YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – This month, we celebrate Hispanic heritage. One local organization is striving to better the Hispanic and other multicultural communities.
Organizacion Civica y Cultural Hispana Americana (OCCHA) is a non-profit organization in Youngstown. Founded in 1972, OCCHA serves to identify the problems in the Spanish-speaking community and create programs to address them.
The organization serves Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.
“OCCHA not only serves the Hispanic community but everyone,” said Angelica Diaz, executive director of OCCHA.
Diaz has been working with OCCHA for a little over a year. She says the Latino Hispanic community has been coming here since the 1920s and the value of this organization is priceless. OCCHA provides social, economic, cultural and educational programs for the community.
“We have our food pantry, our clothing room. We partnered with Eastern Gateway and we provide ESL classes to those looking to improve their English,” Diaz said.
The mission of this organization is to strive to better the lives of Hispanics and other multicultural members.
“Many of the times they do have a language barrier, so we want to make sure that they understand the community and are able to navigate through the services,” Diaz said.
OCCHA partners with community members like Mercy Health and offers health screenings once a month.
The community is welcome to get assistance on simple and complex issues through OCCHA.
“Someone might wanna come in here and just need a letter interpreted, or they might need help filling out an application, or they might need food or clothing,” Diaz said.
OCCHA says they want to continue to meet the needs of the new families coming into the area and support all members of the community in any way possible.