The Hispanic population in Nebraska is growing. The 2010 U.S. Census says Hispanics comprise more than 9% of the state's population, the largest percentage of any minority.
"We're happy people," said Marien Ruiz. "We're hard workers, we want to contribute to the community."
El Centro de las Americas director Marien Ruiz says she doesn't think those census numbers are accurate.
"Even though we were partners with the census and tried to encourage our community to fill out the census, I know a lot of our families didn't," said Ruiz. "They were afraid or they didn't feel secure enough to do it. I know they are underestimated."
El Centro offers Spanish-speaking Nebraskans everything from English lessons to family services. Last year El Centro served nearly 15,000 clients.
"It was higher than the previous year," said Ruiz. "Which is good, because that means we're helping more, but that's bad because that means the need is higher."
Higher U.S. Census numbers could benefit El Centro.
"When you're applying for grants or for money to realize that your community is growing," said Ruiz. "So they have more need, so of course you need more money."
El Centro is hosting a Wine! Chocolate! and Tango! fundraiser, in Lincoln on Saturday.