To celebrate its 30th year of service, Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) threw a fiesta at the Depot in Minneapolis.

The nonprofit organization was started in 1981 by a group of graduate students. "There was a lack of counseling services for Hispanic families to go to that spoke Spanish and had a cultural context of values," said Jesse Bethke Gomez, president of CLUES.

From its beginnings as a mental health clinic, CLUES has grown to offer chemical-health, aging-well and economic-advancement services.

Many community leaders have helped with the CLUES mission over the years, including Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Christopher Dietzen. "I wanted to do volunteer work in the Latino community," said Dietzen, who taught English to Spanish speakers in south Minneapolis. "The Latino growth in the metro area is explosive -- it's part of our culture. If I can do a small part by teaching English, I can do that."

Even though CLUES now serves more than 38,000 people annually, the focus remains the same.

"I think CLUES has played an important role in helping families advance in health, wellness and prosperity, so they can seek a better life and realize the American dream," Gomez said.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177