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WENATCHEE, Wash. — When Manuel Padron's Spanish-speaking friends needed help filling out job applications or other forms in English, they often turned to him for help.

Word got around. Requests for help came more often until he and his son, Nicholas Padron, turned their helping hand into a business, Latinos Unidos.

The Padrons last month moved their three-year-old business from the "517 Building" at Fifth and Mission streets to their own space at 113 Yakima St.

Both notary publics, the Padrons and a small staff help customers fill out English-language forms, including tax-related forms, applications for jobs, welfare assistance, Social Security, disability and immigration, as well as other

The company also helps clients make appointments with state or federal agencies and makes referrals to immigration lawyers or other professionals.

Officials from the Mexican Consulate used the Latinos Unidos offices early Aug. 9 to attend some 200 Mexican nationals in need of Mexican passports.

"We'll help them fill out a job application, but that doesn't mean that they'll get the job," the elder Padron said. "We don't give legal advice. We do a lot of referrals."

Now in his 60s and retired from a lifetime of many jobs, from agriculture to retail, he works part-time at the office, providing insight and expertise from his more than 40 years in Washington.

Nicholas, 34, was born in Ephrata and graduated from Eastmont High School. He and the staff do most of the legwork and computer work.

Manuel and his parents Nicholas' grandparents were all born in the U.S., but the elder Padron declines to discuss his family's original nationality.

"I know no borders," he said. "We're all the same, no matter where we come from."

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