MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Imagine moving to a place where you don’t have any family, don’t know anyone, and can’t speak the language. That’s the situation for many Hispanic migrants when they come to Mobile. A faith-based charity is often the first step for immigrants trying to navigate a confounding new world.
Spanish is spoken a lot through the humble offices of Guadalupe Center located on the campus of Ascension Providence Hospital. Silvia Vaca Diez and Evelyn Monterrosa have both worked here for 15 years. Most of their work is helping migrants with language barriers–and then finding solutions to a myriad of challenges, from tax questions to food assistance, they’re here to solve problems.
“Whatever they came for, when they come to us, they leave happy, with an answer or something they feel more comfortable doing because they don’t know,” said Patient Navigator Evelyn Monterrosa. Mobile’s Hispanic community has grown from a small population to a thriving mix of migrant agricultural workers and business owners. Outreach to the growing Hispanic community is essential.
“Everyone wants to get the best service to their clients and that means you have to understand different cultures and different languages too,” said Program Coordinator Silvia Vaca Diez. This is an organization with strong roots in faith and in a way they say they’re also carrying on the mission of Jesus.
“We feel that we are the hands that Jesus can use to help others and that’s really humbling and amazing at the same time,” said Diez. They are essentially the hub for new migrants. Whether it’s a legal matter, financial problem, or getting the healthcare they need, they’ve helped put hundreds of people on the right path to being productive.