Serving, Advocating and Equipping 

our Hispanic Community

Meet our staff and our board members


Our Staff


Jessica Lopez joined Centro Latino in 2016. We are happy to have her. She is 100% bilingual; coming to us after her experiences living in Puerto Rico. As the director of the program she is in charge of lesson plans, oversight of the tutors, (most of which are Lenoir Rhyne students), as well as participating in one-on-one teaching herself. An artistic passion for Jessica is creative dance; which she hopes to use with our afterschool program! She has found a home at Centro Latino!


Dakisha Acevedo is the Abriendo Puertas Assistant. Dakisha was born in Puerto Rico and moved to North Carolina on 2013. Since she was young she had a passion for helping Hispanics and her community. She has traveled to Mexico and the Dominican Republic for mission trips. Dakisha lived for a while in the Dominican Republic and helped in the opening of a small school for children who could not read or write. In 2016 Dakisha started working at Abriendo Puertas. She has been a great asset for our program and loved by all the children. 



Larry Phillips is a pastor and an active member of the board of Directors of Centro Latino.  He has a heart for the Hispanic community and is bilingual after spending nearly 20 yrs in Peru as a missionary.  More recently he has become interested in immigration law and is now an accredited representative with the Department of Justice Office of Legal Access Programs. He is able to assist clients with  any number of immigration needs  and is excited to be readily available here in Hickory for clients. 


Our Board Members

President- Martha Carrillo- Business Engagement Coordinator/CVCC

Secretary- Anita Montes - Obstetrician Gynecologist at A Woman's View

Treasurer- David "DW" Bentley - Business Owner- Tasteful Beans in the Mart

Soraya Place - Spanish Professor at  Lenoir Rhyne University

Larry Phillips - Pastor / Immigration Strategist 

Eddie Marlow - Investigator, City of Longview

Don Drysdale - Pastor Evangelical Lutheran Church

Josephine Young - Retired Nurse, Volunteer

Monica Pagnini- Attorney and Artist from Venezuela

Barbara Gilbert- Community Outreach,  St. Stephens Lutheran ELCA

Myea Jones- Catawba County Chamber of Commerce Manager


About Us

Centro Latino began in 1999.   At its inception it was no more than a single Hispanic employee with a telephone doing the best she could to assist clients in any way possible.  Over the years, Centro Latino has developed a close relationship with many community partners and agencies.  With the help of these agencies as well as  our staff and board of directors, the programming over the years has expanded to the current well developed structure that we have today. Unfortunately many of the other non profit Hispanic agencies in the surrounding areas have closed due to lack of funding and because of these closures, we are now the primary referral source in this region of the state. We are happy to serve any and all Hispanics who need our assistance. We are faith based, but have no affiliation to any particular church. We have in fact been housed over the years in a number of different churches of different denominations. We have no political agenda.  Our funding ​is in part from local churches as well as local businesses and individuals. We rely for more than half of all our funding on grants.  Having less dependance on grants is one of our long term goals.  We get no funding from state or federal sources. 

Centro Latino 

(Catawba County Hispanic Ministry)

2259 12th Ave NE, Hickory, NC  28601 

(St Stephens ELCA)

Mailing Address: PO Box 104, Hickory, NC 28603

Main Phone: (828) 330-0477 

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