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HOLA Ohio holds groundbreaking ceremony for new, permanent location

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 8:25 PM EDT
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PAINESVILLE, Ohio (WOIO) - HOLA Ohio held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for its Community Center, in a celebration full of joy, music, food, and Latino colors.

“The American Dream is very much alive, and today, we’re making it a reality once more,” Lilly Cavanaugh, executive director of the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission, said during the ceremony.

HOLA Ohio never had a permanent location despite its decades of work within Northeast Ohio. Now, the non-profit will finally begin work on their own building on N. State St. The site will feature several multi-purpose rooms in order to host courses, functions, and local startups.

Veronica Dahlberg, executive director of HOLA Ohio, says it’s a sign of growth: “A prosperous Hispanic and Latino economy contributes to a thriving American economy.”

San Juana Martinez Garcia recalls how the organization had to find different locations for meetings and events.

“In the parks, in backyards, that’s how we got together, and then we started to rent spaces,” she said in Spanish, “but here we are.”

HOLA Ohio looks to open the center by March 2022, where Dahlberg looks to continue the organization’s serve its community. “We’ve served over 1000 clients in this year alone,” she said.

For Esperanza Pacheco Padilla, all that matters now is to continue her community’s progress towards “victory.”

“A la victoria!” she said in Spanish.

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