PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A nonprofit in Portland is helping Latinos navigate various challenges in the community while celebrating their culture.
Edúcate Ya helps address integration issues faced by Latinos through bilingual health, leadership and education programs. Those programs include bilingual – Spanish and English — health educators who give community health presentations about preventative health and gaining access to medical services.
The organization also has Spanish classes to enhance dialogue between non-Spanish speakers and people of Latino cultures.
Rafael Arellano-Barrera, the executive director of the nonprofit, said that it’s important to celebrate the vast cultures within Latin America – especially during Hispanic Heritage Month.
“We celebrate something that is important,” said Arellano-Barrera. “It’s just maybe similar to celebrating the Fourth of July because we’re here in this country and a part of this country, but we want to celebrate our heritage.”
Last Saturday, Edúcate Ya also celebrated 21 years in the community with a fundraiser gala.
Dozens of people purchased tickets to attend the event, and it was filled with food, a silent auction and live music.
The fundraiser generated about $10,000 dollars, according to Arellano-Barrera. He added that the programs are free for the community, but the Spanish classes are what covers any necessary costs to keep the nonprofit afloat.
Arellano-Barrera said he’s grateful for the community’s donations, especially during a time of celebration.