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The large and growing Hispanic and Latino populations of Orange County are served by several agencies designed to assist in overcoming language barriers and other hurdles. One such agency is Carrboro's El Centro Latino, incorporated in 1999, whose mission is to " improve the quality of life for Latinos living in and around Orange County by providing educational and social services, advocacy, and cultural activities." For more information on El Centro Latino, visit their website at: elcentrolatino.org.

Nearly 5,500 people of Hispanic or Latino origin live in Orange County, home of the cities of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough-roughly 4.5% of the total population. In Carrboro alone, almost 12.5% of the city's 17,000 citizens are Hispanic or Latino.

Along with formal institutions like El Centro Latino, a number of businesses have developed around Orange County that serve the Hispanic population. These markets and shops help to enrich the cultural landscape of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, providing residents of all ethnicities with the opportunity to shop for hard-to-find foods from other nations.

A Market Catering to Hispanic and Latino Customers

Those wishing to explore the cuisine of Asia in their own kitchens, Chapel Hill also boasts an Asian Market where shoppers can choose from a variety of specialty noodles and seasonings in order to prepare the perfect dish. [37].

The Graduate School at UNC-Chapel Hill

All Text and Photos © 2004.