Latin Culture Night 186The Northwest Indiana area is rich with Latin culture and people of Latin descent. In fact, this region is home to more Latin American citizens than almost any other area in Indiana. Because Latin culture is of such importance to the history of life in NWI, one organization has taken on the mission of preserving and promoting the cultural practices and traditions of Latin and Hispanic countries.

Sociedad Cultural Y Civica la Reforma, or SCCLR, is a nonprofit organization based in East Chicago, IN that dedicates itself to the preservation of Latin culture in NWI. This is done through educational programs and community events.

SCCLR was started in 2006 when seven community members, all with concerns about youth and seniors in the area not having access to information on the Hispanic cultures that many of them shared, came together to take action. By 2007, SCCLR was hosting its first community events.

The most prominent and widely anticipated of SCCLR’s three annual events is the Night of Latin Culture. This is a one-night festival that includes food, live music and dancing, an art show, face painting, games and more. All activities at the event represent the traditions of various Latin and Hispanic nations.

The organization also holds an annual Mexican Breakfast Fundraiser. This event not only offers a breakfast of traditional, homemade Mexican dishes but also features a reading room with books, artwork and videos pertaining to Mexican history. In addition to receiving funds from this event, the SCCLR also receives grant money and sponsorships from organizations like the Foundations of East Chicago and South Shore Arts.

The final annual event put on by SCCLR is the Swinging for Scholars Golf Outing. Funds raised at the golf outing each year are used to provide scholarships for local Latino high school students to attend college.

For more information on the SCCLR, its events or what the organization does for the community, visit