ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show there are about 6,500 people in the City of Roanoke alone who identify as Hispanic or Latino and that number has been steadily increasing for more than a decade.

Yadira Salazar has lived in Roanoke for about 20 years. She traveled more than 2,100 miles to the United States from Guadalajara, Mexico. She briefly lived in Maryland before moving to the Star City.

Salazar said, “I love the city. I like the parks and the green areas for walking and running.”

However, getting acclimated to her new home was hard for Salazar.

“It was a little difficult because in Guadalajara I worked and sometimes would go to different places with my friends. When I came, here it was different,” said Salazar.

She learned about Casa Latina, a Roanoke-based nonprofit organization that helps members of the Hispanic and Latino communities successfully transition to life in the U.S.

Kris Tilley-Lubes, CEO of Casa Latina, explained, “With our programs, our goal is to integrate the family into a bilingual, bicultural whole that embraces the best of both cultures and thrives.”

The organization offers several community programs, such as after-school tutoring for elementary school students, DMV test prep in Spanish, computer literacy, and domestic violence education. It also distributes fresh and nonperishable foods to families every Tuesday, in partnership with the Local Environmental Agricultural Project (LEAP).

“And we have a program at Fleming High School for Spanish-speaking youth. It’s called Sí se puede, you can do it. It’s about taking charge of your future and planning it so that you can have the best, most successful future that’s possible,” said Tilley-Lubes.

She said people interested in participating in services offered by Casa Latina should check the organization’s Facebook page daily because the services have limited enrollment. Checking its Facebook postings frequently will allow those interested to secure their spots quickly.

Here are ways to contact Casa Latina: