Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 19, 2017

LULAC celebrates first year in MP

Aug 01, 2017
Photo by: Karyn Spory Crowds gathered in Central Park Sunday, July 30, for an event to celebrate LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens).

By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News

 

Spanish melodies could be heard throughout downtown Mt. Pleasant Sunday afternoon as members of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) celebrated the anniversary of the club’s existence in the community.

“LULAC — the League of United Latin American Citizens — is a nationwide club and we opened our local club here a year ago,” said Maria Mellado.

Members of the Latino community joined together in Mt. Pleasant’s Central Park to enjoy an afternoon of music, fun and fellowship.

“(The club) is here for people who are newcomers (to Mt. Pleasant),” she said. “We are here to guide them. If they are looking for jobs or housing, we let them know services are here.”

Those services include free financial education classes in Spanish, provided by First Community Credit Union, which was also a sponsor of Sunday’s event.

“As a union we have to give back to the community part of our profits. We are supporting especially the unserviced portion of the population,” public relations manager David Suarez explained for the union’s sponsorship.

Suarez said members of the Latino community are often low-income households and don’t have access to financial services or financial planning. “The main goal is to try to include these people in the financial world, for that reason we are supporting this kind of event as well as providing some financial education classes in Spanish for free,” he said.

Although Sunday, July 30, was a celebration of the club’s anniversary, for Suarez and the club’s Vice President Ana Pamg, it was also a jumping off point.

“This did not happen over night,” Suarez said of the club starting in Mt. Pleasant. “We have been working for many months, even a year, so today we are celebrating.”

“This (celebration) is to let the Latino people know we are here. We are still a very small group,” added Pamg.

The group, however, hopes to grow over the course of the next year. Suarez and Pamg hope the public event in the park will help to promote the club’s existence and all the resources it offers to the Latino community.

“This is something that is close to home,” said LULAC treasurer Marcia Carthey of the event.

Carthey said for many Latino, large gatherings are part of their culture and she hopes that during gatherings and events like Sunday’s, the Spanish-speaking community can come together and begin to grow the club. “We know there are a lot of Spanish people here in Mt. Pleasant and we would like to have a bigger club so we can support each other,” she said.

Part of that plan is just getting out into the larger community and having the club’s name become more familiar. “Opportunities the community has, we’re trying to take part of,” said Carthey. “For example, on Thursdays they had the (community band) concerts (in the park), as LULAC we were asked to give something. So we bought water and provided ice cream. Just to get our name out.”

Future plans also include raising money to start a high school scholarship.

As the Spanish melodies played on, more and more people began coming to the park — Latino and non-Latino.

“This is not something to separate us from the community,” added Suarez. “We want to become more visible and part of the community.”

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