’s workers? Let us know by sending an email to news@casa-latina.org

Casa Latina – Day Worker Center Ergonomics Tips #1.

This video offers some important tips to keep you safe when moving heavy boxes . However, sometimes a job is just too big for you to complete without help. Hire a Casa Latina worker to assist you with your next moving job! Thanks for your support and spread the word!

Hire a Worker @ Casa Latina 206.956.0779 x3 o http://www.casa-latina.org

Try our Premier, Convenient Van Service!

If you are hiring a worker, our van service is an excellent option to get workers to your home! It is convenient for both workers and employers. We service most of King County and guarantee arrival within an hour of the scheduled time. Using our vans helps to ensure workers do not get lost! Bus delays will also no longer be an issue.

We offer convenient prices for our van service. See below:

Rates:

1 Worker 2+ Workers
Within Seattle $10 $18
Outside Seattle $15 $23

Hours:

Monday-Friday 8:00-10:30am

Saturdays 8:30-11:30am

We recommend that you schedule a few days in advance, especially on weekends. To hire a worker, fill out our online order form or call 206-956-0779 x3.

Van

Get Ready for Your Memorial Day Barbecue Early!

It is quickly becoming BBQ season. If you’re planning a memorial day BBQ, get ready now with Casa Latina! Casa Latina workers can help your garden to look great beforehand even as late as Monday. That’s because we’re open this Memorial Day!

If you’re planning a BBQ, here are a few tips. A common question when cooking with charcoal is how to achieve an ideal grilling temperature. With the lack of the temperature knobs of a gas grill, a fair amount of guessing is often involved. To remove some of the guess work, try this simple trick. Hold your hand six inches above the grill surface. If the temperature is too hot to hold there for a minute, the coals are too hot and need to be separated apart. At an ideal temperature, you should be able to hold your hand there for 2-3 minutes.

Stay safe while grilling! Always make sure to keep your grill at least 10 feet from your house. Regular cleaning is also a good idea because grease build up can cause the grill to flare unexpectedly. With a gas grill, always make sure the lid is open when you first turn on the gas. This prevents gas the could ignite from collecting under the lid. For more safety tips, check here.

If you are looking to get some housework done in your time off this Memorial Day, be it painting gardening or cleaning, give Casa Latina a call! We’re open. We suggest that you make your order in advance for this Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. And remember, our van service is a convenient way to get workers to your home. Fill out our online order form or call 206-956-0779 x3.

Check out these photos of workers landscaping around the Casa Latina Office!

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Painting Your House this Summer? Casa Latina Can Help!

Summer is the ideal time to paint your house, painting experts agree. In fact, if you are looking for longevity and durability in a paint job, summer is the best time to paint by leaps and bounds. The moisture levels and lower temperatures the rest of the year can create problematic conditions for paint to cure. Summer in Seattle presents the perfect conditions for exterior painting with an acceptable humidity level and warm but moderate summer temperatures that rarely exceed 105 degrees, the maximum recommended limit for most paints. So if exterior painting of your home is within sight, why not take advantage of this summer season?

If you are considering painting your house, a good place to start is to determine the scope of the project. Does the whole house need to be painted or is touching up damaged areas more appropriate? If most surfaces are in good condition, it may be better to find specific areas like shutters and trim to repaint. Experts recommend that you purchase the highest quality paint you can reasonably afford as this will reduce the number of times you need to paint your house and may require fewer coats. Both oil-based and latex paints are effective choices, however latex paints are very effective and much easier to work with. For more information on paint types, check here. Of course, always make sure that the paint you are buying is intended for exterior use.  It is also important to read the label of the specific paint that you have chosen to buy as ideal conditions vary based on brand.

Experts also recommend that you choose a day to paint where the temperature will be between 75 and 85 degrees that does not directly follow wet weather. If you are hiring a worker, it may be a good idea to check the weather forecast to see which day or days will be best. Taking this step will reduce blistering, peeling, and flaking of paint later on. For more painting tips, check out this helpful site!

We hope you will consider hiring a skilled Casa Latina painter to help with you exterior painting this season. A number of workers at Casa Latina have strong and specific expertise in exterior home painting and are ready to help! With Casa Latina workers, you can benefit from years of painting experience, something that many summer painting services cannot provide.To hire a worker, fill out our online order form or call 206-956-0779 x3.

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