NewsInspiring South Florida


Esperanza Community Center gives hope to migrant workers

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 4.04.53 PM.png
Posted at 5:16 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 20:00:39-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Esperanza community Center in West Palm Beach needs more room.

Since its opening in 2019, it's been busy. Executive Director Maricela Torres they have outgrown their current location on Broadway.

Torres started the organization which helps low-income migrant workers after watching them day after day trying to find daily work.

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 4.05.23 PM.png

"Waiting on the corner off 44th and Broadway waiting for contractors, homeowners to come by and pick them up for work."

She wanted to empower the workers and their families.

"Wage theft is a big problem in our community because many people take advantage of our workers. They feel that they lack the language skills, or some of them might be undocumented not all of them are. it's a misconception. And they prey on these individuals. One of the things that we focus on is education. educating the workers on their rights, working with them on how to prevent wage theft."

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 4.06.14 PM.png

The center also provided food for the community at the height of the pandemic.

"We also teach English, Spanish, we have workshops, and then our Mujeres Fuertes program which is our empowered women's program, which we have 40 women a week coming in with their babies."

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 4.07.29 PM.png

Torres says now is the time to expand the center.

"So my plan for the future is to buy our own building or take on additional space or rent another area. At the end of the day, I feel that when we help each other our community is better for it. Our children thrive, they pay taxes, they go to work. They are the person standing next to you at the checkout counter."

To learn more about the Esperanza Community Center, click here.