English Language Learners program

Students learn through work and play at ELL

The Fall 2017 session of ELL classes will be starting on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, meeting 9-11am on Tuesdays and 6-8pm on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Contact Merced Cruz with questions at 515-943-8537.

La sesión de otoño de las clases de inglés comenzará el 5 de septiembre del 2017, con el siguiente horario: 9-11am los martes y 6-8pm los martes & los jueves en Trinity Las Américas (1548 8th St.). Volantes con información están disponibles. Contacte a Merced Cruz con preguntas al 515-943-8537 (habla español).

Being able to communicate in English is the precursor to participating fully in a child's education, advancing in employment, expanding one's own educational attainment, gaining the ability to speak for onesself, and, ultimately, to becoming wholly at home in Des Moines. With these intentions in mind, the English Language Learners program began at Trinity Las Américas in 2001. What started with one teacher and one student has expanded to include more than 180 students and 30-plus volunteer teachers in five levels of English classes.

Classes take place in the Trinity Las Américas building on Tuesdays from 9:00-11:00 a.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Registration is on-going. We ask that students pay a $25 registration fee per year to offset the cost of using the building, curriculum and teaching materials, snack, and childcare. If a student is unable to pay the registration fee, arrangements can be made.

The ELL program welcomes volunteer teachers, volunteer teacher's assistants, donations of food or classroom supplies, and financial support. If you might like to volunteer as a teacher or a teacher's assistant, please read the volunteer position descriptions (teacher and teacher's assistant) to see if the ELL program might be a good fit for you. To donate snacks, teaching materials, or financial assistance contact ELL Coordinator Merced Cruz at



ell celebration

candles with rocks

Prison Van Ministry

Living separated from a friend, family member, or loved one who is incarcerated can take a toll on relationships. Apart from the limitations of visiting hours and the distance from Des Moines to the Iowa penitentiaries, the cost of visiting can often prohibit friends, family members, and loved ones from making the trip. For this reason, Trinity Las Américas provides transportation on two Saturdays a month to the prisons in Mount Pleasant, Fort Madison, Anamosa and Oakdale. These trips are driven by volunteer drivers and accommodate anyone who would like to ride along. We ask for $20 per adult and $10 per child under age 10 to cover gas, vehicle maintenance, and insurance costs. To sign up for a trip, call the Trinity Las Américas office at (515)-288-4056. Seats are only reserved once a passenger has paid in full. 

The prison van ministry welcomes volunteer drivers and financial contributions to allow us to continue to offer this service. To support the prison van ministry, contact the Trinity Las Américas office at (515)-288-4056 or email