CALA is a non-profit organization that supports the  inclusiveness of the Latin American community and the promotion of its culture in London, Ontario, Canada.

Since its inception in September 2007, CALA has been dedicated to orienting, assisting and empowering the Latin community in the city.



September 21, 2007 –  CALA was officially registered as a non profit organization in Ontario thanks to the initiative of Ivett Gutierrez and a group of visionaries. Its initial goal was to build a community centre for the Latin American population in London.


Ivett Gutierrez, Founding Chair (Sep 21, 2007 – Oct 10, 2009)

Another executive representatives were: Vice-Chair Rodolfo Jerez; Treasurer Jorge Velez and Secretary  José Briceño. In addition,  CALA’s first office was located at the Cross Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC).

cala_1st board


May: CALA  adopted its first logo that would symbolize the unity of Latin Americans in London and surrounding area.


October: CALA received a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to conduct a needs assessment of the Latin American community in London.



Feb 9: CALA’s Inauguration Party


Oct: Open House Exhibition at the London Convention Center

Dec: First edition of our traditional CALA Piñata!



Jan: Business Workshop

Sep 20: How To Achieve The Canadian Dream Workshop

Oct 18: Prevention and compensation for working accidents

Nov: Christmas Cooking Workshop


June: CALA entered into a new partnership with the German Canadian Club.

October: Dr. Antonio Belda began his tenure as CALA’s 2nd Board Chair.


Antonio Belda, Board Chair (Oct 10, 2009 – Dec 12, 2013)

December: CALA began a partnership with the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre.



Sep 26: Cala Springfest 2009

Oct 7: Salsa Competition 2009



Jan 24: Health Workshop

Mar 28: Immigration Workshop

Apr 22: Small Business Centre & Cala Workshop

Jun 6 / Aug 8: How To Achieve The Canadian Dream Workshop


Sep 5: Know The Canadian Educational System Workshop

Oct 17: How To Improve Your Financial Status In Canada

Nov 21: Kitchen Workshop – Cala Christmas Kitchen (Cala Cocina Navideña)


March: A Resource Guide (Guia de Recursos) was published in Spanish to assist newcomers from the Latin American community.



May 15: Cala Springfest 2010

Oct 9: Salsa Competition 2010

Dec 18: Cala Piñata 2010


November: CALA began a community partnership with Goodwill Industries and moved its offices to the Goodwill building



May 21: Springfest 2011

Nov 25: Salsa Competition 2011 



Jun 7: Cala Open House

Jul 28: Peruvian Independence Day

Sep 30: Culture Days

Dec 12: Cala Piñata 2012


March: CALA received for second consecutive time a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to develop a Strategic Plan that set the basis to make the organization sustainable.

October: Claudia Chom-Him was assigned as CALA’s first Executive Director.


Claudia Chom-Him, Executive Director (2013)

December: A new and dynamic group of CALA members were appointed. Alfonso Camposreales, Arturo Dominguez, Dr. Jose Villeda, Melvin Millón and Dr. Carolina Bonilla make up a new board of directors. 

CALA_Jan2114_ 011

George Perez was appointed as CALA’s Chair. Also CALA hired a consulting firm, Kovacs Group, in order to acquire a new strategic plan for the organization.


George Perez, Board Chair (Dec 12, 2013 – Present)


Feb 19: Alfredo Caxaj Tribute Dinner


Feb 27: Cala Fun Bowling : 3Rd Annual

Apr 18: Children’s Day Celebration

Sep 29: Culture Days

Oct 26: Health Fair 2014 : Saborea, Muevete, Aprende

Nov 20: Taste Of Peru

Dec 12: Cala Toy Drive

Dec 15: Cala Piñata 2013



Jan 29: Tax Declaration Seminar

Mar 11: Career Workshop

Apr 25: Real Estate Seminar

May 3: Auto Insurance Seminar

Sep 4: Financial Assistance Program For International Professionals Seminar


September: CALA, with the support of MTCU, received a grant through the Job Creation Partnership Program. This partnership allowed CALA to obtain 3 administrative positions – fund development, events and marketing.

October: Selvin Mejia was appointed as CALA’s first Executive Director. The administrative team is now being led by a new philosophy of being a relevant resource for the Latin American community.


Selvin Mejía, Executive Director (Oct 20, 2014 – Presente)

November: CALA moved its administrative operations to an office space at the Pathways building on Clarence St. The customer service office at Goodwill Industries is kept as the primary location to serve the community. 

December: With the support of the administrative team, and the design concept of Camilo Londoño Sterling, CALA’s Marketing Coordinator, a new corporate image was launched. The new symbol represents the American hemisphere and its fusion with the modern Canadian society.



Feb 16: Cala Fun Bowling – 4Th Annual

Jun 26: Career Fair

Sep 27 & 28: Culture Days

Nov 29: Stop Bullying Forum

Dec 21: Cala Piñata 2014



Mar 28: Cherryl Jennings Seminar

Aug 26: John Howard Society Seminar


January: CALA started the new year launching physical activity programs targeted to youth and founded by Physical Education Canada, We Belong Programs – Soccer and Salsa. The programs were developed in partnership with Hispanic America Football Club and London Salsa Academy.


March: In partnership with Pathways Skills Development, CALA launched the program Skills to Work, to educate individuals in the areas of office administration, construction and light industry.


May: CALA’s new website is officially launched on May 13th.



Feb 15: Cala Fun Bowling – 5Th Annual

May 12: Volunteer Appreciation Night

Jun 27: Latin Gala



Apr 29: Financial Benefits Seminar With RBC



Jan 5: We Belong Soccer Program (Jan 5 To Mar 23, 2015)


Jan 26: We Belong Salsa Dancing Program (Feb 26 – Apr 21)

Mar 17: Skills To Work Program Launched