HOLA Ohio is a 501c3, nonprofit organization based in Painesville with a mission to improve quality-of-life opportunities and empower the Latino community through outreach, education, civic engagement, entrepreneurship and skills development.
Nurseries and farms are an integral part of Ohio’s economy and have long employed a labor pool consisting of immigrants. These workers have established roots and expanded their families over the years. Yet, Hispanic farmworkers in Ohio and their families live in a worsening cycle of poverty, due to numerous barriers that lead to poor health, economic and educational outcomes, and they are targets of current zero-tolerance immigration policies.
HOLA was founded in late 1999 as an informal group of Hispanic women in Lake County who wanted to help the growing Latino community, comprised of Mexican immigrant workers employed by area nurseries, and their families. Few services were accessible to this demographic, and HOLA worked to bridge gaps. Today, HOLA is an award-winning, 501c3 charitable nonprofit organization which works with families across the state. HOLA is currently developing a Commercial Kitchen Incubator and Hispanic Community Center in Painesville.
HOLA’s work has been spotlighted in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Telemundo, and has been recognized with numerous awards, including a Torchlight Prize, a prestigious national award honoring community-driven work that empowers the Latino community. Recently, founding executive director Veronica Dahlberg was named a 2019 Crain’s Cleveland Business Woman of Note.