DURHAM, N.C. (5/25/10)--In its first 10 years, Latino Community CU (LCCU) in Durham, N.C., has opened 10 branches, reached nearly $100 million in assets and attracted 54,000 members. The Hispanic-focused credit union celebrated its 10-year anniversary Sunday with an event hosted by the Durham Armory. It featured speakers Gabriela Zabala, director of the Office of Hispanic/Latino Affairs for the North Carolina governor’s office, and Carlos Flores Vizcarra, consul general of Mexico in Raleigh, N.C. LCCU was created in response to violence in the Latino community in the late 1990s, when many Latinos suffered home invasions for the cash they kept in their homes instead of in a financial institution, according to The Herald-Sun (May 23). Since its inception, LCCU has provided members with financial services, including more than $130 million in loans to more than 10,000 families. Most LCCU members are low-income and were previously unbanked, the article said. The credit union wants to continue to expand geographically, and grow and provide more member business lending. John Herrera, past LCCU board chair, told the newspaper that the credit union hopes to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit with micro loans. It also wants to offer individual retirement accounts and college savings accounts, he said. LCCU’s 10 branches are located in Durham, Carrboro, Raleigh, Garner, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Charlotte and Fayetteville. One will open soon in Monroe.