APRIL 27, 2018
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Orlando Organizations Launch Abrazo Boricua Coalition to
Resettle and Empower Puerto Rican Families
Abrazo Boricua Brings Together Faith, Civic and Community Service Organizations to Serve Families
ORLANDO, FL — Yesterday, Abrazo Boricua, a coalition of over 10 civic and advocacy organizations in the Orlando area hosted a press conference to launch a new initiative aimed at helping Puerto Rican families who have fled the Island and are settling in the region. Together, coalition members pledged their combined resources to support and empower Puerto Ricans who have fled the island and are rebuilding their lives in Orlando.
“The Latino community must come together in order to ensure that Puerto Rican families can successfully transition into the Orlando area. With over 200,000 Puerto Ricans having arrived in Florida since Hurricane Maria, we must all come together and ensure our American brothers and sisters have the tools they need in the Orlando area,” said Betsy Franceschini, Senior State Director Florida Southeast, Hispanic Federation.
“As a community, we have a duty to alleviate uncertainty and stress caused by this transition, reduce barriers to employment, increase job retention and employer satisfaction, and promote economic stability and prosperity in our community. We look forward to providing Puerto Rican families the springboard they need for economic stability in the area,” said Marcos Vilar, Campaign Director, Abrazo Boricua.
This weekend, Abrazo Boricua will launch a series of “Welcome Workshops” (Talleres de Bienvenida) at Florida Technical College. You may find more information on the workshops here.
“Part of our task is to ensure we are building people power. The task at hand is massive and we all need to work together in order to make a difference in this kind of effort. Whether it is organizing our community, working on leadership development, or civic engagement — we are all working together towards a common goal. Through our collaborative efforts, Abrazo Boricua will ensure that the Puerto Rican community in Orlando is on equal footing,” said Michelle Suarez, Community Organizer, Organize Florida.
“We are thrilled to be a part of Abrazo Boricua and unify efforts to assist the Puerto Rican community. Our work will entail a series of ‘Welcome Workshops’ to guide our American brothers and sisters through their transition into Central Florida,” said Nancy Rosado, Vice President, SOS by Urbander.
“Faith in Florida stands in solidarity with the People of Puerto Rico , the community of faith responds to our call as people of conscience and welcomes the opportunity to be the Faith component in this Abrazo Boricua,” stated Maria Revelles, Director of Organizing, Faith in Florida.
Abrazo Boricua is a coalition of Orlando-based advocacy, civil rights, faith, and civic engagement organizations that have come together to assist displaced Puerto Rican families as they seek to rebuild their lives and become active members of the community. The coalition will focus its collaborative resources to assist with housing, workforce preparation, legal assistance, medical and mental health referrals, and civic engagement. It is through our combined effort that we will equip our fellow Americans from Puerto Rico with the tools they need to succeed and empower them with the knowledge to thrive.