Local News

New Cary Organization Helps Hispanics Integrate Into Community

Posted July 28, 2001

— As recently as 1990, some states did not even have a category for Hispanics on their census. Now it is a different story, because their numbers have increased dramatically in many states, including North Carolina. Many are having trouble adapting to life in North Carolina, but a new organization in Cary is hoping to help.

Culturas Unidas is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Hispanic families integrate into the community.

"When they come to Culturas Unidas looking for help, some of them are very despondent, because they have tried other places," said Culturas Unidas President Manuel Gil.

North Carolina has one of the fastest-growing Hispanic populations in the country.

"I've been told that in some areas of Mexico, you would see signs in the road saying 'Come to North Carolina, plenty of jobs,'" said Gil.

But when they get here, they do not know the language, laws or culture.

"They're getting forms in the mail and since they don't understand it they're just ignoring it. And you have to read it for them and say, 'OK, this had to be answered two months ago,'" said Culturas Unidas volunteer Nina Sel.

At Culturas Unidas, they can get help with everything from immigration issues to jobs to learning English.

"You just completely take things for granted. It's a blessing to understand the language," said Sel.

Culturas Unidas is in Cary on Walnut Street, right across from Cary High School. They are also looking for more volunteers to help out.

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