YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – We continue to celebrate the history and culture of the U.S. Latino and Hispanic communities this month. Throughout the Valley, Hispanic Americans are committed to keeping their culture alive.

“We’re trying to come to everything and anything that we can,” said Rachel Raquel Flores with the Mexican Heritage Corporation.

Raquel Flores was born in Youngstown and both of her parents are Mexican. Her father was born in Mexico, then moved to Northeast Ohio to follow work.

Raquel Flores is committed to supporting and encouraging Hispanic culture within the community. She’s a part of the Sociedad Mutualista Mexicana. It’s a valuable organization that emphasizes economic protection, education and community service to Hispanic Americans.

Raquel Flores says over the years, the society has dwindled and she wants to help build it back up and raise awareness throughout the Valley.

“They need to be made aware, aware that we’re here,” she said.

Raquel Flores’ concern is that younger generations “are not interested. They marry out of the culture and it starts to become diluted.”

“I don’t understand why they don’t because they’ve heard it all their life,” she said.

Embracing her culture, history and customs is something Raquel Flores plans to never stray from. It gives her great joy to see all types of people support Hispanic heritage.

“People that have traveled to Mexico or gone to one area or another, they’re very happy and somewhat proud to talk about where they went, how much they loved it,” she said.

Her closest friends say…

“It’s easy to make a friend. It’s easy to approach people in our culture. It’s a happy moment,” said Claudia Zacharko with the Sociedad Mutualista Mexicana.