An Oregon nonprofit expanding into Hermiston hopes to empower its residents.

Euvalcree is opening an office at 210 Main St. in Hermiston Wednesday. The nonprofit’s purpose is to “mobilize and engage under-served and underrepresented populations.”

Executive director Gustavo Morales said the group started in Ontario in 2014, when leaders of the town’s Latino community decided to respond to frustrations of Latino residents who felt like they were being marginalized and blamed for the town’s problems. Their early efforts turned into Euvalcree, which offers services to people of all demographics.

Services Euvalcree provides include free family events, educational outreach, application assistance, scholarships, leadership development and training sessions for community members with titles such as “Community 201” and “Know Your Rights.”

“We are a firm believer in teaching people how to fish, instead of giving them a fish,” Morales said.

The nonprofit has several contracts with government agencies, such as the Oregon Health Authority, to do outreach and sign-ups for various health programs.

Morales said the community events are designed to help foster better understanding between different people and cultures.

Hermiston is Euvalcree’s first satellite office, and Morales said they hired local residents to staff it. They are working to get involved with established community events, such as Cinco de Mayo, and also plan to host events of their own. The first will be a grand opening celebration on April 7 with live music and food.

For more information about Euvalcree, visit www.euvalcree.org.

News Editor

Hermiston Herald news editor and reporter covering city government and economic development in Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield and Echo.

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