In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re spotlighting local members of the community who strive to make York a great place to live.
Meet, José Santiago. José identifies himself as a Latino of Puerto Rican descent. He currently works as the director of both the YMCA of York and York County’s New American Welcome Center and TechRev Center – a facility focused on bridging the gap between the tech industry and historically-disadvantaged populations.
José was born in York City and graduated from York High in 1984. He joined the military and served until 1998. He went to injection mold school and learned robotics, working in the industry until 2017.
José currently serves on several boards and committees, including: York County Redevelopment Authority, Housing Authority of York, Latinos Unidos of York, YMCA Community Development, DreamWrights and YCCF’s Racial Equity Fund committee.
When asked who inspires him the most, he said: “My inspiration and drive comes from my family. My parents and grandmother have been in this community for a long time. During the riots and other events, they’ve been the rock in their neighborhood. From helping families with their properties to feeding homeless and those in need, to creating safe spaces for those with nowhere to go. My Grandmother was the founder of the first Latino church in York City- San Christo Salvador, on South St.
My favorite holiday is Christmas. When I was younger, my parents and friends participated in the holiday tradition known as Parandas. This is when people show up at your doorstep playing and singing and bring food, drinks and holiday cheer to families.”
His favorite restaurant: El Yunques, but he’s also a huge fan of Hamir’s. His favorite book: Flowers in the Attic. Favorite musician: Santana.
Thank you, José for sharing your story with our community. We are fortunate to have someone committed to the well-being of the people who call York home.