LYNCHBURG, Va (WFXR) — One Lynchburg organization is hoping to shine a light on Hispanic culture in Hill City. “Centro Comunitario Latino Americano Lynchburg” located in downtown Lynchburg, is home to a wealth of resources for the Hispanic community in Lynchburg.

Originally from Peru, CEO of the Lynchburg Latin American community center, Elsa Duran, says its mission is to empower the local Hispanic community.

“We want Lynchburg to see us, we want Lynchburg to see us and to see us united and to see us as a community, to see us as a community that’s prospering,” said Duran.

The center provides assistance with legal processes, scholarships, translation, and literacy. it also supports undocumented youth, assists with job applications– and more.

Vicente Gonzalez has volunteered with the center for years but was advocating for the local Latin American community even before that.

“So, if we can provide more support for these different communities that have established themselves in our community, then you know the entire system can get better, for everybody,” said Gonzalez.

He says prior to working at the center he helped with translation at places like the DMV, doctors’ offices, and in court. He even went before Lynchburg city schools to advocate for students who faced possible deportation when “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” or DACA, was rescinded under the trump administration—to advocate for immigrant and undocumented students in the community.

“A lot of it is just providing access, you know, continuing to work with Lynchburg city schools but also working with you know clinics, and you know pushing the city to provide more support, you know so we’re both advocates for individuals, but we’re also advocates for the community at large,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez says while he has seen some growth in support for multicultural communities in Lynchburg, he feels that the city has still not welcomed diversity as much as he would like.

However, he believes the resilience of these communities can overcome any lack of support.

“I would tell like young Latinos, young Latin Americans, young immigrants you know from all over the world you know that even though Lynchburg is such a conservative place and there is a lot against us here, I do kind of feel like this is our moment,” said Gonzalez.

Duran says she wants the Lynchburg Hispanic community to know that they do have a place in this community and that there are people they can lean on.

“People know that they have a house, they have a place where they can share not only concerns but needs, music, culture,” said Duran.

If you want to be a part of the mission, Duran says they always need more volunteers to help out at the center, you can find more information on their website or Facebook page.

Coming up on October 7th the Latin American community center will be celebrating “Latin night” at the Academy of the Arts in downtown Lynchburg—they say come prepared to salsa dance and try some local Latin American cuisine.