- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Local citizens and officials attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday celebrating the recent renovations to Centro Latino that have expanded its services to the community.
Program Coordinator Lupe Vega said what used to be an old garage has been turned into two computer labs and a clothes closet.
“We do a lot to help people. But also we see that people need computer skills and to get a GED to move and get better jobs and have more opportunity,” she said.
The learning center now includes a classroom for GED preparation, a computer lab focused on teaching computer skills and another focused on teaching the Hispanic population English as a second language.
“We’re doing really good. We have like 17 people come in for the English as a second language,” she said. “People get really excited for the computers. We have it every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
“Hispanic people progress and get better in life if they have English as a second language. They have the opportunity to go to college and other places.”
Centro Latino also offers breakfast for those who participate.
The clothes closet opens every Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., when the volunteers come in.
“We don’t sell it. We help get clothes to people that need them,” she said.
Because of the tough economy, Vega said there are a lot more people in need. Despite the misconception that Centro Latino only helps Hispanics, she said around half of the people that Centro Latino helps are white.
“We have people that are in need and hungry. But we have a lot of people, not just Hispanic, that need help because of people losing jobs. We’re here for everybody,” she said.
Vega has volunteered with Centro Latino for many years, and for the last two she has been on staff.
“I’m happy working here helping our community. And I thank God.
I feel like this is part of my responsibly, for my heart, to help people when they need in the most,” she said.