~ Empowering the Latino/Hispanic community within Michiana by providing educational, cultural and advocacy services in a welcoming, bilingual environment. ~

In the heart of South Bend, La Casa de Amistad shines as a beacon of hope and support for the Latino/Hispanic community – a pillar of empowerment and service since its establishment nearly 50 years ago, in October of 1973.  Guided by a profound commitment to fostering growth and inclusivity, La Casa de Amistad offers an array of vital programs and services tailored to meet the diverse needs of these immigrants in their pursuit of a better life in the United States.

Many immigrants embarking on a journey filled with hope for a better life and greater opportunities are met with a myriad of challenges.  Navigating a new and unfamiliar culture with language barriers and complex immigration requirements can make the process seem overwhelming. While simultaneously grappling with economic hardships and struggling to secure both stable employment and affordable housing, they often face discrimination, social isolation, and a sense of displacement.  However, with the help of organizations like La Casa De Amistad, the resilience and determination of our Latino/Hispanic immigrant community shines through, as they seek to build a solid foundation for a brighter future, while preserving their cultural identity.

Language and Education Programs

One of the primary hurdles Latino/Hispanic immigrants face is the language barrier. La Casa de Amistad addresses this challenge by providing comprehensive language programs. These include three different levels of ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, where newcomers can enhance their English proficiency, empowering them to communicate effectively in their daily lives and potential workplaces. Additionally, the organization offers literacy support for both children and adults, promoting educational advancement and a brighter future for the entire family.[1]

Immigration, Legal, and Computer Assistance

Navigating the complexities of the U.S. immigration system can be a daunting task. La Casa de Amistad, an affiliate of CLINIC (Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.), recognizes this and has established a team of knowledgeable immigration experts and legal professionals to offer guidance for “high-quality, low-cost” supports, by appointment only.[2]

As computer literacy can also present challenges, La Casa de Amistad also offers assistance, through the Garatoni Innovation and Tech Hub, for clients who need help with online job applications, creating resumes, filling out surveys, and general computer assistance.  In addition, the computer lab is open to the public Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm.[3]

Resident Identification Card Program

On January 3rd, 2017, La Casa de Amistad launched the South Bend Resident Identification Card (SBID).  ​​The ID cards are applicable for any resident of South Bend, but specifically targets populations that may have difficulty obtaining other forms of photo ID, empowering families and individuals to help them interact with the community on a day-to-day basis. To date, La Casa de Amistad has launched Resident ID programs in South Bend, Goshen, and Plymouth, Indiana, and has worked with several other communities to launch similar programs across the country, in communities spanning from Minnesota to Texas.[4]

Youth and Family Services

La Casa de Amistad recognizes that empowering the next generation is key to the community's sustainable growth. They provide various youth-focused programs, including a preschool reading program with a bilingual and bicultural HighScope curriculum, after-school tutoring, mentorship opportunities, and recreational activities such as cultural/recreational youth camps each summer, to engage Latino/Hispanic youth in positive and constructive ways. 

The “No Human Being Is Illegal” Initiative

La Casa de Amistad aims to help create well-rounded individuals who contribute positively to our community and to society, in general, and their “No Human Being Is Illegal” initiative aims to redirect the narrative by providing factual information and immigration statistics.[5]

Congratulations to Juan D. Constantino Lara, Executive Director of La Casa de Amistad of South Bend, the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight award recipient for July 2023!   Together with the help of our community members, La Casa de Amistad is profoundly and positively impacting the lives of Latino/Hispanic immigrants. Through its multifaceted programs and services, the organization addresses the challenges faced by newcomers, fostering a sense of belonging and community. La Casa de Amistad empowers and uplifts countless individuals, leaving an indelible mark on the South Bend community and beyond, offering hope, education, acculturation, and collaboration!

Pictured, left to right:  Tina M. Patton, CSOP™, CISM®, Vice President, Director of Nonprofit & Foundation Engagement, Indiana Trust Wealth Management, and Juan D. Constantino Lara, Executive Director, La Casa de Amistad.

Learn More About La Casa de Amistad


  1. https://www.lacasadeamistad.org/english.html
  2. https://www.lacasadeamistad.org/legalclinic.html
  3. https://www.lacasadeamistad.org/computers.html
  4. https://www.lacasadeamistad.org/residentids.html
  5. https://www.lacasadeamistad.org/nhbii.html

About the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight Program

Indiana Trust Wealth Management launched the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight program initiative in January 2021, which consists of recognizing, rewarding, and promoting a nonprofit organization in one or more of the company’s footprint areas on a monthly basis, as a way to highlight various nonprofit organizations throughout the year and bring attention to the good work being done in the communities they serve. Under the Nonprofit Spotlight initiative, the nonprofit organization will receive a $1,000 corporate donation and be eligible for employee gift-matching throughout the year. David R. Kibbe, JD, President & CEO, states, “As a majority employee-owned company, matching our employees’ contributions is an opportunity for Indiana Trust to support those nonprofits whose missions connect with our employees."

About Indiana Trust Wealth Management

Chartered in 1988 as the first independent trust company in the state of Indiana, and now with more than $2 billion in assets under management, Indiana Trust is deeply committed to the communities they serve.  Advising clients and their families nationwide, Indiana Trust is dedicated to increasing financial security by providing superior, ethical, and unbiased wealth management and advisory solutions – delivering legacies built on trust.

Indiana Trust offers comprehensive wealth management strategies for individual and family wealth, business retirement plans, charitable organizations, foundations, and endowments – delivered with the fiduciary standard of care, a multigenerational commitment, and excellence in stewardship. The company is majority employee-owned with offices in Mishawaka, Elkhart, and Muncie.

Find out more at www.IndTrust.com.


IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES: All info contained herein is solely for general informational purposes. It does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor and is not to be construed as legal, accounting, investment, or other professional advice. The author(s) and publisher, accordingly, assume no liability whatsoever in connection with the use of this material or action taken in reliance thereon. All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure this material is correct at the time of publication.  Copyright Indiana Trust Wealth Management 2023.