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The Daily Tar Heel

Welcome back: El Centro Hispano should be commended for bringing Latino community services back to Carrboro

El Centro Hispano, a Durham-based Latino advocacy nonprofit, deserves praise for pledging to help bring Latino community services back to Carrboro after the closing of El Centro Latino.

In order for the new branch of El Centro Hispano to be successful, it will need the support of our community in all forms.

 El Centro Latino closed in November 2009 due to a decrease in grants and donations, economic struggles and leadership overturns.

The news of the closing has since caused great consternation amongst those involved with El Centro Latino, and many in the community have asked for a way to reopen the center.

At 6.3 percent, Latinos are a large portion of Orange County’s population and deserve a place that offers them valuable resources about the community in which they live.

 El Centro Latino offered English classes and after-school tutoring. It was a valuable career resource to local Hispanic people.

El Centro Hispano is known for its wide variety of programs and focus on advocacy. It also offers health programs, legal and tax services and more educational classes.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 46.9 million Hispanics in the United States in 2008. This number is set to almost triple by 2050 — at which point they are projected to constitute 30 percent of the U.S. population.

These figures can only help to clarify just how important it is that Carrboro and surrounding areas have a place for Latinos to be able to better equip themselves to deal with the pressures of society.

Orange County is aware enough to be socially open to the changing demographics and is looking to be proactive by educating its residents.

Carrboro and Chapel Hill need El Centro Hispano, which in turn needs the support of the community.


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