The Hispanic community began
settling in Canada at the end of the 60’s as the result of a
migratory wave that was followed by others in the next 30 years. As
a consequence of this process the number of Hispanic seniors in the
GTA increased notoriously by the time of the new millennium. A large
number of these seniors arrived in Canada late in their lives and in
many cases they came to help the young families of their own
children. This created a situation of isolation and lack of
resources when they became more independent from their families.
The foundation of ASHTOR was the
culmination of a process that was preceded by the work done by a
number of seniors “clubs”, normally attached to other community
organizations. These clubs were instrumental in taking the first
steps toward the efforts to decrease the isolation of the seniors in
a society with a different language and customs.
By the year 2000, a group of
visionary individuals perceived the need to organize a Hispanic
Seniors conference in order to identify their needs and priorities.
With the collaboration of the Hispanic Development Council the
conference was held in November 2000. In the plenary session of this
event, the participants concluded that it was necessary to create an
organization to deal with matters beyond the purely social or
recreational activities, but also to have the capacity to advocate
to the different levels of government on behalf of the seniors.
After a process of study and consultation ASHTOR was incorporated in
First public appearance of our dance group, with the
assistance of Federal Minister Tony Ianno (2005).
The new board of directors began to work
immediately to attain the objectives of the association. Thanks to
two grants from Social Development Canada through the New Horizons
for seniors program, ASHTOR has undertaken activities to eliminate
the isolation of the seniors in the GTA and has been able to
establish an office and an administrative infrastructure, which
allows the organization to pursue its noble ideals and principles.