Children try to break a piñata as part of a Children's Day party at Bristol Park in Champaign on April 30, 2014.

Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park computer lab celebrates “El Dia Del Nino”

Giovanna Olea works for CU-CitizenAccess.org as a community ambassador in a computer lab at Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park. CU-CitizenAccess.org has opened and operated a computer lab within the park for the community since 2011. Olea writes about her experiences here. By Giovanna Olea/For CU-CitizenAccess.org – The computer lab at Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park planned another special day to celebrate as a community. We celebrated “El Dia del Nino,” in honor of the children.

Artwork produced by children at the Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park computer lab

Shadow Wood computer lab offers more than just tech classes

Giovanna Olea works for CU-CitizenAccess.org as a community ambassador in a computer lab at Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park. CU-CitizenAccess.org has opened and operated a computer lab within the park for the community since 2011. Olea writes about her experiences here. By Giovanna Olea/For CU-CitizenAccess.org – Our computer lab in Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park has been very active lately! This week, we are putting our hands on Easter decorations.

Residents of mobile homes, like this one at Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park in Champaign, account for 43 percent of tornado-related deaths, according to the National Weather Service. The nearest public building that can provide shelter for Shadow Wood residents during a tornado 24 hours a day is Carle Foundation Hospital, located 2 miles away.

Shadow Wood: Storm shelters scarce for local neighborhood

Every time the National Weather Service issues a storm warning, Heidi Zavaleta has to decide where to seek shelter. She can stay at home, go to the mall or drive to the nearest hospital. Most of the time she simply stays at home. Zavaleta lives in Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park, a trailer home community in northern Champaign. She knows that mobile homes are not safe during storms but staying at home is safer than what most of her neighbors do.

The Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park has seen many changes during the past two decades, most notably a dramatic increase in its Hispanic population and a reduction in crime.

Shadow Wood: A changing neighborhood

Two years ago, Jose Rodriguez and his three daughters left their home in Ibague, Colombia, a city of about half a million people in the slopes of the Andes Mountains, 80 miles west of Bogota, the capital city, and headed north for Champaign.