Filipino-American community celebrates history in Yakima Valley
WAPATO, Wash. – The Filipino-American Community of the Yakima Valley held its annual anniversary dinner Saturday to commemorate the dedication of Filipino Community Hall.
Built in 1952, it is the only in the U.S. to be built from the ground up by a Filipino community. Dances and concerts helped to pay for the building and now it hosts many of the same functions decades later.
"[We want to increase] community awareness about who the Filipinos are," said Dori Pralta Baker, the group's president. "We like to share our food, our traditions and our costumes."
The organization works year-round to maintain the hall and run programs for both its younger and older members.
Filipinos first arrived in the Yakima Valley in the 1920s and settled in the area after making an agreement with the Yakama Nation to lease tribal land.