National convention held in SLC, LULAC discusses ways to advocate for Latino youth

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The League of United Latin American Citizens held their National Convention at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City this week, and among the group’s goals are bringing opportunities to children in the Latino community.

“We have been doing this now 86 years, 86 years,” said Margaret Moran, the National President for LULAC. “We were founded in 1929 in Corpus Christi, Texas, and we have been just advocating for our community all these years."

This week was the first time LULAC held its annual convention here in Utah.

“It's just something that we always look forward to,” said Juan Morales, a LULAC attendee. “Meeting all the other amazing youth leaders all around the nation."

Morales is from Oklahoma City, and this was his third time attending a LULAC convention. He said the expo creates opportunities he wouldn't get otherwise, and he's already been talking to businesses about future employment.

“I just graduated high school, so I’m going to be a freshman in college,” he said. “And so I was talking to them and they were like, 'We have internships and stuff', so I feel like that's one way a door can open."

LULAC is the country's largest and oldest Latino organization, and Hispanic Americans from all over the United States attend every year.

Organizers said one of the main goals is to help grow support for Latino youth.

"Since I was elected in 2010, that was my dream: to just recruit more youth and young adults into our organization,” Moran said. "…We as folks with expertise, can mentor them. And I think it's important for our organization to also be mentors to our kids."

Morales said the event has a lot to offer.

“It's nice because, you know, you're facing one way and there's this booth and you turn around and there's another really cool booth,” he said.

Organizers said with 55 million Latinos in this country, civil rights have gotten better but are still not good enough. They said it's important to have this convention to advocate for their community.

“The issues are the same. OK?" Moran said. "We're still advocating for education, health, civil rights, we know that these issues pop up, and I’m sure you know about Trump. So that issue has come up against Mexican immigrants:That is so wrong."

For more information about LULAC and the convention, visit their website.

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