Moab Valley Multicultural Center is one of Moab’s newest
non-profit organizations. The center aims to promote cultural
diversity as well as help Moab’s fast growing immigrant
population assimilate into American society.
MVMC opened its doors only a few months ago in the old
city building at 115 W. 200 S., but is already swamped
with people in need of its services. People come in with
issues relating to employment, education, housing, health
care and legal matters. The volunteer staff mostly handles
translations and referrals to other agencies or non-profits.
The center is run by Leticia Bentley a native of Mexico who
has lived in Moab for 22 years. She has taught ESL and Spanish
at GCHS and Middle School for the last several years. Realizing
the huge need for these types of services she took a year off
from the school district to start the Multicultural Center.
Aside from trying to solve everyone’s problems, the center
also offers classes in English, an after school homework club
with volunteer bilingual tutors, sponsors a folk dance group,
has nightly AA meetings in Spanish and a women’s support
group. They also sponsor events throughout the year such as
the Hispanic health fair and Hispanic resource fair. The most
recent event, the Cinco de Mayo celebration was dampened by
cold weather and rain, but the people who braved the elements
to attend the event were treated to some fantastic singing
and dancing and some great Mexican food.
plans include Mexican cooking classes, salsa dance classes
and Spanish classes.
Response from Moab’s business community has been very
positive. Many local businesses have begun to utilize the center
to resolve issues they are having with employees due to language
problems and cultural differences. Several of these businesses
have been very generous with financial support enabling the
center to keep its doors open.
As a fund raising activity the volunteers at the center plan
on offering monthly tamales sales. This will take place the
last Thursday of each month. Orders should be placed in advance.
The center is open for walk-in business for interpreting and
referrals Mondays and Wednesdays from 3-6. The phone number
is 259-5444. Mrs. Bentley’s cell number is 220-0209.