Guatemalan-Maya Center in danger of closing

Posted at 8:18 PM, Apr 21, 2017

A refuge for families to learn English, and customs in Lake Worth primarily serving the refugee population is in danger of closing.

The Guatemalan-Maya Center has been serving the immigrant community for more than 20 years.

Natividad Jimenez says she will always remember what the place did for her when she came to the United States more than 20 years ago.

"Offers many help to those mothers whether it be language interpretation or maybe guiding them in the right direction," says Jimenez.

Assistant Executive Director Tim Gamwell says because of what's going on when it comes to immigration, people who normally use the center for help have disappeared.

"Some families we've known for years have fled the state due to fear of being arrested or detained or deported by immigration and in other cases, a lot of donors are hesitant for what is now a hot political issue," says Gamwell.

He says the non-profit is looking at a $200,000 shortfall this year.

"If you meet our families, if you see their stories, we are convinced you'll find a way to support us," says Gamwell.

The center is partnering with the United Way next month for a fundraiser and is also applying for local and federal grants.