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The community may tune into two programs during Latino Community Association Welcoming Week

Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 delta variant cases, the Latino Community Association has canceled its outdoor Latino Fest at Sahalee Park in Madras, scheduled for Saturday Sept. 11. LCA and its event partners believe they must act to protect the health of all community members.

The free, family-oriented annual Latino American heritage celebration was going to includes live music, dancing, food, a community resource fair, pinatas, prizes and games for kids. COVID-19 vaccines and testing services were to be offered.

Latino Fest formed part of Central Oregon's Welcoming Week, Sept. 10-19. Latino Community Association wants to educate Oregonians about the lives of their immigrant neighbors and the challenges they experience. So, the community is invited to attend two virtual events.

The Welcoming Week kick-off celebration begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10. Event organizers hoped to invite visitors to the new Latino Community Association office in Bend. Instead, they will feature a video of stories from local immigrants who will talk about how they felt welcome (or unwelcome) in Central Oregon. To join the virtual event, visit https://www.bendoregon.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/7389/20.

The community is also welcome to tune into a presentation titled "Why We Need Full Immigrant Inclusion NOW" at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13. The online event will provide information that encourages Congress to pass a new program to provide a path to legal status and citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the U.S. An immigrant LCA staffer and an attorney will join other LCA staff in the conversation and answer questions from guests. The online event is available at https://www.bendoregon.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/7400/20.

"Join us to represent yourself, your family, your identity group or your cultural heritage," said LCA Executive Director Brad Porterfield. "LCA is particularly mindful of welcoming our immigrant families from Latin American countries, but we strongly promote building a community where everyone feels welcome and that they belong."

For more information, call 541 382-4366 or visit https://latinocommunityassociation.org/.


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