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Non-profit working to preserve French language, culture

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Posted at 8:56 PM, Jun 18, 2021

A newly formed local non-profit is working to preserve an integral part of Cajun culture in Vermilion Parish - the French language and heritage.

Les Amis du Français en Vermilion (Friends of French in Vermilion), created by local resident and parent Layla Melancon, promotes all things dealing with the Francophone cultures and provides support for immersion learning in the parish.

Vermilion Parish is one of the top three parishes with the highest percentage of French speakers, Melancon discovered.

"The French language can be heard regularly at grocery stores, gas stations, schools, churches, restaurants, tourist attractions, community events, and numerous other places," said Melancon. "The French heritage and deep-rooted culture that exists within our communities represents the importance of preserving the French language and culture in Vermilion Parish, and identifies a need to promote and preserve the continued success of our French Immersion program."

Partnering with the organization is the Acadian Museum of Erath, which will reopen on a regular schedule for the first time following the COVID-19 pandemic by hosting a program called La Table Française. The weekly event is a French table discussion group, hosted by Melancon and Les Amis du Français, where attendees can share the French language, community stories, and more.

The group starts meeting on Friday, June 25, at 10 a.m. at Cafe Erath, located at 102 E. Edwards St. in Erath. Any person with any type of French dialect, of any age, and with any skill level is invited to join.

Members of Les Amis du Français en Vermilion will receive updates about activities and events happening throughout the year. The organization will be launching its Facebook page in July, but for information now, you can reach out to Layla Melancon at vermilionfrench@gmail.com.

For more information on the Acadian Museum, click here.

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