OUR BEGINNINGS

In 2002, the exponential growth within the Hispanic community in Utah County made the need for additional help and resources for Spanish speakers extremely apparent.

So nearly twenty years ago, someone decided to do something about it. An organization from Utah Valley University (formerly known as Utah Valley State College) called Centro Hispano was formed in an effort to provide educational and cultural opportunities to the Hispanic Community. The organization wanted to help integrate Hispanics into the community by providing basic life, health, and job skills. Centro Hispano was run then by volunteers and students.

In 2004, UVU could no longer support the efforts of Centro Hispano. The organization spoke with United Way of Utah County and Community Action Services and they agreed to donate the space and utilities in part of their building to house Centro Hispano. One of the first services provided by the new center were English Language classes, followed by an initiative focused on domestic violence prevention and assistance.

Sherry, Centro Hispano's LITC Coordinator. Photo courtesy of Daily Herald.

By the year 2007, Centro Hispano became a well established non-profit organization; they gained 501(C)3 status, making them able to employ individuals, and to take on interns and volunteers. Centro Hispano was responsible for the annual Provo Festival Latinoamericano (which currently takes place on Center Street during labor day weekend), which at the time served as Centro's biggest fundraiser. After the event in 2017, Centro delegated Festival responsibilities to an outside committee, though Centro continues to support the event by participating with a booth each year and promoting the event.

Since its inception in 2002, Centro Hispano has added a regular office in Salt Lake City and a satellite office in St. George used primarily for the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic. In 2019, the main Centro Hispano office relocated to a larger space. The office is now located in the Dixon Neighborhood on 650 W 100 N in the old Provo Housing Authority Offices.

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Now in 2020, Centro Hispano receives funding through multiple state and federal grants, employs ten dedicated individuals and regularly incorporates teams of interns and volunteers.

Centro Hispano has three operating departments: Community Resources, Health Promotion, and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

For more information on Centro's history, read the Daily Herald's article:

Centro Hispano: A voice for Latino resources and advocacy